Importance of Social Psychology

Social Psychology is a scientific study of human behavior in society. It studies human behaviour within a group of people such that how a human behaves in presence of others or that how human behaviour is influenced by others. It attempts to understand the socio-psychological causes and motives of human behaviour in groups. Social Psychology has a wide significance in the modern world. The importance of Social Psychology is divided into the following spheres:

  1. Social Psychology and Mental Health
  2. Social Psychology and Business
  3. Social Psychology and Industry
  4. Social Psychology and Education
  5. Social Psychology and Military
  6. Socialization and Personality Development
  7. Social Psychology as a Source of Knowledge

   Social Psychology and Mental Health

Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, phobia, schizophrenia, psychosis, and personality disorders are the growing problems of the modern world. Most mental health problems have socio-psychological causes such as stressful relationship with others, death of loved ones, marriage adjustment issues, weak family bonds, break-ups, working in a stressful environment and unexpected social changes. Such social circumstances become a cause of emotional disturbance, mental retardation, drug abuse, abnormal behaviour and even criminal behaviour.

Social Psychology plays a significant role in addressing mental health issues. Social Psychology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. As most of the mental health issues nowadays have socio-psychological causes, it is a better approach to identify these causes and address them accordingly. Social Psychology provides basic knowledge and tools to identify these causes which are indirectly linked to the physical health of a person but directly originate from the social context where the person may experience these issues. In some countries, Social Psychologists are licensed to treat patients with mental health issues by using psychological practices of treatment. In many other countries, Social Psychologists work together with Psychiatrists and medical doctors for the treatment of mental illness.

   Social Psychology and Business

Business is crucial to a country’s economy because it provides goods, services and jobs opportunities to the citizens. Social Psychology plays a prominent role in the business sector. Nowadays, business uses psychological techniques for boosting the production and sale of goods. Television advertisements for products are made on the basis of social-psychological techniques of marketing. These advertisements are made to change the attitude of people towards a product in the desired way. Attitude change is a part of the subject-matter of Social Psychology that guides how to change the attitude of others towards something positively e.g., by presenting products in advertisements in a way that fascinates the viewers.

Surveys are conducted by businesses to understand the socio-psychological orientations of people towards different products and services. These surveys are based on assessing people psychological response to different features of a product. Considering these psychological inclinations of people for making products ensures the marketability of the products and boosts the sale of the products. The names, labels, titles and logos of products are designed considering the psychological inclination of its target customers. Similarly, other considerations of the products (e.g., colors, flavors, characteristics, features, cost, durability, and other considerations) are designed in a way that has a psychological appeal for the target customers.

Customer service is a key contributor to the success of a business. It helps in building a good relationship with the customers that is majorly based on customer’s satisfaction with the service representative. These service representatives are generally trained by qualified Social Psychologists so they can acquire good communication skills to build relationships with customers and convince them using psychological techniques.

   Social Psychology and Education

Social Psychology has also an important role in the sector of education. It helps teachers in improving their teaching skills according to the psyche of different levels or ages of students so they can learn effectively. It helps students in improving their learning skills, cognition skills and intelligence level. It devises certain contextual techniques for the motivation of students and good student-teacher relationship.

Poor academic performance of students is sometimes due to socio-psychological issues. A restrictive environment, lack of encouragement, punishments, overburden of studies, fear of failure in the exam and harsh treatment may destroy the student’s creativity as well as their capacity to learn adequately. Since these problems originate from the contextual environment, social psychology highlights these issues in the educational environment in schools, colleges and universities in order to make an environment that is supportive for effective learning. It also guides students on how to cope with stress related to their studies such as exam stress.

   Social Psychology and Industry

The rapid growth of industrialization in modern societies has made it a great contributor to the economic growth of a country as well as the overall development of the country. Social Psychological has also wide applicability in the industrial sector to maxims its benefits. For instance, good working relations among the employees is an important factor in the productivity and effectiveness of the industry. However, the working environment in industries is sometimes adverse and is not conducive for good working relations among its employees. Social Psychology highlights these issues which may lead to an adverse working environment and devised techniques to address these problems. The stakeholders of industries arrange training of Social Psychologist periodically for their employees to improve the working environment.  

Motivation is another key factor in the productivity of employees. Motivation is an important subject area of Social Psychology that discusses how to keep people motivated for good things. These techniques are also applied to motivate employees and to refine their teamwork abilities in different organization.

   Social Psychology and Military

Social Psychology has a prominent role in military organizations. The soldiers are trained physically as well as psychologically to cope with difficult situations courageously. The psychological techniques are used to train the soldiers to become fearless strugglers and determined to their aim. The soldiers have to come across various situations in life such as wars, disasters, harsh environmental conditions and so on. The soldiers are trained to have an emotionally balanced personality to deal with such situations bravely.

This is why the selection procedures of candidates for the Military service generally involves specific psychological tests. The purpose of the psychological evaluation is to ensure that the candidate must have the psychological attributes required for the delivery of military services.

   Socialization and Personality Development

Children are the future of a nation. A child must be raised in such a way that they develop a healthy personality and become productive citizen. When a child becomes an adult, they should be capable of contributing to the development and prosperity of the society. If children are not raised with proper care, they can develop serious personality disorders, such as a sense of deprivation, inexpressiveness, shyness, mental retardation, fears, emotional disturbances and so on. These problems in the upbringing of children are resulted from socio-psychological causes within the family, such as quarrelling parents, ignoring children, harsh treatment towards children, discouraging environment etc.

Social Psychology discusses the process of socialization and personality development of children in a detailed manner as a part of its subject matter. Through Social Psychology, we come to know how the family environment may affect the personality of a child as well as what are the important considerations for proper socialization of children so they can achieve their potentials and become productive members of society.  

   Social Psychology as a Source of Knowledge

Social Psychology has broad subject matter. In addition to its practical applicability, the subject matter of Social Psychology serves as a source of useful knowledge. It encompasses different areas of knowledge which beneficial to researchers, the development community, political leaders and scholars. These areas include perception, cognition, behavior, motivation, leadership, attitude, group dynamics, social interactions, skills of socialization and personality development and so on. Research is a hallmark of social psychology which is undertaken to generate reliable and updated knowledge. The generated knowledge offers a theory for understanding many psychological trends and resolving the psychological issues. Its theory also helps other disciplines in explaining various phenomena such as Sociology, Law, Political Science and other social sciences.