According to the American Psychological Association, psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It has various branches such as clinical psychology, counselling psychology, health psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, industrial psychology, forensic psychology, experimental psychology, sports psychology and more.
History of Psychology
Research and experiments exploring the field of psychology have been noted since the 17th century. Although the concepts of psychology were still a part of philosophy back then. In the mid-1800s, Wilhelm Wundt began using scientific methods to study psychology. In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt, Father of Psychology, established the first psychology lab at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Wundt published the book “Principles of Physiological Psychology” and conducted lectures. Many of the students attending Wundt’s lectures went on to conduct research and formulate psychological theories. Some of them being Edward Titchener, James Catell, Charles Spearman and G Stanley Hall.
G Stanley Hall established the first American psychology lab at Johns Hopkins University in 1883 and James Catell was the first professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University in 1888.
G Stanley Hall founded the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892 which is the organization representing psychologists in America,
What is General Psychology?
General psychology is the study of the basic principles, problems and methods that underlie the science of psychology. General psychology topics include perception, emotions, development, senses, learning and much more. General psychology being a vast field is viewed from various perspectives.
Psychology now has its roots in medicine and philosophy. It concentrates on personality, abnormalities in human behaviour, education, human development and other aspects of human life.
Students obtain a bachelor’s degree in general psychology which gives them a range of options for specialization during their master’s degree.
What is Social Psychology?
Social psychology is a branch of \psychology based on the social effect of social setting on one’s thinking, atitudes, behaviour, ideas and overall personality. The concepts of social psychology are based on the various social psychology theories developed by social psychologists like Donald Camplbell, Norman Triplett, Leon Festinger, Fritz Heider and many more.
Social psychologists study people’s behaviour in the presence of others and in the absence of others, the effects of social conditions on the behaviour of an individual, the influence of television and media on one’s personality.
Although social psychology has been a part of each community since the beginning of humankind, the scientific and academic study of social psychology began at the dawn of the 20th century.The earliest text on social psychology is McDougall’s “An Introduction to Social Psychology” published in 1908. It has chapters on sentiment, emotions, morality, etc. which were relevant at those times. McDougall believed that social behaviour was an innate quality of man and hence it was developed only through the individual
The foundation of social psychology was laid after many experiments done by social psychologists like Kurt Lewin, Leon, Norman Triplett and others. These earliest experiments were done in laboratory settings under strict supervision. The conclusions gained from these experiments are the bases of the theories of social psychology.
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|GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY||SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY|
|1. A larger discipline which includes the entire study of psychology.|
2. Involves a general outlook of an individual’s life.
3. Is studied as a subject during bachelor’s degree.
4. Relies on main schools of psychology such as structuralism, functionalism, behaviourism, psychoanalysis, gestalt psychology and humanistic psychology.
5. Explores topics like perception, cognition, motivation, personality, brain functioning and many more.
6. General psychologists attempt to assist people with mental health problems like behaviour issues, relationship issues, emotional troubles and such others.
|1. A sub-domain of general psychology|
2. Focuses only on the social influences on an individual.
3. Is taken up as a specialization during master’s degree.
4. Relies on empirical findings, laboratory experiments and specified theories.
5. Explores topics like prejudice, aggression, obedience, stereotypes, dynamics and many more.
6. Social psychologists assist people with social problems like adjustment issues, stereotypes, discrimination and such others.