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Applied Social Psychology

  • By: Brandon I. Brockmyer & Kathryn C. Oleson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Applied social psychology can be defined as using social psychological theories, principles, research findings, and experimental methods to understand social issues and to offer real-world solutions for a variety of social problems. As a discipline, applied social psychology functions on the premise that social problems are, at their heart, caused by human behavior. To understand and change these problem behaviors, applied social psychologists conduct a scientific examination of individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as they pertain to a variety of social influences. Through their research, applied social psychologists hope to offer practical suggestions for improving human social behavior in areas ranging from workplace productivity to safer sexual activity.

History and Background

While an earlier generation of psychologists had been predominantly interested in the structure and measurement of ...

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