Applied Social Psychology Essay

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Social Psychology

The term 'applied social psychology' is used to denote a methodical utilization of socio-psychological models, study approaches and outcomes, concepts, ideologies, and intervention approaches for comprehending or ameliorating social issues. Psychologists belonging to this subfield concentrate on comprehending and solving practical issues and coming up with intervention approaches to enhance individual, organizational and societal response to social issues. While this domain's chief concern is the generic tackling of practical and social issues revolving around the environment, education, and so forth, social psychology may also help enrich people's lives (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). Social psychological theories offer prescriptions to solve practical and social challenges. This paper is presented as a review of literature on social psychological theories and their generic role in resolving practical and social problems.

A key applied social psychological theory is Cognitive Dissonance, whose main premise is that an individual is driven to remain consistent in his/her cognitions or perceptions as any dissension in this regard may give rise to psychological discomfort (Brehm, 2007). The term 'dissonance' involves aversion or discomfort; individuals can alleviate such distress by altering their cognitions. What is its effect on family dynamics, familial issues and teen problems? In what way is dissonance theory possibly applicable to such situations? The mid-teenage is a phase characterized by a drastic rise in alcohol consumption behaviors. As premature drinking onset has been associated with social and health issues like participation in risky sexual activities, underage drinking has been often regarded by the society, especially teens' parents, as signs of problematic conduct. Research reveals parental reduction of support and control as a reaction to teen drinking. The rationale behind this reaction is, however, yet to be ascertained. Glatz, Kerr and Stattin (2012) utilized the theory of cognitive dissonance for hypothesizing on parental responses. They posited that parents of teen drinkers suffered from cognitive dissonance. For decreasing related distress, these parents would alter their own perceptions of drinking and adopt more liberal views instead of attempting to correct their children.
A school-based longitudinal study sample was utilized for hypothesis testing. It was discovered that parents of teen drinkers eventually showed less opposition to adolescent drinking. Further, parents who didn't change their perceptions (i.e., those who continued to vehemently oppose teen drinking) suffered from more anxiety as compared to parents who eventually adopted more liberal views. These outcomes indicate that for getting rid of the conflict between awareness of their child engaging in drinking and their non-tolerance with regard to adolescent drinking, parents would alter their perceptions and adopt more liberal views. The above finding is significant as an intervention suggests that parental perceptions of teen drinking contribute greatly to decreasing teenage drinking. This information may aid in improving interventions for reinforcing strict parental attitudes against drinking (Glatz, Stattin& Kerry, 2012).

Bandura's social learning construct proposed in 1977 is a second fundamental social psychological model grounded in the belief that individuals learn from social interactions. Independently, an observation of other individuals'conduct helps one cultivate and exhibit similar conduct. From the standpoint of applied social psychology, this theory explains potential techniques to reduce worry and apprehension in the course of clinical procedures. Pain, after all, represents a social aspect and inadequately handled procedural pain has long as well as short-term adverse impacts on kids. Blanchette and Page (2009) looked into social learning theory's contribution to developing, expressing and maintaining pediatric-level procedural pain. The theory furthers theoretical insights into the subject of pain, in addition to sound therapeutic mechanisms. From the standpoint of social learning, complex, cognitive behavior therapy may integrate sources affecting self-effectiveness (such as emotional arousal through imagery, videotaped modeling or indirect experience, and behavioral rehearsal or performance achievements, and distraction behavioral training….....

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Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Brehm, J. (2007). A Brief History of Dissonance Theory. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1(1), 381-391.

Glatz, T., Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2012).A Test of Cognitive Dissonance Theory to Explain Parents' Reactions to Youths' Alcohol Intoxication.Family Relations, 61(4), 629-641.

Greenberg, J. & Kosloff, S. (2008). Terror Management Theory: Implications for Understanding Prejudice, Stereotyping, Intergroup Conflict, and Political Attitudes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(5), 1881-1894.

Kok, G., Schaalma, H., De Vries, H., Parcel, G., &Paulussen, T. (2011).Social Psychology and Health Education.European Review Of Social Psychology, 7(1), 241-282.

Page, L. &Blanchette, J. (2009). Social learning theory: Toward a unified approach of pediatric procedural pain. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 5(1), 124-141.

Schneider, F., Gruman, J., & Coutts, L. (2012). Applied social psychology (1st ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

Schaalma, H. P., Kok, G., Poelman, J., & Reinders, J. (1994). Development AIDS education; a systematic approach based on research, theories and cooperation. In D. R. Rutter, & L. Quine (Eds), Social Psychology and Health: European perspectives (pp. 175-94). Aldershot: Avebury.

Tang, J. & Wang, C. (2012). Self-Disclosure Among Bloggers: Re-Examination of Social Penetration Theory. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking, 15(5), 245-250.

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