human interaction and communication within socially pre structured situations

Human interaction and communication within socially

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human interaction and communication within socially pre-structured situations as the core of what is called “social“. It is argued in this article that the utility of social psychology regard- ing theory building, practice, and interdisciplinary pathways can be increased by connecting the individual-centered with the social perspective. To that end, the interactive paradigms of psychological social psychology (psySP) and sociological social psychology (socSP) with their interdisciplinary links need to be taken more thoroughly into account and integrated. 3 At first, however, the state of the discussion will be outlined briefly. What is the “social“ in social psychology? According to Graumann (1979, 2002), psySP has been understood in most phases of its his- tory as a discipline focusing on the individual. In contrast, socSP saw social processes as be- ing central. However, in the 1970s various criticisms about the state of research of psySP cu- mulated (see Cartwright, 1979; Graumann, 1979). On the one hand, the separation of psySP and socSP has been deplored, which expresses itself particularly in the preferred methods (ex- periment versus survey) and in the quoted “heroes” of the field. On the other hand, the exces- sive focus of psySP on social cognition and - in contrast to socSP - the relative neglect of in- teractive and societal processes is criticized. To quote Cartwrights conclusion: “Social psychology is in an early stage of development and has not had the time to solve all of its problems. Such defects as the susceptibility to fads and fashions, the obsession with technique, the reliance on a single method of research, and the disproportionate em- phasis on cognition and other temporally proximal determinants of behavior are, I be- lieve, symptoms of immaturity and can be expected to be remedied with the passage of time.” (1979, p. 92). Although this diagnosis had not been objected to, it did not make a great impression. The sense of crisis disappeared in psySP with the advancement of the approach of so- cial information processing (Social Cognition; in the following SC“), as Strack (1988, p. 74) rightly noted and substantiated as follows: “The experimental methodology of social psychology is undisputed“ and “crucial progress has been achieved in the under-
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Pleading for a more social Social Psychology 4 standing of psychological processes in experiencing social reality”. The focus of a pos- sible integration thereby moved from linking psySP with socSP to “integrating social psychology within psychology” (ibid, p. 78). Strack’s prognosis was surely more accu- rate than Cartwright’s. Yet, there always remained an uneasiness and a pressure for jus- tification: “The question was: what is ‘social’ about ‘Social Cognition’“? (Strack, 1988, p. 78). His answer was: In comparison with the “processing of physical information ...
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