Social psychology as it applies in education

Social Psychology

In any given setting, individuals manifest different behaviors. Variations are observed in the individuals’ abilities to interact with the others, participate in various group discussions, or form intimate relations. The behaviors of some individuals are characterized by high levels of hostility and chauvinism whereas others exercise empathy and tolerance.

Social psychology is concerned with an analysis of the different behaviors that are witnessed in different individuals. The social psychologists focus on moral issues like “stereotyping and discrimination, conformity, obedience, interpersonal relations, judgment and decision-making’ (Samuels & Casebeer, 2005, p.73).

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Of interests are these behaviors that deviate from the expected and morally acceptable behaviors in the society. A social psychologist is mainly concerned with the mysterious behaviors and the factors that contribute to such behaviors. The factors can be within the personality of an individuals as well as the environment from which the individual comes.

Social Psychology As It Applies In Education

Social psychology applies in the learning institutions as individuals spend much of their early life in such institutions. Some differences in social behavior between males and females are evidenced at the pre-school ages (Barbu, Cabanes, & Maner-Idrissi, 2011, p.1). However, many literatures are available that focus on schools as a basis for the development of the human behavior. The learning institutions are typical of a contemporary society in a cosmopolitan setting.

The students are often from different cultures, religions, and ethnic communities and the influence of such factors are best evidenced in these settings. A social psychologist will be interested in the kind of interaction among the students of different cultures, gender, ethnic or racial groups. The abilities of a student to participate in teamwork and socialize with the others are observed in the learning institutions.

Racial, ethnic, and gender-based discrimination among the individuals can be witnessed in these institutions. Abilities like leadership skills are also identifiable here. In order to identify and explain the different behaviors, the social psychologists must the personality of the individuals and the environment in which they are brought up. It has been observed that our thinking as human beings is greatly affected by our ecosystem (Samuels & Casebeer, 2005, p.82).

A student’s innate characters like attitude towards the others and his life objectives can explain some of their behaviors. Similarly, the cultural values and norms also affect the reasoning and subsequent unique and mysterious behavior of an individual in a setting that comprises different cultures.

It has been noted that the educators turned social psychologists should focus more on morality when attempting to develop good behavior in the students (Samuels & Casebeer, 2005, p.85). The principles of morality can be used as a starting point to examine the factors that can hinder development of ethical behavior in the individuals.

It has been stated that the situations surrounding an individual contributes significantly to the behaviors developed by such people. An analysis of the potential influence of such situations may help in managing the situations (Samuels & Casebeer, 2005, p.85).

Social psychology enables the educators to identify the different abilities in their students in order to provide the best resolution. The different abilities range from gifted students to the special needs students. These individuals need to be handled differently. Much attention should be provided to the students with special needs like the emotionally disturbed.

On the other hand, the talents in the gifted individuals should also be cultivated to its fullest. Gifted individuals can be identified through intelligence tests, academic achievements, the student’s creativity, or other observable talents (Cross & Cross, 2005, para.4). The special needs students can be identified in a similar manner.


Barbu, S., Cabanes, G and Maner-Idrissi, G. (2011). Boys and Girls on the Playground: Sex Differences in Social Development Are Not Stable across Early Childhood. Sex differences in social development, 6(1). Retrieved from

Cross, J and Cross, T. (2005). Social Dominance, Moral Politics, and Gifted Education. Roeper Review, 28(1). Retrieved from

Samuels, S. and Casebeer, W. (2005). A social psychological view of morality: Why knowledge of situational influences on behavior can improve character development practices. Journal of Moral Education, 34(1), pp. 73–87. Retrieved from


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