Social psychology is about understanding individual behavior in a social context. Social psychologists therefore deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur.
Some studies focus on how attitudes are formed and attitudes can be changed by the social context surrounding the behavior. Amongst some of the most famous work in social psychology is that on obedience conducted by Milgram in his “electric shock” study, which looked at the role an authority figure plays in shaping behavior. Similarly, Zimbardo’s prison simulation notably demonstrated conformity to given roles in the social world (McLeod, 2007).
Consider the following norms in the United States: flushing the toilet after using it, saying hello when you answer the phone, respecting people’s personal space, and paying for things you buy at the store.
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