|•||The area: social psychology views our behaviour in its social context.|
|•||The research: what factors influence whether a person will help another person in an emergency?|
Other people affect our behaviour, and we affect theirs, in many ways. Social psychology examines how people affect each other, both as individuals and as groups, and how the society they form influences people's behaviour, thoughts and emotions. For example, in certain situations we may conform to the people around us so as to not appear ill-informed or we may show aggression to people outside of our own group (e.g. to fans of an opposing football team). Social psychology includes several fields. The field of social influence is concerned with how we influence others and how they influence us (e.g. studying conformity or leadership). Social development focuses on how we develop over time as a result of society's expectations, our changing roles in society and cultural influences. Social cognition refers to how we think about others and ourselves (e.g. attitudes, stereotyping). Social behaviour refers to how we behave in dyads (two-person groups) and groups (e.g. studying attraction or helping behaviour).
Social psychology developed in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century, from such areas as the German Völkerpsychologie which studied the social nature of the mind, and from such work as Le Bon's examination of the laws of how people behave when they form a crowd. His book (The Crowd, 1896) is considered to mark the beginning of modern social psychology. Norman Triplett (1898) is generally attributed with conducting the 'first' social