What Is Social Psychology?
Psychology offers diverse specialties and career opportunities for professionals with master’s degrees. If you’re interested in human interaction, and how we influence—and are influenced by—the behavior of others, then you might want to make social psychology your master’s degree choice.
“The way we perceive ourselves in relation to the rest of the world influences our behaviors and our beliefs. The opinions of others also affect our behavior and how we view ourselves. Social psychologists are interested in all aspects of interpersonal relationships and the ways that psychology can improve those interactions,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA).1
Social Psychology in Action
In 1954, professor and researcher Muzafer Sherif conducted a notable social psychology experiment.2 Called Robbers Cave, after the Oklahoma state park3 where the research took place, it explored conflict between groups.
Researchers arranged for two groups of 11-year-old boys to go camping in a summer camp setting. In the first phase of the experiment, the boys organized themselves and created rules for their camping community. In the second phase, the campers learned there was another group nearby and were given exercises designed to heighten their sense of competition and foster hostility. In the last phase, researchers created emergency situations that required the teams to work together for a solution.2
“The result was a complete reconciliation,” the APA says.2 The study highlighted the power of a superordinate goal, one “that can be attained only if the members of two or more groups work together by pooling their skills, efforts, and resources.”4 It’s the kind of group effort often seen in the aftermath of emergencies like extreme weather events, for example.
Careers in Psychology
Social psychology research into subjects like group dynamics has wide-ranging applications.
“… Research helps us understand how people form attitudes toward others and, when these are harmful—as in the case of prejudice, for example—provides insight into ways to change them,” the APA says.1
With a master’s degree in social psychology, you may choose to dedicate your career to creating positive social change. Walden University’s online MS in Psychology degree program weaves social change principles into all of its psychology courses, with a focus on diversity and cultural sensitivity.
Professionals with social psychology master’s degrees work in fields that include education, human resources, politics, and marketing. Job settings include government, nonprofits, hospitals, social service agencies, and the private sector.2
Earn a Master’s in Psychology Online
If it’s time to advance your career or make a career change, enrolling in an online master’s in psychology program can propel you toward your goal.
Walden’s psychology master’s options include a General Psychology specialization. Or opt for one of seven other specializations that let you tailor your online psychology courses to your career goals. Specializations include Social Psychology, Digital Psychology, and Educational Psychology. The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specialization can prepare you to work with children and adults on the autism spectrum.
Earning a degree online gives you the flexibility to work and enjoy your personal life while you make progress toward your master’s. As a Walden psychology major, you can study on your own schedule, wherever you have an internet connection.
When you’re ready to become a student of human behavior and use that knowledge to make an impact, choose an online master’s degree program that gives you the tools to build a rewarding career in psychology.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Psychology degree program to help you meet your professional goals. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Note on Licensure: The MS in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.
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