One of the Main Divisions Between Mainstream and Critical Social Psychology Is That of the Methods Adopted. Discuss with Reference to the Cognitive Social and at Least One Other Social Psychological Perspective.

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One of the main divisions between mainstream and critical social psychology is that of the methods adopted.
Discuss with reference to the cognitive social and at least one other social psychological perspective.

Social psychology has existed for about 100 years, before which psychology was a branch of philosophy.
Social psychology studies individuals in their social contexts. It is a diverse discipline made up of many theoretical perspectives and variety of different methods are used in social psychological research.

This assignment explores the main principles of different methods in social psychology. It will look at the underlying theories or perspectives that organise contemporary social and discursive psychological research
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On the other hand, if social structures are overwhelmingly influential in individual action, people’s choices and desires would be irrelevant. Traditional social theory placed such emphasis on the power of social structures in governing peoples actions that this led to self determinism. A challenge for social psychology is to be able to understand the dynamic tension between desires and actions that are relatively free and ones that are heavily constrained by circumstances, rather than fall into assumptions on either side of the agency-structure binary. This interrogative theme will help us remain aware of dangers which, like individual-society dualism, have strong political and ethical implications.

All of these interrogative themes are useful in evaluating social psychological research and theories.

There are differences and similarities between the four perspectives on social psychology that have been defined in this essay.

They all have reflexivity because the researchers are prepared to put themselves in the picture of knowledge production. They are all explicit about the way their approach is appropriate to the object of analysis.

A difference between the qualitative and quantitative approach is whether the object of analysis is hidden from view. This is highlighted as an advantage of the cognitive social psychology experimental method and is also central to the free association narrative interview method which draws from the psychoanalytic
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