Social psychology is a fascinating field that seeks to understand how people behave, think, and feel in social situations. Two major branches of social psychology are basic and applied social psychology.

While they both deal with the same subject matter, there are some fundamental differences between them. In this article, we’ll explore what these differences are.

Basic Social Psychology

Basic social psychology is concerned with the theoretical and scientific study of human behavior in social situations. It aims to understand how people behave in different social contexts, how they form attitudes and beliefs, and how they interact with others. Basic social psychologists conduct research using a variety of methods such as surveys, experiments, and observations.

One of the key features of basic social psychology is that it seeks to develop general theories that can explain human behavior across different contexts. For example, a basic social psychologist might investigate why people conform to group norms or why they tend to help others in need. These theories are often based on empirical evidence gathered through scientific research.

Key Characteristics of Basic Social Psychology

Applied Social Psychology

Applied social psychology is concerned with the practical application of social psychological theories to real-world problems. It aims to use the knowledge gained from basic research to solve practical problems related to human behavior in various settings such as schools, workplaces, and communities.

Applied social psychologists work in a variety of fields such as education, health care, business, and law enforcement. They use their understanding of human behavior to design interventions that can improve people’s lives. For example, an applied social psychologist might develop an anti-bullying program for schools or design a training program to improve intercultural communication in a workplace.

Key Characteristics of Applied Social Psychology

Differences Between Basic and Applied Social Psychology

While basic and applied social psychology are closely related, there are some key differences between them. The main difference is that basic social psychology focuses on developing general theories while applied social psychology focuses on solving specific problems. Basic social psychologists seek to understand fundamental psychological processes while applied social psychologists use this knowledge to design interventions that can improve people’s lives.

Another difference between the two branches is the methods they use. Basic social psychologists rely on scientific research methods such as surveys, experiments, and observations while applied social psychologists use a variety of methods such as interviews, focus groups, and case studies to gather information about specific problems.

Summary

In summary, basic and applied social psychology are two branches of psychology that deal with human behavior in social situations. Basic social psychology aims to develop general theories that explain human behavior across different contexts while applied social psychology uses this knowledge to solve practical problems related to human behavior. While the two branches share some similarities, they differ in their focus, methods, and goals.