Social psychologists are experts in group psychology. They determine factors that affect group behavior and identify behavior patterns in specific social settings.
Social psychologists conduct research on the following topics: prejudice, conformity, aggression, nonverbal behavior, social perception, leadership, and group behavior. Additionally, they postulate explanations for why people act differently in groups than they do while alone.
What Do Social Psychologists Do?
Some social psychologists exclusively specialize in conducting and analyzing research. These researchers are usually employed at government agencies and universities. Many social psychologists apply research conclusions to group and community problems, assess the effectiveness of educational programs, train employees while working as consultants, and supervise public education campaigns, which could include initiatives to reduce obesity, bullying, and other public problems. Social psychologists often specialize in group behavior, leadership, and perception.
Where Do Social Psychologists Work?
Social psychologists teach and conduct research at universities and work at consulting firms, marketing companies, secondary and elementary schools, non-profit organizations, social welfare agencies, and private sector businesses.
What Training Is Needed to Become a Social Psychologist?
Entry-level social psychology jobs can be obtained with a master’s degree, but most organizations recruit social psychologists with PhDs. Aspiring social psychologies should study a psychology discipline as undergraduates and obtain a doctorate degree in social psychology. Many social psychology PhD programs accept students without master’s degrees. It usually takes 4-5 years to complete a PhD program.
Job Outlook for Social Psychologists
Social psychologists holding PhDs have plenty of opportunities to choose from. Social psychologists are not limited to specific fields since they can be found in multiple industries.