Personality and Social Psychology

What exactly is the distinction between personality psychology and social psychology? Essentially, personality psychology concentrates on the person, while social psychology concentrates on the situation, how people act in different circumstances, or how circumstances impact people. In a guide that covers subjects as different as inspiration, prejudice, relationship, authority, connections, assisting actions, and anti-social behavior, each subject researched from the two viewpoints of personality psychology and social psychology; a lay audience is likely to discover several subjects of attention. For example, in a section on multiculturalism, it is shown how the research of multiculturalism can be valuable to both personality and social psychologists.

Brain

Much of what psychologists have discovered in the last few years has been depending on new calculating techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). In a section known as “Neuroscience Techniques in Social and Character Mindset,” Bob M. Amodio and Eddie Harmon-Jones talk about how these relatively new techniques evaluate brain activity, and explain several concepts that have been suggested depending on these techniques. One concept that of the mirror neuron system posits “a brain network dedicated to knowing other people through their activities.” Amodio and Harmon-Jones state that the phrase mirror neurons refers “loosely to places of the brain that are triggered both when an individual notices the actions of another person, and when one functions the same behavior”—i.e., when one imitates someone else’s activities.

Out of fascination, I tried a search of PubMed for mirror neuron, and it raised more than a million content. I found it exciting to consider how much interest mirror neuron analysis has drawn, considering what Amodio and Harmon-Jones say about the concept. They tested it as having “intuitive appeal” but state that research queries the credibility of the concept, concluding that “more analysis will be needed” since “so many public communications often need supporting responses…rather than mimicry.” More recent concepts, they tell us, such as mirror-touch synesthesia (a trend believed to be due to mirror neurons), have been depending on what may still be a misguided program.

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