Introduction to Social Psychology

WARNING: This is not an academic journal or a peer reviewed article. I will not cite after every sentence or paragraph. Please read with caution, and keep in mind that a majority of what I say may be bollocks rather than supported knowledge. Please actively question everything you read on this blog. I will cite some key references here and there, so you are aware of the major contributors, but again- please remember this is a blog.

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, or imagined/implied presence of others (Allport, G.W 1985). SIDENOTE: I just dusted off my diploma to pull-off that little tidbit of research.

Social psychology stresses the importance of our environment, and how it affects our daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Much of what drives us happens outside of our awareness.

What does this all have to do with what I am doing you ask? As a trainer and practicing athlete, much of what I do revolves around providing the proper environment, for an athlete or myself, to succeed. There are multitudes of Social Psychology hot topics that could, and do, have implications in Sports/Sport Conditioning (stereotype threat, group dynamics, choking under pressure, self-handicapping, cognitive dissonance etc.).

Training doesn’t exist within a bubble where our brain stops interacting with everything, and we simply act as a machine. Take an athlete that is confident under pressure, versus one that dwells on future failures; which one will see progress and success the majority of the time? How do I make sure I, or my athletes, don’t fall into those pit falls?

Many times success is about providing the proper environment, and if we do that, many times people succeed without evening knowing why.

PLEASE see Bull Durham if you don't have a clue why this is here

Much of what I will discuss in future posts will aline itself with common sense, but sometimes there will be little head-scratchers that make sense only upon further review.

I am compiling a list of potential topics currently, and will be doing one post every weekend regarding this topic.

SIDENOTE: That was just enough commitment for me to start compiling a list of excuses why it won’t be done, and I will eventually rationalize my failure to a random dying puppy (That was a poorly timed joke revolving around self-handicapping – Adding self-handicapping to my topic list just so I can have better jokes!)

Well this post went on entirely too long, and seemed to walk the line of narcissism. So, on that note, I will leave the following comic from Calvin and Hobbes:


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  • John Donne – Meditation 17

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...

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