- Our behaviour is influenced by the people and situation around us.
- Social psychologists attempt to explain human behaviour as a result of mental processes that occur when we take part in a social situation
- We draw on past life experiences we have gained to determine how we should act in a particular social situation.
- The social approach makes useful contribuations to our understanding of social behaviour and so we can apply this to real life - Milgram - highly relevant in explaining phenomena such as nazism and the holocaust, and so has important applications in society around obedience - Reicher and Haslam - inprove prison system.
- High in ecological validity - Piliavin - field experiment gave real life behaviours.
- Whilst investigating social behaviours many studies break ethical guidelines - Milgram - participants were put in a stressful sutuation of which they were decieved to obtain realistic findings.
- Very often whilst investigating social behaviours the sample that is used does not represent the general population - Reicher and Haslam - only males - cannot generalise findings to females, also applies to Milgram.