Social psychology is the study of how perceived feelings and interactions we have with others affects us in terms of our own internal feelings and behavior. It is an attempt to combine both sociology and psychology, the studyof social interactions and mental behavior.
The implications of social psychology are far reaching. In today's global society, the better we can understand how certain behaviors are influenced by what we say and what we do, the better job we can do in reducing problematic behavior that is influenced and produced by damaged mental states. Recently, copies of the Koran were burned by someone with American political affiliations in Afghanistan. The backlash of hatred towards America and anything American these last few days has been of monumental proportion. Had those people known how their actions would have touched such a raw nerve, we might have avoided the negative ramifications of the past few days.
History is full of crimes that baffle normal understanding and comprehension. John Lennon was killed by someone who claimed to be his biggest fan. Two young boys were recently killed by their father in a murder attempt-suicide; the father had long maintained he loved his children. If we can gain some type of better understanding about what type of social influences produce such behaviors, maybe we can head such atrocities off and avoid future heartache.