What is Social Psychological? Definition, Example, Topics

What is Social Psychological? Definition, Example, Topics: we are going to cover social psychological terms.

Psychology as a Social Science | Social Cultural Psychology

Social Psychology Introduction

In today’s cut throat competition era, the development of mental skills should be as important as physical conditioning for the elite/ advanced athlete/ sportspersons. The advanced/ elite athlete or sportsperson will only achieve peak performance when he/ she is in top shape both physically and mentally. If the athlete / sportsperson does not use his or her mental skills to capacity, he/ she will simply be outsmarted by the opposition/ opponent. Hence sports psychology deals with mental skills.

Social Psychology is the Study of

Sports Psychology is a study of the human’s mental capacity and it functions, with specific focus on those functions that affect the behaviour of the athlete/ sportsperson during competition. Sports Psychology can provide the athlete/ sportsperson with a better understanding of the psychological processes in the mind and can assist him/ her to apply the mind more effectively.

Development of mental skills requires considerable commitment of time and energy and needs to be conditioned in the same manner as the development of the athlete’s physiological capacity. To understand the mental skill development better it is essential to know the functions of the neuro – muscular system.


The human mind will respond to data taken in from the outside world, such as through the eyes and ears. The human mind will also respond to information it receives from its internal surroundings, including movement of the body’s limbs, feelings from the skin and taste buds, as well as the process of muscular contractions.

The external and internal information received by the athlete’s brain are coded interpreted and filtered by mechanisms in the brain.

The information the brain receives both internally and externally will be compared to memories it has stored in its memory banks. The brain will automatically begin to respond in accordance with one of the experiences stored in the memory banks of the brain once it has determined the optimum scenario.

The brain will formulate the commands and send the commands to the muscles. The muscles will pull the bones which act as levers to create movement in a specific way. After the completion of limb movement, feedback is sent to the brain via the body’s nervous system. The brain then uses this information to provide directives that may alter the behaviour of the muscles.

The decision-making process will influence the athlete’s degree of arousal, which will influence their motivation or worry. The level of arousal and anxiety will affect the effectiveness of muscle behaviour and the capacity of the brain to process information. Emotions such as uncertainty, fear and fury will interfere and prolong the brain’s process of making of decisions which in turn, will impair performance and learning.


The trainer/coach should keep in mind that the average athlete will be willing to utilize advanced skills such as Sport Psychology only after the personal needs of the athlete are addressed. Athletes’ personal needs can be assessed in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

(a) Food, sleep, heat and sex are regarded as the most basic needs of athletes. An athlete will not concentrate effectively, will be aggressive towards others and will not be performing if the athlete experiences a shortage of food, sleep. heat and / or sex. If these basic needs are ignored, no skills development will be effective and objectives will not be achieved.

(b) The need to feel safe and secure is regarded as the 2nd most important need of athletes. If an athlete feels unsafe or insecure it will be difficult to develop a sense of belonging.

(c) The need to be loved, peer group expectations, social acceptance and affection are regarded as the 3rd most important need of athletes. Athletes can work hard in an environment where they do not respect themselves or others, but they will never be completely happy with what they’ve accomplished.

(d) Respect for yourself and others are regarded as the 4th most important need of athletes. Athletes can be productive in an environment where the athlete does not respect himself / herself or others, but the athlete will never reach full satisfaction in what is achieved.

(e) The ideal is to achieve self – realization Only if the athlete / sportsperson understands his/her own potential, weakness and strengths, then it will be possible to reach full potential in sports/athletics.


The athlete’s mind has various systems that control conscious and sub – conscious decision making.

Examples of sub-conscious control are the regulation of the heart rate, breathing, and other vital functions.

Examples of more advanced sub-conscious control will be the mastering of a technique to a point where the response comes automatically such as techniques used in running, body. movement during jumps, body position and footwork during throwing events, etc.

Sub-conscious and conscious control of movement follows a hierarchical pattern, e.g. in Shot Put, the athlete will apply a specific technique to execute the delivery of a shot.

Each technique is executed according to a hierarchical pattern with the objective to move the shot smoothly from start to delivery as fast as possible to gain maximum momentum prior to delivery.

Each phase of the technique also have its own hierarchical pattern e.g. during the delivery phase in Shot Put, the foot will be placed correctly first, then the legs will move into the correct position, followed by the hips, the shoulders, the elbow and finally the wrist before delivering the shot. The legs will then follow, followed by the hips, the shoulders and the arms.

If the hierarchical order of movement is not executed correctly and at the right timing, the technique will not be executed successfully and may even lead to injuries and perceptions of failure and inferiority.

The hierarchical patterns must be developed until the actions become automatic even under the most severe conditions.

Once the hierarchical patterns are automatic it is much easier for the athlete to cope with situations where conscious decision – making is required such as the intimidation of an opponent a slippery surface, extreme weather, etc.


There are five clearly defined phases of growth from birth to adulthood

(a) Infancy years are defined as the 1st 3 years after birth of both the baby boy and girl.

(b) Childhood years for boys are 3 to 11 years after birth and for girls 3 to 10 years after birth.

(c) Puberty years for boys are 11 to 14 years after birth and for girls – 10 to 13 years after birth.

(d) Adolescence years for boys are 14 to 20 years after birth and for girls – 13 to 18 years after birth.

(e) Adulthood for men are reached at 20 years after birth and for women – 18 years after birth.

It is possible that the mental capacity of some children will develop faster than others. The difference in psychological capacity of the child may be as much as 4 years. 

Coaches must keep in mind that both the body and the mind of the child are continuously changing. Extremely induced psychological preparation e.g. from coaches, teachers, parents, weloped etc. should be avoided during infancy, childhood and puberty phases.

Externally induced psychological preparation should at the earliest be introduced at the adolescence phase of growth development.

Puberty is regarded as the golden age of skill learning and mental capacity growth. During this period the child wants to learn skills and the word ” why ” will appear in almost every sentence. The child is now more capable of learning than in any other development phase in the life of the child.

Because of the child’s natural willingness to learn new skills in the puberty phase, it is tempting to subject the child too externally induced psychological preparation such as organized play and highly competitive competitions. To prevent the inhibition of the development of fundamental athletic abilities of a wide variety during puberty.

Specialization must be avoided on both a physical and psychological level.

There is sufficient scientific evidence that athletes specializing, both physically and psychologically, too young are injury proned and suffer regularly from staleness during the adolescence period.

Athletes who specialize during adolescence have a 500 percent lower likelihood of success in later growth phases than athletes who develop a wide range of talents and are permitted to play with no external psychological pressure.

Children, particularly in the puberty phase will not understand why they cannot control their arousal levels when mastering certain techniques, particularly during puberty.

It is crucial that the trainer explains things to the developing athlete, such as the reason why the struggle with coordination is because their legs are growing faster than normal. Regular feedback and support from the Coach will help the child to control anxiety levels.

Children in general find it difficult to evaluate their own progress. By playing without external psychological pressures during puberty, the child will obtain the skills to evaluate their progress naturally.

Children, particularly in the puberty phase should not be subjected to training programmes and the setting of objectives.

During the adolescence phase, the child should be introduced to training programmes setting of objectives and other psychological preparation methods.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

The psychology of sport and exercise is a subfield of psychology that focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of athletic performance, physical activity, and exercise. It explores how psychological factors such as motivation, personality, emotion, and cognition can affect an individual’s engagement in physical activity and sports performance.

Some key concepts in the psychology of sport and exercise include:

  1. Motivation: Motivation is the driving force that determines an individual’s behavior and level of engagement in physical activity or sports performance. Intrinsic motivation, which comes from within the individual, is often associated with higher levels of engagement and enjoyment in physical activity, while extrinsic motivation, such as rewards or external pressure, can sometimes be less effective.
  2. Goal-setting: Goal-setting is an important aspect of athletic performance, as it provides athletes with a clear direction and focus for their training and competition. Setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals can help athletes maintain motivation and track their progress.
  3. Anxiety and stress: Anxiety and stress can have both positive and negative effects on sports performance. While a certain level of anxiety and stress can help an athlete perform at their best, excessive levels can be detrimental. Techniques such as relaxation and visualization can help athletes manage anxiety and stress.
  4. Self-confidence: Self-confidence plays an important role in sports performance, as it can affect an athlete’s motivation, focus, and ability to perform under pressure. Building self-confidence through positive self-talk, visualization, and performance feedback can help athletes perform at their best.

Overall, the psychology of sport and exercise is an important field that can help athletes and individuals improve their physical performance, motivation, and mental well-being.

How Physical Education Develop Neuromuscular Coordination?

Physical education can help develop neuromuscular coordination through a combination of various activities and exercises that involve both the nervous system and the muscles. Here are some ways in which physical education can help improve neuromuscular coordination:

  1. Engaging in physical activities that require coordination: Physical activities such as sports, dance, gymnastics, and martial arts can help develop neuromuscular coordination. These activities involve complex movements that require the brain to coordinate with the muscles, improving communication.
  2. Training proprioception: Proprioception is the ability to sense the position, location, and movement of the body and limbs in space. Training proprioception through exercises such as balance drills and agility drills can help improve neuromuscular coordination.
  3. Practicing functional movements: Functional movements are movements that mimic everyday activities such as lifting, carrying, and pushing. Practicing these movements can help improve neuromuscular coordination, as the brain learns to coordinate the muscles for these specific movements.
  4. Incorporating resistance training: Resistance training, such as weightlifting, can help develop neuromuscular coordination by challenging the muscles and nervous system to work together to move the weight.

Overall, physical education can help improve neuromuscular coordination through a combination of activities that challenge the nervous system and muscles to work together.

The Coach / Teacher must Remember

  • Do not subject children to specialized psychological training before the adolescence phase. Develop the confidence of the child by encouraging children to try new things
  • Do not give the child too many instructions at a time to implement. Be positive when giving feedback to children. Give everyone in the training group some success during a session.
  • Do not give the child too many instructions at a time to implement.
  • Be positive when giving feedback to children.
  • Give everyone in the training group some success during a session.

How to Overcome Psychological Barriers in Health and Social Care?

Overcoming psychological barriers in health and social care can be a challenging task, but there are several strategies that can be effective in helping individuals overcome these barriers. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Increase awareness and understanding: Education and information can be helpful in increasing awareness and understanding of psychological barriers, and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for psychological issues. Health and social care providers can provide information about common psychological barriers, such as anxiety, depression, and fear of judgement, and how they can impact an individual’s ability to seek care.
  2. Create a safe and welcoming environment: Health and social care providers can create a welcoming environment that promotes trust and openness. This can be achieved through clear communication, active listening, and a non-judgemental attitude. Patients should feel that their concerns are being heard and taken seriously.
  3. Use evidence-based interventions: There are several evidence-based interventions that can help individuals overcome psychological barriers, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions. These interventions can help patients develop coping skills and increase their confidence in seeking care.
  4. Collaborate with other healthcare providers: Collaboration between healthcare providers can help identify and address psychological barriers. For example, primary care physicians may work with mental health professionals to provide integrated care for patients with co-occurring physical and mental health conditions.
  5. Foster social support: Social support can be a powerful tool in helping individuals overcome psychological barriers. Health and social care providers can encourage patients to seek support from family members, friends, or support groups.
  6. Address systemic barriers: Finally, it’s important to address systemic barriers that may prevent individuals from accessing care. This can include issues such as lack of insurance coverage, transportation difficulties, or language barriers. Health and social care providers can work to identify and address these barriers to improve access to care for all individuals.

FAQs on Social Psychological

Q: What is social psychology?

A: Social psychology is a scientific field of study that examines how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the social context in which they live. It explores how individuals interact with others, how they form and maintain relationships, and how they are affected by social norms, roles, and stereotypes.

Q: What are some key topics in social psychology?

A: Some key topics in social psychology include attitudes, social influence, group dynamics, intergroup relations, prejudice and discrimination, social identity, and social cognition.

Q: What is social influence?

A: Social influence refers to the ways in which other people can affect an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This can occur through direct persuasion, as well as through social norms and conformity pressures.

Q: What is social cognition?

A: Social cognition refers to the mental processes that people use to perceive, interpret, and understand social information. This includes the way that people form impressions of others, make judgments, and draw inferences about social situations.

Q: What is social identity?

A: Social identity refers to the part of an individual’s self-concept that is based on their membership in social groups. This can include groups such as race, gender, nationality, religion, and occupation.

Q: How does social psychology apply to real-world situations?

A: Social psychology can be applied to a wide range of real-world situations, including education, healthcare, business, politics, and social justice. It can be used to design interventions that promote healthy behaviors, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and improve social relationships and group dynamics.

Q: How is social psychology different from other fields of psychology?

A: Social psychology is focused on the social context in which people live and how this context influences their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is different from other fields of psychology, such as cognitive psychology and developmental psychology, which are focused on different aspects of human behavior and mental processes.

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