This will be the foundation for future discussions with your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
Social psychology is the study of how a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are influenced by surrounding factors (social stimuli). One of the first major theorists to examine how external factors influence people was Kurt Lewin. Lewin is best known for his creation of field theory. Field theory is based on the concept that an individual must be understood within his or her “field” or external life space. This includes all of the person’s needs, goals, or external circumstances that might influence behavior. Of particular importance are Lewin’s descriptions of conflict situations. He described three common conflict situations. They are as follows (Lewin, 1951):
It is possible to see the three main conflict situations frequently within one’s own life and those of others. One can also see how competing forces within a person’s field can lead to indecision or internal conflict.