Social psychology has been defined as “a branch of psychology that is concerned with those aspects of mental life which relate to social interaction and social phenomena in general” 1. Hewstone defines it thus: “the scientific study of how personal, situational and societal factors influence the cognition, motivation and behaviour of individuals and (members of) social groups”2. Jahoda lamented that many textbook definitions of social psychology were “pretentious and utterly futile” because they were so “grossly over-inclusive that they could encompass a whole range of social and biological disciplines”3. What emerges clearly is that social psychology is seen as having the central task of explaining how the ways in which we think and behave is affected by interaction between people1. It is in this context that we define social psychology for the purposes of this article.

rich testing ground for psychological theory
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