What makes social psychology such an important topic? A quick glimpse at the daily news shows just how profoundly social problems can impact people’s lives. By better understanding these issues, psychologists can look for ways to prevent, identify, and remedy such problems. Social psychologists focus on societal concerns that have a powerful influence on individual wellbeing as well as the health of society as a whole, including problems such as substance use, crime, prejudice, domestic abuse, public health, bullying, and aggression.
Social psychologists typically do not work directly in the field of mental health, but the results of their research do have a significant influence on how psychologists and mental health professionals treat behaviors that are influenced by social factors. Public health programs, for example, often rely on persuasion techniques identified by social psychologists to encourage people to engage in healthy behaviors while avoiding potentially dangerous ones.