History and more-contemporary aspects of this discipline feed into the perspectives, research methods, influences on new trajectories of social thought.
Our discussions were sometimes controversial at times.
Therefore, it was extremely important that all of us tried to keep an open-mind and treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy.
Social psychology promotes the scientific study of social behavior. This scientific approach means that it relies on empirical observations as its source of knowledge.
Social psychologists avoid reliance on personal beliefs, common sense, authority, pure reason, and personal revelation as the source of facts. In contrast, the layperson all too often is tempted to turn to common sense explanations, intuition, or eternal truths such as "misery loves company," "revenge is sweet," "actions speak louder than words" to answer questions about human behavior.
Indeed, many of these non-scientific explanations or truisms offered over the years are contradictory. For example: Do "opposites attract" or "birds of a feather flock together?" Do "great minds think alike" or "fools never differ?" Does "absence make the heart grow fonder" or "out of sight, out of mind?"
Thus so many so-called eternal truths seem to have an opposite and contradictory element. The bottom line is that reliance on clichés or truisms as explanations of human behavior is problematic.