Would you like to instantly catch people’s thoughts, emotions, motivations, and intentions through mere observation?
If yes, you’ve come to the right place!
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10-Minute Social Psychology is a unique book that takes a deeper look into social conflicts: what causes them, what keeps them alive, and most importantly—what you can do about them. The book presents how social awareness is built and takes you step by step through its various mindset shifts and actionable observations.
It goes without saying that human beings are social creatures. We thrive on social interaction with our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and any number of other individuals we interact with throughout the day. The social activities we engage in are what causes our brain to map out the biological reasons as well as the social and behavioral process of social neuroscience. This concept relies on biological reasons to develop theories on the social process, followed by neuroscience capturing the social aspects of behavior to refine and inform those theories.i
It’s important to note that social neuroscience is not a concept reserved exclusively for humans, as animals that live in packs or groups share these behaviors as well. Consider the structure, interaction, and behavior of a wolfpack. Wolves have a deliberate hierarchy with both an alpha male and alpha female. Only the two alpha wolves are permitted to breed and have pups in the wolfpack structure. Then there is the beta wolf, which is only subordinate to the alpha wolf. Beta wolves are set to take over the job of alpha when the current alpha dies, and all of the remaining wolves in the pack are subordinate to both the alpha male and beta male.
The last remaining member of the pack’s social structure is arguably one of the most importantthe omega. Omega wolves are the weakest wolves in the pack and completely subordinate to all pack members. Omega wolves feed last or not at all if the alpha does not permit it, but pack members also engage in fights and intimidation to reduce stresses within the hierarchy of the wolfpack.ii The role of the omega is so significant within the social structure that when packs lose their omega, they stop hunting for a time so they can mourn their missing member. It’s also important to note that omega wolves aren’t forever doomed to remain an omega. The omega can fight his or her way up the hierarchy and even become the alpha wolf. This is not unheard of in wolfpack social structure.
It’s clear that wolves have specific biological and behavioral requirements for interaction and hierarchy within their pack structure, but it’s also clear that wolves have the potential to move into and out of different roles within those confines. Wolves are also not the only type of animal to engage in these kinds of behaviors. Killer whales and elephants are also well-researched, socially complex animals living in matriarchal social groups, and both display fascinating behavior and social interactions.
However, as humans, we are by far the most socially complex species on the planet, and social interaction is so important in human societies that many psychiatric disorders are viewed from the perspective of undesirable social behavior.iii Disorders such as personality disorders, social anxiety disorder, autism, and even attention deficient hyperactivity disorder are just a few examples of interrupted or abnormal social functioning classified as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition.
Social neuroscience was born from researchers’ desire to understand how biology regulates and informs the social process and behavior. These social structures then impact both the brain and biology in return.iv As a means of gathering and analyzing this type of information, researchers John Cacioppo and Jean Decety created the international, interdisciplinary Society for Social Neuroscience.
The intent of this book is to introduce you to social neuroscience, how it impacts our daily lives as well as those around us, and how can we approach our gut-instincts with a pinch of critical thinking. We’ll look at how the brain works in an effort to see where we can improve our lives and gain a better understanding of the complex social rituals in our society. So get ready to enjoy an informative and interesting book designed to help you understand social neuroscience and teach you what changes you can make to your social processes and biology to help you meet your goals. Open up your critical thinking brain wings, let’s go!
iii Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5)