Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thought, feelings and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others. Social psychologist, therefore, deals with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others and look at the conditions under which certain behaviour and feeling occur.
Humans are social beings; hence, social psychology affects all of us. We constantly think, feel and act not only as individuals but also as a member of a social group. Social psychology studies human interaction, its forms, causes, consequences and psychological processes. While, the pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, produce, and market drugs for use as medications. They may deal in generic and brand medications and medical devices.
Based on the above definitions, let’s discuss the roles of a social psychologist in the industry.
1. Conducting research
It is the duty of a social psychologist to conduct research on public perception regarding products and at the same time design a public awareness campaign to bring attention to diseases that their drugs can cure. This awareness will automatically bring customers to the company.
The social psychologist will offer his/ her expertise in the areas of interpersonal and intergroup dynamics to help company design and market goods and services that are more attractive to consumers. A social psychologist can mould the psychology of a person towards a particular product or object. The social psychologist will identify an existing need and then advice the company to design a product that will meet the need, and make the product better and being able to persuade the buyers why it should be purchased. Most of the commercials in the media are based on propaganda and a social psychologist is a lead player in that field.
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Social psychologist renders unique services to each client. A social psychologist will help in areas of mental health. It was observed that the high rate of public suicide was to a large extent due to work stress, family problems and unresolved trauma etc. which means a health condition involving changes in thought, experience, emotions and behaviour. It is the duty of the social psychologist to study the workers and find out their problems and being able to imbibe positive mental health techniques in them. That is, the ability to enjoy life without worrying about the future or thinking about the past, ability to handle stress/ trauma and bounce back without breaking down. Most of the problems in workplace originated from family. Based on this, the social psychologist renders services to workers and their relatives. He will be in charge of work difficulties like health issues, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, substance abuse etc.
Moreover, some of the workers may be mentally challenged due to workload or family stress. This may lead them to be staying in the workplace more than necessary without being productive. That is presenteeism. In a similar vein, it is the duty of social psychologist to notice the early indications of one who wants to commit suicide. For someone to have committed suicide, suicidal indications must have been there. Though mental disabilities are rarely visible unlike physical disabilities, they are still traceable. The person’s behaviour must be changing gradually from lateness, avoiding his/ her colleague (isolation) or quarrelling at any slightest provocation etc.
Finally, the social psychologist will employ social influence technique, that is, deliberate attempt to change person or group opinion on certain issues. Here, the social psychologist will assist the industry in the formation of norms (conformity). Conformity is a social influence in which individuals change their attitudes or behavior in order to adhere to existing social norms. Whoever that joins the organization MUST try to fit into the existing platform of the establishment. If not he/she becomes a deviant. Employ a social psychologist in your industry and observe a scientific turnaround.
About the author
Comrade Ugwuaja, O. Michael
A social psychologist.
Phone No. +2348063325201
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