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The Social Psychology Concept Matrix is a study that attempted to know/discover the laws governing coexistence. It surveys the way social organization are formed and seeks to know the patterns of individuals’ behavior in groups and in situations that may influence their behavior and their roles. Every group in the society adapts to a form of organization, which addresses their issues and fosters their coexistence in the society properly. A single human has a role in shaping life in the society, while customs, rules, and social structure influence people. Human beings cannot develop and grow without socializing as individuals want others to become conscious of them. They have an ability to surpass social conditioning, accomplish their identity, and create new forms of organization suitable to the needs of each generation. This paper therefore aims to tackle the concepts of social psychology in criminal justice, from individual and social perspectives (Spencer et al., 1998).

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Survey Research

The definition of Survey research is a set of well-defined structured statements given to a certain group of people enabling the researcher to establish mathematical calculations in personal attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavioral tendencies. It may also be defined as a random sample, which can be used to find out accurate results with a high degree of validity. Research surveys are very important in the development of society and its safety as health’s surveys assist the governments in identifying and controlling any growing scourge in the society. This information is collected from a sample of groups as a result of individual’s response to the questions asked. For example, the researcher can use survey to investigate issues of leadership and academic achievements in schools. These methods of survey are mostly use in areas that cover mathematics and are efficient when many variables are measured. Research survey is appealing when the sample is the major aim of the study; and it is cheap as it involves taking only the sample as the representation of a wide area of study. It is applicable to such social challenges as the issues of marital parting and their effects that bring about conflicts in families that negatively affect children. Another aspect under study is the spouse’s ability to survive and adjust, which may prevent the parties from reconciling therefore leading to divorce (Amsterdam, 1972).

Research survey that applies to criminal justice addresses people’s attitudes and public opinions toward the criminal justice system are its changing. This survey may involve the analysis of how the criminals are handled are punished in their community. The other issues for observation are the ways for developing the society as a whole, the desirable changes in the methods of local police work, and the results of those upheavals.

On the other hand, the survey is applicable to a single family as it may study the family members’ interrelations in order to avoid conflicts and enable meeting the daily chores. The matrix can also study the way the members of the family live in the society through observation of social culture and norms. Moreover, it is applicable to an individual when there is need to analyze certain things like relationships. For instance, someone may survey the functions of a certain relationship. Survey approach can also benefit individuals in maintaining their social and economic life, for example, surveys of the job market for the youths in the industry (Spencer et al., 1998).


Self-esteem is a subjective evaluation of an individual. The person with high self-esteem can develop rudeness, high expectation, aggression, and arrogance. Low self-esteem can be observed as a factor that develops tendencies to crimes and problems in the criminal justice system. In the social context, it must be controlled at a low level since self-esteem can bring the situation out of management. Social application of the issue is of a great importance, for example, in terms of bringing up people with high self-esteem in the society properly. They can contribute positively to the society by accepting roles and responsibilities in nation building activities. This social aspect, therefore, must be controlled properly to avoid crimes, conflicts within families and between neighbors because of violation of social norms in the society (Amsterdam, 1972).

People with low self-esteem tend to cause problems and committing crimes repeatedly. The police and the whole society have to work extra hard in order to maintain law and order. The society will carry the responsibility of monitoring them as well as reporting the cases to concern in order to avoid further issues and to be alert in controlling them. As for individuals’ self-esteem, it allows them to achieve their ambitions or to fail to meet them completely. This is because those with high self-esteem do not fear responsibilities and leading roles while those with low self-esteem would fear taking roles and responsibilities thus limiting them from life achievements.


Self-handicapping means that a person makes an excuse for a potential failure or anticipates poor performance. It is a way in which someone is trying to preserve self-esteem, but it is a self-defeating behavior because the person thus tries to avoid responsibility and effort. For instance, a student may say that he/she is going to perform poorly in the exam because of being sick instead of blaming the shortage of skills or poor preparation for the test. People in the society can anticipate poor performance in growth and development starting from the family. They can excuse anybody for not achieving his/her goals, though the resources for development are available but people in the society fail to utilize them. It is due to the negligence that makes the society fail (Brown, 1986).

In terms of criminal justice, the system may anticipate poor performance in a certain sector because people do not perform their roles and take responsibilities. For example, they can excuse themselves that their vehicle had no fuel despite the availability of money to purchase; it allows the criminals to commit crimes. The individuals can fail to accomplish their missions due to lame excuses. For example, an athlete can say ‘I will not participate in the forthcoming event because of the bad weather’ instead of blaming himself for not preparing for it (Spencer et al., 1998).

Hindsight Bias

This is a psychological study, which shows that the past events are observed to be more prominent than they looked while they were happening. This may lead someone to the thought that an event was more predictable than it actually was, thus might lead to oversimplification of its effect and cause. In the society, hindsight bias can be observed in a situation where growth and development in the past are seen as more prominent than at the time they occurred. The society thus can extol and exaggerate the information about the previous causes and effects of growth and development and may not be able to predict the ways for the society to progress well.

The criminal may look back and regret for the wrong prediction on how the crime could have been done. People who maintain law and order should analyze the way they have worked in the past and, thus, can change themselves to do better if the situation is possible to reverse. An individual can look back on the activities that he or she might have done in the past and come up with general information that they looks more prominent now. Hindsight in general can lead someone to prediction of false information (Brown, 1986)

External Attribution

This is where external factors are observed as the cause of an event. For instance, a good football player who has a talent in athletics downplays it as the cause of being good in football. He should thank his family as a source for his success. As for the society, people blame their leaders for the poor development instead of correcting themselves and looking for possible ways of improving their society. Leaders give directions while the rest take part in activities that build the nation in order to develop their areas. As for the criminal justice system, people can blame bad weather as the cause of robbery. As for the individual, one can view some outside factors as the key ones of the current situation. For example, a student can blame his friends for low performance because they waste much time together instead of blaming themself for not being well prepared (Spencer et al., 1998).

Cognitive Dissonance

This is where someone tends to have inconsistent beliefs, thoughts, or attitudes. It occurs normally when relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. Probably, there are few instances where people tend to have a behavior, which does not match their own beliefs. People may have feelings of discomfort when there is a discrepancy between behavior and beliefs. People may tend to think that the norms and beliefs of the society are inconsistent. In terms of the criminal justice system, they may vary their thoughts in performing their duties while the attitude towards their work becomes inconsistent. Individually, he or she may develop changeful beliefs about achieving his/her ambition, which they have in contrary to the beliefs (Brown, 1965).

Media Persuasion

It is the case when media try to persuade or influence someone’s attitude towards an event or idea by using either oral or written language in order to convey the information. The same way people in the society can persuade each other in order to affirm their attitudes towards development. The criminal justice system can use persuasion to correct ideas, feelings, and attitudes of the criminals. An individual can employ the same technique of persuasion to convey the information from anyone for fulfilling personal interest. For example, he or she can obtain important ideas through persuasion (Phillips & Ziegler, 1980).

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