The roots of social psychology are placed in Europe, but it was in the USA where its maximum development was constituted and reached. In 1908 social psychology is considered a discipline independent. Edgard Allsworth Ross heightens the paper of the imitation and the suggestion like explanatory mechanisms of the social uniformities. W. McDougall proposed the theory of the instinct and introduced in social psychology the individual perspective you would characterize that it during long time. This instintivista perspective was replaced by psychological directions between which the conductismo, dice the positivista climate of the time had much to do.
Anthropologists Malinowski, M.Mead and Linton indicated the role that the culture in the development of the personality played and the importance that this tapeworm to explain the social conduct. The concept instinct was replaced during the first decades of century XX by the one of attitude. The concept ” actitud” it had acceptance in all the psychological currents during the first quarter of century. The success of its acceptance resided in the linear relation that settled down between attitude and conduct. Throughout first half of this century and it leaves from second, this concept will be central for social psychology. In the USA figures like William James, J.M. Baldwin and G.H Mead developed important contributions for social psychology.
William James introduced the concept ” I social”. Social I, along with material I and spiritual I constitute ” I total” of the individual. For Baldwin, total I am social I. The individual arises progressively from the social group and is taking little by little brings back to consciousness of his I in dialectic relation with the other. In this evolutionary development the transmission or social inheritance plays a role important. The contributions of William James and Baldwin were developed with greater depth by Mead.