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Social psychology is more useful today than ever before. Whether we want to understand ourselves or the social world around us, social psychology offers valuable insights. Social psychologists study our sense of personal identity, our impressions of other people, our beliefs about world events, the pressures we sometimes feel to conform to social groups, and our search for love and meaningful social relationships. Social psychology also helps us to understand the stories behind today's news headlines on such topics as international terrorism, school violence, sexual harassment, same-sex marriage, and energy conservation. Not surprisingly, teachers, health professionals, lawyers, political analysts, business leaders, and people in many different professions find social psychology valuable in their work. In writing this book, we have tried to present the basic theories and findings of social psychology and to show how social psychological principles are relevant to our daily lives.
As we begin the twenty-first century, we face the challenge of living in an increasingly multicultural society. Television, air travel, and the Internet bring the citizens of the world closer together and make it essential that we take a broader perspective on social life. Social psychologists are increasingly using sociocultural and global perspectives in their research, and we have included the best of this new work in our book. To give these issues the emphasis they deserve, we introduce a sociocultural perspective in Chapter 1. Throughout the text, we present new work on culture and ethnicity.
This new edition of Social Psychology has been guided by certain basic principles and goals:
Special Features of the New Edition In the News
Social psychology helps us to understand world events as they unfold around us. So that students can comprehend the relevance of social psychological principles to current events, each chapter begins with a feature called "In the News" that highlights the social psychological questions raised by a front-page issue. For example, we begin the prejudice chapter by asking what lies behind the intergroup conflicts that led to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the interpersonal attraction chapter we consider the increasing rates of interethnic dating and marriage. The groups chapter reflects on the appeal of the popular television program, Survivor. The health chapter describes how people are increasingly obtaining their information about health and illness from the Internet and considers the risks and benefits of so doing. In the politics chapter, we review some of the political changes that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The law chapter describes a case in which an innocent man, wrongly convicted of rape on the basis of the mistaken identification of the victim, gained his freedom based on the results of DNA testing.
We have made every effort to include the newest multicultural and global perspectives in social psychology throughout the book. To further emphasize these issues, many chapters contain a "Cultural Highlight" that presents outstanding research on culture and human diversity. For example, in the person perception chapter, we compare the social meaning of smiling in the United States, Japan, and Korea. In the chapter on interpersonal attraction, we consider arranged marriages. In the chapter on aggression, we analyze how a historical "culture of honor" may increase certain kinds of violence in the American South. In the politics chapter, we review research on identity issues facing new immigrants to the United States. Research comparing the behavior of people from individualistic cultures and collectivistic cultures is also incorporated throughout the book.
To help students learn to "think like social psychologists," we have included throughout the text detailed discussions of several key research studies, which describe the research process and the decisions researchers make. In addition, many chapters feature a "Research Closeup," that focuses on a topic at the forefront of contemporary social psychology such as the planning fallacy, the measurement of implicit stereotypes, the impact of mood on compliance, the dark side of intimate relationships, the accuracy of gender stereotypes, and the promotion of safer sex behaviors.
The book is organized to provide a systematic presentation of the material. A beginning chapter on theories and methods is followed by five major sections that progress from individual-level topics to dyads and groups, and then to the specific applications of social psychology.
Part I, on perceiving people and events, provides coverage of new research on social cognition. Here we explore how people think about and make sense of their social world. Chapter 2 presents research on person perception.
Chapter 3 reviews basic principles of social cognition.
Chapter 4 applies these basic principles to understanding how we view ourselves.
Part II discusses attitudes and influence. Chapter 5 reviews research and theory on attitude formation and change. This review is followed by an analysis of prejudice and a chapter on processes of social influence that includes discussions of conformity and compliance.
Part III examines social interaction and relationships. A chapter on interpersonal attraction is followed by a chapter on personal relationships that surveys current research in this growing area. We then broaden our focus to study group behavior and the pervasive influence of gender in social life.
Part IV focuses on helping and hurting others. Included are chapters on prosocial behavior and aggression.
Part V, on social psychology in action, presents social psychological perspectives on three applied topics: health, politics, and the law.
We think this sequence will fit well with the teaching preferences of many instructors. However, each chapter is self-contained so the chapters can be covered in any order.
Highlights of New Content
This edition introduces a new chapter on social psychology and the law written by Eugene Borgida and Jennifer Hunt. The chapter describes the important research done by social psychologists on such topics as eyewitness identification, the use of so-called lie detectors, jury decision making, expert testimony and the current debate about recovered memories of childhood abuse.
So that students can see for themselves how social psychologists conduct their research, we have included additional sample items from measures used to assess an array of concepts, including loneliness, the desire for individuation, authoritarianism, implicit stereotypes, and stressful life events.
The many changes throughout this edition reflect new trends in social psychology today. Some highlights of the new material include:
Helping Students to Learn Social Psychology
To enhance the effectiveness of this text, we have kept the clarity and interest level high and have made a particular effort to avoid technical language. Our new design is modern and open, integrating visuals to facilitate easy reading and comprehension.
Each chapter opens with an outline of its main topics and concludes with a point-by-point summary of major concepts and findings. Key terms, which are printed in bold type in the text, are listed at the end of each chapter and are defined in the glossary. Important findings and concepts are illustrated graphically in tables and charts. Each chapter ends with a set of questions that encourage students to consider provocative issues and applications of materials from the text.
Taylor, Shelley E. : University of California
Peplau, Anne L. : University of California
Sears, David O. : University of California
1. Theories and Methods in Social Psychology.
I. PERCEIVING PEOPLE AND EVENTS.
2. Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others.
3. Social Cognition: Understanding the Social World.
4. The Self: Learning About the Self.
II. ATTITUDES AND INFLUENCE.
5. Attitudes and Attitude Change.
7. Social Influence.
III. SOCIAL INTERACTION AND RELATIONSHIPS.
8. Interpersonal Attraction.
9. Personal Relationships.
10. Behavior in Groups.
IV. HELPING AND HURTING OTHERS.
12. Helping Behavior.
V. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION.
14. Social Psychology and Health.
15. Social Psychology and Politics.
16. Social Psychology and the Law.
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