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Elliot Aronson is one of the most renowned social psychologists in the world. In 2002 he was chosen as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stanford University.
Dr. Aronson is the only person in the 110-year history of the American Psychological Association to have received all three of its major awards: for distinguished writing, distinguished teaching, and distinguished research. Many other professional societies have honored his research and teaching as well. These include: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which gave him its highest honor, the Distinguished Scientific Research award; the American Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, which named him Professor of the Year of 1989; the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, which awarded him the Gordon Allport prize for his contributions to the reduction of prejudice among racial and ethnic groups. In 1992, he was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served as President of the Western Psychological Association as well as President of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.
Tim Wilson did his undergraduate work at Williams College and Hampshire College and received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Currently Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, he has published numerous articles in the areas of introspection, attitude change, self-knowledge, and affective forecasting, as well as the recent book, Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious. His research has received the support of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Mental Health. He has been associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and a member of the Social and Groups Processes Review Committee at the National Institute of Mental Health. He has been elected twice to the Executive Board of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology and is a Fellow in the American Psychological Society. Wilson has taught the Introduction to Social Psychology course at the University of Virginia for more than twenty years. He was recently awarded an All University Outstanding Teaching Award.
Robin Akert graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she majored in psychology and sociology. She received her Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Princeton University. She is currently a professor of psychology at Wellesley College, where she was awarded the Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching early in her career. She publishes primarily in the area of nonverbal communication and recently received the AAUW American Fellowship in support of her research. She has taught the social psychology course at Wellesley College every semester for over twenty years.
Table of Contents
Introducing Social Psychology
What Is Social Psychology?
The Power of Social Interpretation
How Else Can We Understand Social Influence?
Social Psychology Compared with Personality Psychology
Social Psychology Compared with Sociology
The Power of Social Influence
Underestimating the Power of Social Influence
The Subjectivity of the Social Situation
Where Construals Come From: Basic Human Motives
The Self-Esteem Approach: The Need to Feel Good About Ourselves
The Social Cognition Approach: The Need to Be Accurate
Social Psychology and Social Problems
Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research
Social Psychology: an Empirical Science
Formulating Hypotheses and Theories
Inspiration from Earlier Theories and Research
Hypotheses Based on Personal Observations
The Observational Method: Describing Social Behavior
Limits of the Observational Method
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior
CONNECTIONS: Random Selection in Political Polls
Limits of the Correlational Method: Correlation Does Not Equal Causation
The Experimental Method: Answering Causal Questions
Independent and Dependent Variables
Internal Validity in Experiments
External Validity in Experiments
Basic Versus Applied Research
NEW FRONTIERS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Culture and Social Psychology
The Evolutionary Approach
Ethical Issues in Social Psychology
Guidelines for Ethical Research
Social Cognition: How We Think about the Social World
On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking
People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas
Mental Strategies and Shortcuts
The Power of Unconscious Thinking
Cultural Differences in Social Cognition
Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking
Mentally Undoing the Past: Counterfactual Reasoning
Thought Suppression and Ironic Processing
Improving Human Thinking
The Amadou Diallo Case Revisited
Social Perception: How We Come to Understand Other People
Facial Expressions of Emotion
Culture and the Channels of Nonverbal Communication
Multichannel Nonverbal Communication
CONNECTIONS: The E-Mail Dilemma; Communicating without Nonverbal Cues
Implicit Personality Theories: Filling In the Blanks
Culture and Implicit Personality Theories
Causal Attribution: Answering the “Why” Question
The Nature of the Attribution Process
The Covariation Model: Internal versus External Attributions
The Correspondence Bias: People as Personality Psychologists
CONNECTIONS: Police Interrogations and the Correspondence Bias
Culture and the Correspondence Bias
The Actor/Observer Difference
Culture and Other Attributional Biases
The Self: Understanding Ourselves in a Social Context
Cultural Differences in Defining the Self
Gender Differences in Defining the Self
Knowing Ourselves Through Introspection
Knowing Ourselves by Observing Our Own Behavior
Mindsets: Understanding Our Own Abilities
Using Other People to Know Ourselves
SELF-control: The EXECUTIVE FUNCTION OF THE SELF
Impression Management: All the World’s a Stage
Culture, Impression Management, and Self-Enhancement
Critical Thinking: How Could You Use This?
The Need to Justify Our Actions
The Costs and Benefits of Dissonance Reduction
Maintaining a Stable, Positive Self-Image
The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance
Rational Behavior versus Rationalizing Behavior
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Dissonance, the Brain, and Evolution
Justifying Your Effort
The Psychology of Insufficient Justification
Advocacy and Hypocrisy Applied to Social Problems
Good and Bad Deeds
Culture and Dissonance
Some Final Thoughts on Dissonance: Learning from Our Mistakes
Heaven’s Gate Revisited
Attitudes and Attitude Change: Influencing Thoughts and Feelings
The Nature and Origin of Attitudes
Where Do Attitudes Come From?
Explicit versus Implicit Attitudes
How Do Attitudes Change?
Changing Attitudes by Changing Behavior: Cognitive Dissonance Theory Revisited
Persuasive Communications and Attitude Change
Emotion and Attitude Change
Confidence in One’s Thoughts and Attitude Change
Resisting Persuasive Messages
Be Alert to Product Placement
Resisting Peer Pressure
When Persuasion Attempts Boomerang: Reactance Theory
When Will Attitudes Predict Behavior?
Predicting Spontaneous Behaviors
Predicting Deliberative Behaviors
The Power of Advertising
Connections: Do Media Campaigns to Reduce Drug Use Work?
How Advertising Works
Subliminal Advertising: A Form of Mind Control?
Advertising, Cultural Stereotypes, and Social Behavior
Conformity: Influencing Behavior
Conformity: When And Why
Informational Social Influence: The Need To Know What’s “Right”
The Importance of Being Accurate
When Informational Conformity Backfires
When Will People Conform to Informational Social Influence?
Normative Social Influence: The Need To Be Accepted
Conformity and Social Approval: The Asch Line Judgment Studies
The Importance of Being Accurate, Revisited
The Consequences of Resisting Normative Social Influence
Normative Social Influence in Everyday Life
When Will People Conform to Normative Social Influence?
Minority Influence: When the Few Influence the Many
CONNECTIONS: The Power of Propaganda
Using Social Influence To Promote Beneficial Behavior
The Role of Injunctive and Descriptive Norms
Obedience To Authority
The Role of Normative Social Influence
The Role of Informational Social Influence
Other Reasons Why We Obey
The Obedience Studies, Then and Now
Group Processes: Influence in Social Groups
What is A Group?
Why Do People Join Groups?
The Composition and Functions of Groups
Groups and Individuals’ Behavior
Social Facilitation: When the Presence of Others Energizes Us
Social Loafing: When the Presence of Others Relaxes Us
Gender and Cultural Differences in Social Loafing: Who Slacks Off the Most?
Deindividuation: Getting Lost in the Crowd
Group Decisions: are Two (or More) Heads Better Than One?
Process Loss: When Group Interactions Inhibit Good Problem Solving
CONNECTIONS: Was the Decision to Invade Iraq a Result of Groupthink?
Group Polarization: Going to Extremes
Leadership in Groups
Conflict and Cooperation
Using Threats to Resolve Conflict
Effects of Communication
Negotiation and Bargaining
Critical Thinking: How Could You Use This?
Interpersonal Attraction: From First Impressions to Close Relationships
What Causes Attraction?
The Person Next Door: The Propinquity Effect
Physical Attractiveness and Liking
Theories of Interpersonal Attraction: Social Exchange and Equity
Culture and Love
Love and Relationships
Evolution and Love: Choosing a Mate
CONNECTIONS: Does Ovulation Affect Perceptions of Male Attractiveness?
Attachment Styles in Intimate Relationships
CONNECTIONS: This Is Your Brain...In Love
Social Exchange in Long-Term Relationships
Equity in Long-Term Relationships
Ending Intimate Relationships
The Process of Breaking Up
The Experience of Breaking Up
Prosocial Behavior: Why Do People Help?
Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behavior: Why Do People Help?
Evolutionary Psychology: Instincts and Genes
Social Exchange: The Costs and Rewards of Helping
Empathy and Altruism: The Pure Motive for Helping
Personal Qualities and Prosocial Behavior: Why Do Some People Help More Than Others?
Individual Differences: The Altruistic Personality
Gender Differences in Prosocial Behavior
Cultural Differences in Prosocial Behavior
Religion and Prosocial Behavior
The Effects of Mood on Prosocial Behavior
Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behavior: When will People Help?
Environment: Rural versus Urban
The Number of Bystanders: The Bystander Effect
The Nature of the Relationship: Communal versus Exchange Relationships
How can Helping be Increased?
Increasing the Likelihood that Bystanders Will Intervene
Positive Psychology and Prosocial Behavior
CONNECTIONS: Increasing Volunteerism
Aggression: Why Do We Hurt Other People? Can We Prevent It?
What is Aggression?
Is Aggression Inborn or Learned?
Is Aggression Instinctual? Situational? Optional?
Aggression and Culture
Neural and Chemical Influences on Aggression
Gender and Aggression
Alcohol and Aggression
Pain, Discomfort, and Aggression
Social Situations and Aggression
Frustration and Aggression
Being Provoked and Reciprocating
Aggressive Objects as Cues
Endorsement, Imitation and Aggression
Violence in the Media: TV, Movies, and Video Games
Does Violence Sell?
Violent Pornography and Violence against Women
How to Reduce Aggression
Does Punishing Aggression Reduce Aggressive Behavior?
Catharsis and Aggression
The Effect of War on General Aggression
What Are We Supposed to Do with Our Anger?
Teaching Empathy in School
Could the Columbine Massacre Have Been Prevented?
Prejudice: Causes and Cures
Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Prejudice: the ubiquitous Social Phenomenon
Prejudice and Self-Esteem
A Progress Report
Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component
Discrimination: The Behavioral Component
What Causes Prejudice?
The Way We Think: Social Cognition
How We Assign Meaning: Attributional Biases
Blaming the Victim
Prejudice and Economic Competition: Realistic Conflict Theory
The Way We Conform: Normative Rules
How Can Prejudice be Reduced?
The Contact Hypothesis
When Contact Reduces Prejudice: Six Conditions
Why Early Desegregation Failed
Cooperation and Interdependence: The Jigsaw Classroom
Why Does Jigsaw Work?
Social Psychology in Action 1
Making a Difference with Social Psychology: Attaining a Sustainable Future
Applied Research In Social Psychology
Capitalizing on the Experimental Method
Social Psychology to the Rescue
Using Social Psychology to Achieve a Sustainable Future
Resolving Social Dilemmas
Conveying and Changing Social Norms
Making It Easy to Keep Track of Consumption
Introducing a Little Competitiveness
Removing Small Barriers to Achieve Big Changes
Happiness and a Sustainable Life Style
What Makes People Happy?
Money, Materialism, and Happiness
Do People Know What Makes Them Happy?
Social Psychology in Action 2: Social Psychology and Health
Stress and Human Health
Perceived Stress and Health
Feeling in Charge: The Importance of Perceived Control
Knowing You Can Do It: Self-Efficacy
Explaining Negative Events: Learned Helplessness
Optimism: Looking on the Bright Side
Coping With Stress
Gender Differences in Coping with Stress
Social Support: Getting Help from Others
Opening Up: Making Sense of Traumatic Events
Prevention: Promoting Healthier Behavior
Preventable Health Problems
Social Psychological Interventions: Targeting Safer Sex
Social Psychology in Action 3: Social Psychology and the Law
Why Are Eyewitnesses Often Wrong?
Judging Whether Eyewitnesses Are Mistaken
Judging Whether Witnesses Are Lying
Can Eyewitness Testimony Be Improved?
The Recovered Memory Debate
Juries: Group Processes in Action
How Jurors Process Information during the Trial
Confessions: Are They Always What They Seem?
Deliberations in the Jury Room
Why Do People Obey The Law?
Do Severe Penalties Deter Crime?
Procedural Justice: People’s Sense of Fairness