Social Psychology Goals in Interaction

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-10-08
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Social Psychology: Goals in Interaction explores how social behavior is goal-directed and a result of interactions between the person and the situation.

A unique integrated approach to social behavior: Rather than providing a laundry list of unconnected facts and theories, the authors organize each chapter around the two broad questions:

(1) What are the goals that underlie the behavior in question?

(2) What factors in the person and the situation connect to each goal?

The book thus presents the discipline as a coherent framework for understanding human behavior. The subtitle, Goals in Interactions underscores this integrated approach to understanding behavior.

Opening mysteries: Each chapter begins with a mystery of social behavior, designed not only to grab student interest, but also to organize the ensuing discussion of scientific research: Why did the beautiful and talented artist Frida Kahlo fall for the much older, and much less attractive, Diego Rivera, and then tolerate his numerous extramarital affairs? What psychological forces led the Dalai Lama, the most exalted personage in Tibet, to forge a lifelong friendship with a foreign vagabond openly scorned by Tibetan peasants? Why would a boy falsely confess to murdering his own mother?

Social Psychology: Goals in Interaction introduces the student to the fascinating mysteries of social behavior. By revealing the motives behind social behavior—why people love, hate, lead, and follow, for example—and bridging the person and the social situation, KNC actively engages the students’ natural curiosity while providing the only textbook with a truly integrative, coherent approach.

The latest scholarship, engaging writing, engrossing real-world stories and the authors' strengths as renowned researchers and expert teachers, all come together to make the fifth edition of Social Psychology: Goals in Interaction an accessible and engaging read for students, while providing a modern and cohesive approach for their teachers.

Author Biography


1. Author Bios

2. A message from the authors



1. Author Bios:


Douglas T. Kenrick is a professor at Arizona State University. He received his B.A. from Dowling College and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He taught at Montana State University for four years before returning to ASU. His research has been published in a number of places, including Psychological Review, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, American Psychologist, Handbook of Social Psychology, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Perspectives on Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Review. With John Seamon, he coauthored Psychology (1994). He has taught a graduate course on teaching psychology, and he thoroughly enjoys teaching undergraduate sections of social psychology, for which he has won several teaching awards.


Steven L. Neuberg received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his graduate degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University. He spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Waterloo in Canada and has since taught at Arizona State University. Neuberg’s research has been published in outlets such as Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Handbook of Social Psychology, and Perspectives on Psychological Science, and has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. He has received a half dozen teaching honors, including his college’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the ASU Honors College Outstanding Honors Disciplinary Faculty Award. He has served on federal grant review panels and as associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and teaches a graduate course on teaching social psychology.


Robert B. Cialdini is Regents Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and his graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina. He is a past president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and has received the Society’s award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. His research has appeared in numerous publications, including Handbook of Social Psychology, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. His book, Influence: Science and Practice, has sold over 2 million copies and has appeared in 26 languages.




2. A message from the authors of KNC 5th edition:


My father was a Madison Avenue executive, and I always found his business fascinating.  I recently picked up a colorful book on the most successful ads of the 20th century–like the United Colors of Benetton, Apple’s Think Different, and Volkswagen’s Ugly is Only Skin Deep.  It struck me that Madison Avenue has been, at least some of the time, a place where brilliant artistic creativity meets the best principles of scientific social psychology. This stimulated my curiosity about why some work so well, so I ran down the hall to discuss the psychology of advertising with Bob Cialdini (who has been called upon to consult with the Obama campaign, with Al Gore, and with many leading corporations, on just such questions).  We thought it would be a kick to make up a few ads that turned the key psychological principles of those 20th century ad campaigns to another purpose: laying out the social psychological principles of the best ad campaigns in a way that connected with the key features or our social psychology text. 


Working together with our coauthor Steve Neuberg, and with my son Dave Kenrick (who has a film production degree from NYU, and who has prepared many of the audiovisual supplements for our text), we set up a website with an explanation of the social psychological principles at work in each of those successful ad campaigns.  That website also contains links where you can obtain samples of our lecture powerpoints, a sample chapter of the book, and a way to contact your local Pearson sales rep for more information.  To check it out, click here: http://www.knc5.com/Ad_Psych


Doug Kenrick
Arizona State University

Table of Contents


1: Introduction to Social Psychology    

2: The Person and the Situation    

3: Social Cognition: Understanding Ourselves and Others    

4: Presenting the Self    

5: Attitudes and Persuasion    

6: Social Influence: Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience    

7: Affiliation and Friendship    

8: Love and Romantic Relationships    

9: Prosocial Behavior    

10: Aggression    

11: Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination    

12: Groups    

13: Social Dilemmas: Cooperation versus Conflict    

14: Integrating Social Psychology    








The Mysteries of Social Life


What Is Social Psychology?

Social Psychology Is an Interdisciplinary Bridge


Major Theoretical Perspectives of Social Psychology

The Sociocultural Perspective

The Evolutionary Perspective

The Social Learning Perspective

The Social Cognitive Perspective

Combining Perspectives


Basic Principles of Social Behavior

Social Behavior Is Goal Oriented

The Interaction between the Person and the Situation


How Psychologists Study Social Behavior

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Why Good Theories Need Good Data

Descriptive Methods

Correlation and Causation

Experimental Methods

Why Social Psychologists Combine Different Methods

Ethical Issues in Social Psychological Research


Social Psychology’s Bridges with Other Areas of Knowledge

Social Psychology and Other Areas of Psychology

Social Psychology and Other Disciplines


Revisiting the Mysteries of Social Life








The Enigma of an Ordinary and Extraordinary Man


The Person

Motivation: What Drives Us

Knowledge: Our View of the World

Feelings: Attitudes, Emotions, and Moods


Introducing the Self


The Situation

Persons as Situations: Mere Presence, Affordances, and Descriptive Norms

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: Descriptive Norms, Pluralistic Ignorance, and Binge Drinking on Campus

Rules: Injunctive Norms and Scripted Situations

Strong versus Weak Situations



The Person and the Situation Interact

Different Persons Respond Differently to the Same Situation

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Person-Situation Fit in the Workplace

Situations Choose the Person

Persons Choose Their Situations

Different Situations Prime Different Parts of the Person

Persons Change the Situation

Situations Change the Person


Revisiting the Enigma of an Ordinary and Extraordinary Man








Portraits of Hillary Rodham Clinton  


The Social Thinker  

Four Core Processes of Social Cognition  

The Goals of Social Cognition  


Conserving Mental Effort  



Dispositional Inferences  

Other Cognitive Shortcuts: Heuristics  

Arousal and Circadian Rhythms  

Need for Structure  

Complex Situations and Time Pressure  

When the World Doesn’t Fit Our Expectations  


Managing Self-Image  

Cognitive Strategies for Enhancing and Protecting the Self  



Threats to Self-Esteem  

When Self-Esteem Is Fragile  

How Culturally Universal Is the Need for Positive Self-Regard?  


Seeking an Accurate Understanding  

Unbiased Information Gathering  

Considering Alternatives  

Attributional Logic: Seeking the Causes of Behavior  


Need for Cognition  

Unexpected Events  

Social Interdependence  

Accuracy Motivation Requires Cognitive Resources  


Revisiting the Portraits of Hillary Rodham Clinton  






CHAPTER 4. PRESENTING THE SELF                                                                                      


The Amazing Lives of Fred Demara  


What Is Self-Presentation?  

Why Do People Self-Present?  

When Do People Self-Present?  

The Nature of Self-Presentation  



Appearing Likable  

Strategies of Ingratiation  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: The Science of Deciphering Facial Expressions  

Gender and Ingratiation 

Potential Friends and Power-Holders  

Multiple Audiences  


Appearing Competent  

Strategies of Self-Promotion  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: The Paradox of Self-Handicapping  

Competence Motivation and Shyness  

When Competence Matters  

Competence Checks  

The Interpersonal Cycle of Self-Promotion  


Conveying Status and Power  

Strategies for Conveying Status and Power  

Gender, Status, and Power  

Threatened Images, New Resources  

Different Strategies for Different Audiences  


Revisiting the Amazing Lives of Fred Demara  






CHAPTER 5. ATTITUDES AND PERSUASION                                                                           


The Changing Story of Peter Reilly  


The Nature of Attitudes  

Attitude Formation  

Attitude Strength  

Attitude–Behavior Consistency  


What Is Persuasion?  

Measuring Attitude Change  


Cognitive Responses: Self-Talk Persuades  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Smoking the Tobacco Companies with Counterarguments  

Dual Process Models of Persuasion: Two Routes to Change  

The Goals of Persuasion: Why People Change Their Attitudes and Beliefs  


Having an Accurate View of the World  

Good Shortcuts to Accuracy  

What Affects the Desire for Accuracy?  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: Defeating Defensiveness and Denial  


Being Consistent in One’s Attitudes and Actions 

Balance Theory  

Cognitive Dissonance Theory  

What Affects the Desire for Cognitive Consistency?  

Consistency and Culture  


Gaining Social Approval  


Gender: Women, Men, and Persuasion  

The Expectation of Discussion and Self-Monitoring  

Self-Monitoring and the Expectation of Discussion  


Revisiting the Story of Peter Reilly  








The Extraordinary Turnaround (and Around) of Steve Hassan  


Categories of Social Influence: Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience  

Conformity: Asch’s Research on Group Influence  

Compliance: The “Foot-in-the-Door” Technique  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Participant Observation  

Obedience: Milgram’s Shock(ing) Procedure  

The Goals of Social Influence  


Choosing Correctly: Yielding to Be Right  


Social Validation  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: Contagious Delusions and Solutions  

Consensus and Similarity  



Gaining Social Approval: Yielding to Be Likes  

Social Norms: Codes of Conduct  

What Personal Factors Affect the Impact of Social Approval?  

What Situational Factors Affect the Impact of Social Approval?  

Who’s Strong Enough to Resist Strong Group Norms?  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Doing Wrong by Trying to Do Right  


Managing Self-Image: Yielding to Be Consistent  

Commitment-Initiating Tactics  

Harnessing Existing Commitments  

Active and Public Commitments  

Gender and Public Conformity  


Revisiting the Turnaround of Steve Hassan  






CHAPTER 7. AFFILIATION AND FRIENDSHIP                                                                           


The Fugitive Who Befriended the God-King 


What Is a Friend?  

Studying Real-Life Relationships  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Studying Intimate Relationships without Really Being There  

Goals of Affiliation and Friendship  


Getting Social Support  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Health Psychology and Emotional Support  

Do Women Tend and Befriend While Men Fight or Take Flight?  

Threats: Why Misery (Sometimes) Loves Company  

Pushing Support Away  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: The Self-Perpetuating Cycle of Loneliness and Depression  

Attachment and Social Development  


Getting Information  

Social Comparison and Liking for Similar Others  

Self-Disclosers and Nondisclosers  

Uncertainty about Important Issues  

Similarity to Us 

When Dissimilarity Can Save Self-Esteem  


Gaining Status  

Men’s Friendships Are More Hierarchical  

Status by Association  

Men’s Status-Seeking May Erode Social Support  


Exchanging Material Benefits  

Fundamental Patterns of Social Exchange  

Individual Differences in Communal Orientation  

Communal and Exchange Relationships  

Proximity and Social Capital  

Distant Friends: Television, Facebook, and the Internet

Are Exchange Relationships Different in Western and Non-Western Cultures?  


Revisiting the Fugitive Who Befriended the God-King  






CHAPTER 8. LOVE AND ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS                                                            


The Love Affair of “The Elephant and the Dove”


Defining Love and Romantic Attraction

The Defining Features of Love

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Uncovering the Different Factors of Love

Are There Different Varieties of Love?

The Goals of Romantic Relationships


Obtaining Sexual Gratification

Who’s Sexually Attractive?

Gender Differences in Sexuality

Hormones and Sexual Desire

Sociosexual Orientation

Homosexual and Bisexual Attraction
Arousing Settings

Sexual Situations Look Different to Men and Women

Cultural Norms about Sexuality

Cultural Practices May Trick Evolved Mechanisms


Establishing Family Bonds

The Importance of Attachment

Attachment Style

Exchange/Communal Orientation

Threats Magnify Attachment

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: Obsessive Relationships and Unrequited Love

Jealousy and Same-Sex Competitors

Relationships Change Our Personalities


Gaining Resources and Social Status

Gender and Sexual Orientation

Culture, Resources, and Polygamy

Social Exchange in Committed Relationships

When Dominance Matters

  Breaking Up (and Staying Together) Some People Are Better at Getting Along Some Situations Pull Couples Apart

Interactions: It Takes Two to Tango

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Studying Healthy Communication to Save Marriages


Revisiting the Love Affair of “The Elephant and the Dove”






CHAPTER 9. PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR                                                                                      


The Strange Case of Sempo Sugihara  


The Goals of Prosocial Behavior  


Improving Our Basic Welfare: Gaining Genetic and Material Benefits  

Insights into the Evolution of Help  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Using Behavioral Genetics to Study Helping  

Learning to Help  

Similarity and Familiarity  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Getting Help by Adjusting the Helper’s Sense of “We”  


Gaining Social Status and Approval  

Social Responsibility: The Helping Norm  

Desire for Approval  

Effects of Those around Us  

Gender and Help  


Managing Self-Image  

Personal Norms and Religious Codes  

Labeling and Self-Focus  

Deciding Not to Help Friends or to Seek Their Help  



Managing Our Emotions and Moods  

Managing Emotional Arousal in Emergencies: The Arousal/Cost–Reward Model  

Managing Mood in Nonemergencies: The Negative State Relief Model  


Does Pure Altruism Exist?  

The Empathy–Altruism Sequence  

An Egoistic Interpretation  


Revisiting the Case of Sempo Sugihara  






10. AGGRESSION                                                                                                   


A Wave of Senseless Violence  


What Is Aggression?  

Different Types of Aggression  

Gender Differences in Aggression May Depend on Your Definition  

The Goals of Aggressive Behavior  


Coping with Feelings of Annoyance  

The Frustration–Aggression Hypothesis  

Feelings of Arousal and Irritability  

Unpleasant Situations  

Annoyance Leads to Changes in Perception of Situations  

Some People Create Their Own Annoying Situations  


Gaining Material and Social Rewards  


Social Learning Theory: Rewarding Violence  

Who Finds Rewards in Violence?  

Glamorized Violence in the Media  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Using Meta-Analysis to Examine the Effects of Violent Media  

Violent Media Magnify Violent Inclinations  


Gaining or Maintaining Social Status  

Aggression and Sexual Selection  

Sex and Testosterone  

Insults and the Culture of Honor  

When Status Matters 


Protecting Oneself or Others  


Perceived Threats  

Self-Protective Aggression Can Increase Danger  


Reducing Violence  

Rewarding Alternatives to Aggression  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Using Cognition to Manage Angry Arousal  

Legal Punishments  

Prevention by Removing Threats  


Revisiting Senseless Violence  






CHAPTER 11. PREJUDICE, STEREOTYPING, AND DISCRIMINATION                                        


The Unlikely Journey of Ann Atwater and C. P. Ellis  


Planet Prejudice  

Prejudice and Stereotypes  


The Costs of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination  

The Goals of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination  


Supporting and Protecting One’s Group  

Creating and Maintaining Ingroup Advantage  

Social Dominance Orientation  

Intergroup Competition  

The Self-Fulfilling Spiral of Intergroup Competition  


Seeking Social Approval  

Religiosity and Prejudice

Prejudice Norms Change Over Time  

Perceived Social Standing and Prejudice Expression


Managing Self-Image  

Personal and Social Identities  

Ingroup Identification  

Authoritarianism and Prejudice 

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: The Authoritarian Personality  

Failure and Self-Image Threat 

Self-Esteem and Threat 


Seeking Mental Efficiency  

The Characteristics of Efficient Stereotypes  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: The Social Neuroscience of Automatic and Controlled Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination  

Need for Structure  

Moods and Emotions  

Cognitively Taxing Circumstances  

Overheard Ethnic Slurs  


Reducing Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination  

Interventions Based on the Ignorance Hypothesis  

The Goal-Based Approach  

When Contact Helps  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Cooperation in the Classroom  


Revisiting the Journey of Ann Atwater and C. P. Ellis  






CHAPTER 12. GROUPS                                                                                                        


Blowing the Whistle on Hidden Group Pathologies  


The Nature of Groups  

The Mere Presence of Others and Social Facilitation  

Crowds and Deindividuation  

Groups as Dynamic Systems: The Emergence of Norms  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Using Computer Simulation to Explore Complex Group Processes  

“Real” Groups  

Why Do People Belong to Groups?  


Getting Things Done  

Lightening the Load, Dividing the Labor  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: The Social Disease of Social Loafing  

Expectations of Individual Failure and Group Success  

Current Needs, Individualistic Societies  

When Are Groups Most Productive?  


Making Accurate Decisions  

The Need to Know  

Uncertain Circumstances  

Discussion and Decision Making  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Majority and Minority Influence in the Jury Room  


Gaining Positions of Leadership  

Who Wants to Lead?  

When Opportunity Knocks  

Who Gets to Lead?  

When Are Leaders Effective?  


Revisiting the Revealed Pathologies of the FBI, Enron, and WorldCom  





CHAPTER 13. SOCIAL DILEMMAS: COOPERATION VERSUS CONFLICT                                    


Contrasting Future Worlds  


Defining Social Dilemmas  


Interlocking Problems and Solutions  

What Goals Underlie Global Social Dilemmas?  


Gaining Immediate Satisfaction  

Social Traps  

Egoistic versus Prosocial Orientations  

Distinguishing Different Value Orientations  

Changing the Consequences of Short-Sighted Selfishness  

Matching Interventions with Motives


Defending Ourselves and Valued Others  

Outgroup Bias and International Conflict  

Some of Us Are More Defensive Than Others  

Competition and Threat  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Time-Series Analysis and International Cooperation  

Intercultural Misperception and International Conflict  

The Reciprocal Dynamics of Cooperation and Conflict  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Increasing Intergroup Cooperation with the GRIT Strategy  


Revisiting the Future  






CHAPTER 14. INTEGRATING SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY                                                                 


Public Spectacles, Hidden Conspiracies, and Multiple Motives  


What Ground Have We Covered?  

Findings and Theories  


Major Theoretical Perspectives of Social Psychology  

The Sociocultural Perspective  

The Evolutionary Perspective  

The Social Learning Perspective  

The Social Cognitive Perspective  

Are Gender Differences in Our Genes, in Our Cultural Learning Experiences, or All in Our Minds?  


Combining the Different Perspectives  

Social Behavior Is Goal Oriented  

BRIDGING FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION: The Thin Line between Normal and Abnormal Social Functioning  

The Interaction between the Person and the Situation  


Why Research Methods Matter  

BRIDGING METHOD AND EVIDENCE: Some Conclusions for Consumers of Social Science Information  


How Does Social Psychology Fit into the Network of Knowledge?  

BRIDGING THEORY AND APPLICATION: Social Psychology’s Usefulness for Business, Medicine, and Law  


The Future of Social Psychology  




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Customer Reviews

The best Social Psychology book. April 7, 2011
This book was for a class and the subject of the book (social psychology) is a topic I have been through many times before. This book unlike so many textbooks used for college cl[censored] gets to the point and not in a roundabout manner. Each chapter begins with a mystery, designed not only to grab student interest, but also to organize the ensuing discussion of scientific research. There is no manner of wording that is long and wordy without really saying anything. The book states what is needed without the extra "fluff" wording that most textbooks use. I would recommend it to anyone starting out in Social Psychology or anyone interested in this field! I got the textbook from ecampus in a great condition earlier than the estimated date. The book was well packaged and in the condition listed.
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