Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications

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9780070203921: Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications
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This balanced overview of the field of social psychology introduces and integrates the theories, research, and applications of the discipline - capturing the excitement of this diverse field as it is evolving today. It examines both the traditional areas of the field as well as recent findings showing how social psychologists apply their discipline to help solve significant social problems - including those relevant to students' everyday lives. The text organises the chapters into logical pairs that work together to explore key questions central to the study of social psychology, and ties social psychology to the lives of students from diverse backgrounds by illustrating how social psychological findings can be applied in a meaningful, practical sense in the world around them.

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From the Publisher:

This balanced overview of the field of social psychology introduces and integrates the theories, research, and applications of the discipline -- capturing the excitement of this diverse field as it is evolving today. It examines both the traditional areas of the field as well as recent findings, showing how social psychologists apply their discipline to help solve significant social problems -- including those relevant to students' everyday lives.

From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

A glance at any daily newspaper illustrates the extremes of human social behavior. We see violence, heroics, war, political scandal, terrorism, bravery, and a multitude of other manifestations of the extraordinary range of social conduct. At the same time, our own personal lives—involving friends, family, neighbors, lovers, acquaintances, and even chance encounters with total strangers—reflect the stuff of social behavior.

Each of our experiences with our social environment raises a host of questions. What are the sources and consequences of kindness and cruelty? Why and how are people susceptible to the influence of others? How do we develop and maintain our relationships with other individuals? How do people come to grips with the meaning of their social environment? How does our culture influence our behavior?

The discipline of social psychology addresses such questions. Embracing a vast range of human behavior, the field seeks to answer the fundamental issues that underlie our social world. It is a discipline that holds the promise of providing real improvements in the human condition.

The central challenge in writing an introduction to social psychology is to capture the essence of a dynamic, ever-changing discipline. Social psychology must be presented in a way that fosters readers' intrinsic interest in social psychological phenomenon, doing so with scientific integrity and accuracy. THE GOALS OF THIS BOOK

To meet this challenge, the third edition of Social Psychology has been written keeping in mind three major goals. First and foremost, it provides a broad, balanced overview of social psychology. It introduces readers to the theories, research, and applications that constitute the discipline, examining both the traditional areas of the field as well as more recent innovations. The book pays particular attention to the applications developed by social psychologists. While not slighting theoretical material, the text emphasizes what social psychologists know and how this knowledge may be applied to real-world problems. In fact, the very structure of the book is designed to make the applied material as prominent as the theoretical material by integrating more applied chapters throughout the text, rather than relegating them to the end of the book.

The second major goal of the text is to explicitly tie social psychology to students' lives. The findings of social psychologists have a significant degree of relevance to students, and this text illustrates how these findings can be applied in a meaningful, practical sense. For instance, applications are presented within a contemporaneous framework. The book includes current news items, timely world events, and contemporary uses of social psychology that are designed to draw readers into the field. Numerous descriptive scenarios and vignettes reflect everyday situations in students' lives, explaining how they relate to social psychology. For example, each chapter begins with an opening prologue that provides a real-life situation relating to the chapter subject area. This scenario is reconsidered at the end of the chapter, where integrative, critical-thinking questions tie the prologue to the chapter content. Furthermore, all chapters also have The Informed Consumer of Social Psychology section, which explicitly suggests ways to apply social psychological findings to students' experiences. Each chapter also includes a feature called Applying Social Psychology that discusses ways social psychology research is being used to answer problems of an applied nature.

Finally, the third goal of the text is to make the field of social psychology engaging, accessible, and interesting to students. The book is user friendly and written in a direct, conversational voice, meant to replicate as much as possible a dialogue between author and student.

Social Psychology, third edition, is a text that students can understand and master on their own, without the intervention of an instructor. To that end, it includes a variety of pedagogical features. Each chapter contains a Looking Ahead overview that sets the stage for the chapter, a running glossary, a numbered summary, a list of key terms and concepts, and an epilogue. In addition, each chapter has three Review and Rethink sections that provide enumeration of the key concepts and questions that promote and test critical thinking.

In short, Social Psychology seeks to blend and integrate theory, research, and applications. Rather than concentrating on a few isolated areas and presenting them in great depth, the emphasis is on illustrating the breadth of social psychology. Concentrating on the scope of the field permits the examination of a variety of evolving and nontraditional areas of social psychology. Finally, the text seeks to illustrate social psychology as it now stands and is evolving, rather than providing a detailed historical record of the development of social psychology. While covering the classic studies, the decided emphasis is on the field in its current state.

Ultimately, this text seeks to provide a broad-based overview of social psychology, emphasizing its theories, research, and applications. It is meant to show the relevance of social psychology to students' lives while acquainting them with the scientific basis of the discipline. It is designed to be a user-friendly text, one that captures the excitement—and promise—of a growing, developing scientific field.

CHAPTER-OPENING PROLOGUES
Each chapter begins with a short vignette that describes an individual or situation that is representative of basic social psychological phenomena. For instance, chapter prologues tie descriptions of ethnic cleansing, James Byrd Jr.'s murder at the hands of white extremists, and a couple falling in love to social psychological principles presented in their respective chapters.

APPLYING SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
This feature, found in every chapter, describes current social psychological research or research issues applied to everyday problems. They include descriptions of ambivalent stereotyping, the slime effect (explaining why we dislike likeable behavior), and attitude change over the course of the life span.

SPEAKING OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
These boxes report interviews that were conducted with people who use the findings of social psychology, either explicitly or implicitly, in their work. For the most part, interviewees are not social psychologists but rather people whose professions employ social psychological findings. For example, interviewees include a newspaper reporter (social cognition), an advertising executive who uses celebrity endorsements (interpersonal attraction), and a trial consultant (law and politics).

SOCIAL.WEB
Four essays describing the impact of technology and the World Wide Web are interspersed throughout the book. These include discussions of the impact of violent video games, finding love in cyberspace, use of email, and social stigmas.

EXPLORING DIVERSITY
These sections, integrated within every chapter, highlight issues relevant to the multicultural society in which we live. They illustrate social psychological issues relevant to race, ethnicity, and culture. For example, various Exploring Diversity sections examine cultural influences in attribution, cultural determinations of health, ethnic differences regarding the stigma of obesity, relationships among gay and lesbian couples, and gender and cultural patterns of leadership.

THE INFORMED CONSUMER OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Every chapter includes information on specific uses that can be derived from research conducted by social psychologists. For example, various chapters discuss how to draw appropriate conclusions from others' behavior, overcome stereotypes, deal with anger, and resist persuasion.

REVIEW AND RETHINK
Interspersed throughout each chapter are three short recaps of the chapters' main points, followed by questions designed to provoke critical thinking.

SOCIAL LINKS COMPANION WEBSITE (CW)
These marginal icons indicate that relevant material can be found on the World Wide Web by going to the Feldman Social Psychology Website (prenhall/feldman). By referring to the specific book page where the Social Link is found, readers will find a link to a relevant Web page.

END-OF-CHAPTER MATERIAL
Each chapter ends with a numbered summary (Looking Back), list of key terms and concepts, and an epilogue containing critical-thinking questions about the chapter-opening vignette. WHAT'S NEW IN THIS EDITION?

A considerable number of new topics and areas have been added to the third edition. For instance, advances in such areas as culture, emotions, close relationships, psychophysiology.; and evolutionary approaches to social phenomenon receive expanded and new coverage.

In addition, a wealth of contemporary research is cited in this edition. Hundreds of new research citations have been added, most from the last few years. A sampling of topics either newly included in this edition or expanded also illustrate

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