Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles

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9781572301009: Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles

While social psychology has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of basic principles that underlie social behavior, these principles themselves--including expectancies, goals, explanations, arousal, social influence, interdependence, social conflict, persuasion, and social standards--have never been directly reviewed in a comprehensive manner. Filling a significant gap in the literature, this authoritative reference and text illuminates the essential processes, mechanisms, and structures at different levels of analysis--biological, cognitive, motivational, interpersonal, and group/cultural--to provide access to the central principles that guide social psychological investigation.
Formatted for easy reference and comparison, each chapter describes alternative conceptualizations of a particular principle and reviews research supporting (and failing to support) these different perspectives. Covering all the significant theories and research programs, the empirical literature is surveyed not for the traditional function of providing comprehensive reviews of content areas, but for its relevance to broad conceptual issues. This enables readers to get a better idea of the "big picture" concerning various social psychological principles, facilitating their ability to keep track of conceptual trends and developments in social psychology.
An essential tool for all social psychologists, as well as professionals in related fields, this authoritative handbook also serves as an invaluable text for advanced classes in social psychology.

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About the Author:

E. Tory Higgins, PhD, Columbia University , Arie W. Kruglanski, PhD, University of Maryland.

Review:

"The chapters in this book do much more than review previous work and simply present well-worn ideas. The authors succeed at achieving clarification of concepts and processes, and they present ideas and models that are thoughtful, innovative, and integrative. Often the same concept (e.g., accessibility, automaticity) is discussed in several different chapters, but never in the same way, as useful multiple perspectives are presented. Importantly, the authors focus on all levels of social psychology, from the very micro-process level to the information processing level to the social interaction and relationship level; and this is true within chapters as well as between chapters. Finally, each set of ideas is well-grounded in the history of out discipline, and yet each is right up to date in its treatment, and each chapter even looks forward to our future and its directions. This book is must reading for anyone with a serious interest in the discipline of social psychology." --Steven J. Sherman, Ph.D., Dept of Psychology, Indiana University

"Higgins and Kruglanski have assembled a superb slate of authors who provide a thorough assessment of social psychology's subject matter. Each chapter is impressive in both the breadth and depth of its coverage, and together they effectively summarize and evaluate our current state of knowledge. This unique volume will be a standard of reference for any scholar seeking to understand the principles underlying social behavior." --David L. Hamilton, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara

"Rarely does a volume appear that can be enthusiastically endorsed regardless of the reader's own research interests and theoretical allegiances. This handbook is such a volume....The consistently high quality of the contributions vault it to required reading status for professionals and advanced students....This handbook takes a bold and valuable step that describes the state of scientific social psychology at the end of the 20th century and charts a course for the next millenium." --Barry R. Schlenker in Contemporary Psychology

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