For an undergraduate introductory level course in social psychology.
Research made relevant through a storytelling approach.
This renowned text maintains its acclaimed storytelling approach to convey the science of social psychology while making research relevant to students. The authors bring the material under study to life through real-world examples that capture students' attention and motivate further exploration. Paying particular attention to the classic research that has driven the field and introducing cutting-edge research that is the future of Social Psychology, Aronson/Wilson/Akert provide a firm foundation for students to build their understanding of this rigorous science in a way that engages and fascinates.
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Research Made Relevant
The "Try It!" exercises invite students to take a specific theory or research finding and apply it to their own lives. Three "Try It!" exercises are in each chapter and they encourage students to become active participants in the learning process.
- The authors emphasize the rigorous science that is Social Psychology through real research examples and by encouraging students to think twice about their preconceived notions of what Social Psychology is and isn't. In addition:
- Methodology and science are integrated into the text's story.
- A separate chapter (Chapter 2) devoted solely to methodology.
- Organization includes presenting two pressing real-world problems related to violence and aggression, then the use of actual research studies on these questions to illustrate the three major scientific methods.
"Connections" are included in selected chapters where research findings can be directly applied to real-world problems. By connecting social psychology to real events the material is not only more interesting for students but also deepens their understanding.
Through real-life vignettes, which open each chapter, and "mini-stories" throughout each chapter, Aronson 7e provokes student interest by focusing on real-life examples.
- Opening Vignettes--Real-life vignettes that illustrates the concepts to come and is referred back to throughout the chapter material.
- Mini-Stories--several woven into each chapter that both illustrate specific concepts and bring the material to life. Each has an example of a real-life phenomenon that is designed to pique students' interest (taken from current events, literature, real life) and then demonstrated through an experiment that attempts to explain the phenomenon.
Chapters 14-16 on Applied Topics:
- The last three chapters of the book are dedicated to applied topics: Attaining a Sustainable Future, Health, and the Law.
- Chapter 14 incorporates some of a previous chapter on the environment. New material includes a detailed discussion of how social psychology is in a unique position to address practical problems.
- Chapters are constructed as much as possible to stand as independent units that could be relevant at many different points in a social psychology course.
Classic and Modern research
Aronson 7e presents a balance between the latest findings in the field with classic research in social psychology. Noting that some older studies deserve their status as classics and are important cornerstones to the discipline, Aronson 7e encourages students to experience the continuity and depth of the field versus regarding it as a collection of studies published in the past few years.
- Charts and graphs detailing the results of individual experiments.
- Includes many new major studies, references, and cutting-edge research, all done within the past few years.
- Classical studies examined as well.
- Examples: Schachter and Singer (1962) study on misattribution of emotion (Chapter 5); Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) dissonance study (Chapter 6); Asch (1956) and Sherif (1936) conformity studies (Chapter 8).
- Older theories brought up to date. Examples: Culture, gender, self, and emotion (e.g., Gabriel & Gardner, 2004, Hyde, 2005) (Chapter 5); Self-esteem maintenance (e.g., Steele’s self-affirmation theory (Chapter 6); the process of dissonance reduction in different cultures (e.g., Sakai, 1998; Stone, Wiegand, Cooper, & Aronson, 1997; Viswesvaran & Deshpande, 1996) (Chapter 6); the role of accountability and accuracy in informational and normative conformity (e.g., Quinn & Schlenker, 2002; Barron and colleagues, 1996) in Chapter 8.
- The field of social psychology is expanding rapidly, and exciting new work is being done is all areas of the discipline. Aronson 7e has a great deal of added new material describing dozens of major studies done within the past few years. Additionally, hundreds of contemporary references have been added. These updated research findings keep students apprised of the latest developments in social psychology.
- Instructor’s Resource Center. (www.pearsonhighered.com)- The Instructor’s Resource Manual, Test Item File, and PowerPoints can be accessed and downloaded through this site.
- PowerPoints. PowerPoints provide an active format for presenting concepts from each chapter. The PowerPoints files can be downloaded from the Instructor’s Resource Center at www.pearsonhighered.com.
- Instructor’s Resource Manual. The Instructor’s Manual includes lecture ideas, teaching tips, suggested readings, chapter outlines, student projects and research assignments, Try It! exercises, critical thinking topics and discussion questions, and a media resource guide.
- MyTest Testing Software—this test generating software provides instructors “best in class” features in an easy to use program. Create tests and easily select questions with drag-and-drop or point-and-click functionality. Add or modify test questions using the built-in Question Editor and print tests in a variety of formats. The program comes with full technical support.
- MyPsychLab— This robust course management platform enables instructors to assign tests, quizzes, and projects online. New writing resources are included to help students write better papers, and to help instructors provide students with better and faster feedback on their writing assignments. The Social Psychology Community is availalbe for instructors.
New to This Edition
We are pleased to add two new features to this edition that we believe will appeal greatly to students. The first is a section at the end of each chapter called, “Critical Thinking: How Could You Use This?” We pose questions to students about their everyday lives–ones that they should find interesting and intriguing–and ask them to address the questions using one or more of the major concepts from the chapter. In Chapter 9, for example, we point out to students that sooner or later they will be part of a group that needs to make an important decision, and invite them to think about they might use concepts from the chapter to ensure that the group makes the best decision it can. The purpose of this feature is to encourage students to think critically about the material and apply it to their own lives.
In addition, we end each chapter with sample test questions that are designed to communicate how to study and learn the material. These questions, which are mostly from our own test files, are critical-thinking type questions that are designed to encourage students to understand social psychological concepts and apply them to new situations, rather than viewing the material as a set of facts to be memorized. Both of these new features, we believe, will be of substantial help in teaching students how to approach the material presented in the book.
Chapter-By Chapter Changes
- Chapter 2, “Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research” includes a new section entitled, “New Frontiers in Social Psychological Research.” This section discusses new methods and approaches that social psychologists have adopted in recent years, including cross-cultural research, evolutionary psychology, and social neuroscience.
- Chapter 3, “Social Cognition: How We Think about the Social World” has been updated with over 40 references to recent research. We added a major new section entitled, “Cultural Differences in Social Cognition” that discusses cultural influences on schemas and recent research on holistic versus analytic thinking in different cultures.
- Chapter 5 has been reorganized and renamed, “The Self: Understanding Ourselves in a Social Context,” to reflect the fact that it is includes a broad coverage of research on the self and not just self-knowledge. There is a new opening example that students should find interesting, namely the fact that some famous athletes (Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm) may have been so successful not only because of raw talent, but because of their self-views (that their talents were not fixed abilities but skills that needed to be practiced). We discuss Carol Dweck’s research on self-views in more detail, under a new heading called, “Mindsets” Understanding Our Own Abilities” (which relates back to the opening example of Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm). Reflecting the broader coverage of research on the self, there is a new major heading called, “Self-Control: The Executive Function Of The Self” that discusses recent research on self-regulation. There is also increased coverage of cultural differences in the self.
- Chapter 6, “The Need to Justify Our Actions” We have sharpened and updated our coverage of self-justification and included some new research on cultural differences. We have also included some recent research showing cognitive dissonance in Monkeys. We have also expanded our coverage of research by Harmon-Jones showing differences in brain activity during the experience of dissonance and dissonance reduction.
- Chapter 7, “Attitudes and Attitude Change: Influencing Thoughts and Feelings” includes over 50 references to recent research. There is an expanded discussion of implicit attitudes, including recent research on the origins of implicit attitudes. We added a new section with the heading, “Confidence in One’s Thoughts and Attitude Change” that discusses recent research by Petty and Briñol and colleagues. Finally, we revised substantially the section on subliminal advertising, with new research examples, and added a section on the effects of the media on attitudes toward weight in men and women.
- Chapter 9, “Group Processes: Influence in Social Groups” has a new opening vignette that discusses President George W. Bush’s decision to initiate the Iraq War. The later Connections feature, “Was the Decision to Invade Iraq a Result of Groupthink?”, has been revised and updated, based on recent books by Bob Woodward, Scott McClelland, and others. The section on “Why People Join Groups” has been revised to include research on social rejection and social identity, and the section on gender and leadership is updated with a discussion of recent research on the “glass cliff.”
- Chapter 11, “Prosocial Behavior: Why Do People Help?” We replaced or revised two of the Try It! exercises, to make them more easy for students to carry out if they so choose. A discussion of group selection has been added to the section on evolutionary theory. In the section on Batson’s empathy-altruism theory we added a section on what causes people to feel empathy, including a discussion of research by Mikulincer and Shaver on attachment theory and research by Twenge et al. on the effects of social rejection. Finally, we added a brief discussion of research on religion and prosocial behavior.</P></ITEM>
- Chapter 12, “Aggression: Why We Hurt Other People” We have added Craig Anderson’s recent (2009) of the possible effects of global warming on aggression. We have also discussed Bushman’s (2007) research on scriptural violence and aggressive behavior. We have also included some recent research on building empathy as a way of curbing aggression.
- Chapter 13, “Prejudice: Causes and Cures” One of the major additions to this chapter is of course, the election of an African-American to the Presidency. It has produced what one social psychologist has dubbed the Obama effect. Shortly after the election of Barack Obama, researchers were able to show two consequences of that election. Plant et. al. 2009)showed a decrease in prejudice against African-Americans; Dillon (2009) showed a decrease in stereotype threat among African-American test-takers.
- Social Psychology in Action 1, “Making a Difference with Social Psychology: Attaining a Sustainable Future,” was new to the previous edition. We believe it was a timely addition, given current interest in global warming and other environmental issues, as well as the more general question of how social psychology can be used to address important social problems. We updated the chapter in this edition with a discussion of recent research, including studies by Goldstein, Cialdini, and Griskevicius (2008) on getting hotel guests to reuse their towels, research by Graham, Koo, and Wilson (in press) on how to get college students to conserve energy by driving less, and a study by Holland, Aarts, and Langendam (2006) on getting people to recycle more. Finally, in the section, “What Makes People Happy?” we added a description of a study by Dunn, Aknin, and Norton (2008) showing that helping others makes people happy.
- Social Psychology in Action 2: “Social Psychology and Health” includes a new opening vignette, namely a true story about a woman who showed remarkable resilience after losing 12 family members in a four-year period. The section on Social Support is completely revised, including the addition of recent research by Shelley Taylor and colleagues on cultural differences in social support and research by Niall Bolger and colleagues on visible versus invisible social support.
- Social Psychology in Action 3: “Social Psychology and the Law” has been updated considerably. For example, the section on line-ups and how to improve them is updated with an example of recent research by Gary Wells, research on individual differences in detecting lies by Bond and DePaulo (2008), and a study on recovered memories, by Geraerts et al. (2007).
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
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About the Author(s)
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.
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