Social Motivation: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social Motivation

1st Edition

Edited by David Dunning

Psychology Press

292 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Motivational science is one of the fastest-growing areas of research in social psychology, incorporating multiple perspectives from social-personality research. This volume provides students and researchers with a comprehensive overview of major topics in social motivation. All contributors are renowned specialists in their field who provide in-depth and integrated coverage of the major empirical and theoretical contributions in their area.

Social Motivation is essential reading for all social psychologists with an interest in social-motivational processes, and will also be of interest to people working in political science and cultural studies looking for a psychological perspective to work in their field.


"We humans are the most profoundly social species on Earth, and social motives therefore play a vital role, helping us navigate the complex social world in which we live. Dunning has assembled an outstanding collection of chapters about three important social motives: belonging, helping others, and gaining and exerting influence and power. Each chapter casts an illuminating and cutting-edge light on longstanding questions about the nature and impact of these social motives. Researchers and students will find this volume a valuable resource for information about existing research and ideas for future research." - Harry T. Reis, Professor of Psychology, University of Rochester, USA

"As this excellent volume makes clear, motivation doesn’t come only from physical or economic needs. It flows as well from social factors that importantly shape human responding. What makes this book so valuable is that each set of contributors shows us that the impact of these social factors is both powerful and predictable." - Robert B. Cialdini, Author of Influence: Science and Practice

Table of Contents

D. Dunning, Social Motivation: Some Introductory Notes. J.H. Park, A.P. Buunk, Interpersonal Threats and Automatic Motives. M.R. Leary, A.B. Allen, Belonging Motivation: Establishing, Maintaining, and Repairing Relational Value. H.S. Kim, T.Q. Chu, Cultural Variation in the Motivation of Self-Expression. G.M. Walton, G.L. Cohen, Sharing Motivation. C.D. Batson, N. Ahmad, E.L. Stocks, Four Forms of Prosocial Motivation: Egoism, Altruism, Collectivism, and Principlism. C.A. Mannino, M. Snyder, A.M. Omoto, Why Do People Get Involved? Motivations for Volunteerism and Other Forms of Social Action. D. Dunning, D. Fetchenhauer, Understanding the Psychology of Trust. P.H. Mehta, R.A. Josephs, Social Endocrinology: Hormones and Social Motivation. F. Pratto, I. Lee, J.Y. Tan, E.V. Pitpitan, Power Basis Theory: A Psycho-ecological Approach to Power. J.T. Jost, System Justification Theory as Compliment, Complement, and Corrective to Theories of Social Identification and Social Dominance.

About the Editor

David Dunning is Professor of Psychology at Cornell University. An experimental social psychologist, Dr. Dunning is a fellow of both the Association of Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. He has published nearly 100 scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and commentaries, and has also served as an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He is also the former Executive Officer of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, an international organization with over 5,600 members, as well as the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology. Much of his research has been supported financially by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, and was recently reviewed in his book Self-insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (2005, Psychology Press).

About the Series

Frontiers of Social Psychology

Frontiers of Social Psychology is one of the field's most influential and distinguished book series. Each volume provides a rigorous and cutting-edge overview of the most recent theoretical, methodological, and practical developments in a substantive area of social psychology, in greater depth than is possible in general social psychology handbooks. Coverage includes major established topics and new and emerging areas. The Editors and contributors are all internationally renowned scholars, whose work is at the cutting-edge of research.

Scholarly, yet accessible, the volumes in the Frontiers series are an essential resource for senior undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, and practitioners, and are suitable as textbooks in advanced courses in specific sub-areas of social psychology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology