Social Psychology : Exploring the Dynamics of Human Experience book cover
1st Edition

Social Psychology
Exploring the Dynamics of Human Experience

ISBN 9780815382904
Published September 17, 2019 by Routledge
530 Pages 136 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This textbook provides a thorough insight into the discipline of social psychology, creating an integrative and cumulative framework to present students with a rich and engaging account of the human social experience.

From a person’s momentary impulses to a society’s values and norms, the diversity of social psychology makes for a fascinating discipline, but it also presents a formidable challenge for presentation in a manner that is coherent and cumulative rather than fragmented and disordered. Using an accessible and readable style, the author shows how the field’s dizzying and highly fragmented array of topics, models, theories, and paradigms can best be understood through a coherent conceptual narrative in which topics are presented in careful sequence, with each chapter building on what has already been learned while providing the groundwork for understanding what follows in the next chapter. The text also examines recent developments such as how computer simulations and big data supplement the traditional methods of experiment and correlation.

Also containing a wide range of features, including key term glossaries and compact "summing up and looking ahead" overviews, and covering an enormous range of topics from self-concept to social change, this comprehensive textbook is essential reading for any student of social psychology.

Table of Contents

Part I Chapter 1. The Scope of Social Psychology Chapter 2. The Approach of Social Psychology Part II Chapter 3. Beliefs, Attitude, and Values Chapter 4. Emotion Chapter 5. Self-Concept Chapter 6. Personal Control Part III Chapter 7. Social Judgment Chapter 8. Social Interaction and Friendship Chapter 9. Close Relationships Chapter 10. Social Influence Part IV Chapter 11. Antisocial and Prosocial Behavior Chapter 12. Group Dynamics Chapter 13. Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Discrimination Chapter 14. Dilemmas of Social Life Part V Chapter 15. The Relevance of Social Psychology

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Robin R. Vallacher is Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University, USA, and Research Associate in the Center for Complex Systems, Warsaw University, Poland. He has authored or edited eight professional books and published over 150 journal articles and book chapters on topics ranging from intrapersonal processes (e.g., self-concept) to societal phenomena (e.g., conflict, social change).


'Robin Vallacher offers an exceptional guide to social psychology. The book directs and escorts the reader by laying the psychological foundations of intrapersonal experiences, on which he builds the interpersonal and collective extensions that are necessary to understand social behavior. The book not only explains the basic findings and insights of the field; it also embeds them into a broader framework that extends the boundaries of social psychology. Last but not least, it is exceptionally well-written and fun to read.' - Frtiz Strack, Emeritus Professor, University of Würzburg, Germany.

'Probably the clearest, most coherent, and engaging presentation of social psychology that I have seen.  Rather than providing a laundry list of topics, or exhaustively reciting the available research, Vallacher focuses on presenting a core set of ideas and findings, with the aim of ensuring that students understand key concepts.  The book is clearly organized around a set of key principles for understanding human social behavior, and the presentation of topics nicely progresses in line with those principles.' - Stephen Read, Mendel B. Silberberg Professor of Social Psychology, University of Southern California, US.

'One of my favorite books in our field, The Self In Social Psychology, was cowritten by Dan Wegner and Robin Vallacher. It is of no surprise then, that Robin Vallacher has written a highly accessible summary of research and theory in this introductory social psychology textbook. Notably, Vallacher provides enough detail on methods so that students can understand why the researchers came up with their conclusions, and also so that students may practice being good consumers of research by having enough information to evaluate the validity of the claims.' - Kip Williams, Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Purdue University, US.