Social Psychology of Visual Perception  book cover
1st Edition

Social Psychology of Visual Perception

ISBN 9781138982260
Published November 24, 2015 by Psychology Press
352 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $10.99
was $54.95
USD $43.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This volume takes a contemporary and novel look at how people see the world around them. We generally believe we see our surroundings and everything in them with complete accuracy. However, as the contributions to this volume argue, this assumption is wrong: people’s view of their world is cloudy at best.

Social Psychology of Visual Perception is a thorough examination of the nature and determinants of visual perception, which integrates work on social psychology and vision. It is the first broad-based volume to integrate specific sub-areas into the study of vision, including goals and wishes, sex and gender, emotions, culture, race, and age.

The volume tackles a range of engaging issues, such as what is happening in the brain when people look at attractive faces, or if the way our eyes move around influences how happy we are and could help us reduce stress. It reveals that sexual desire, our own sexual orientation, and our race affect what types of people capture our attention. It explores whether our brains and eyes work differently when we are scared or disgusted, or when we grow up in Asia rather than North America.

The multiple perspectives in the book will appeal to researchers and students in range of disciplines, including social psychology, cognition, evolutionary psychology, and neuroscience.

Table of Contents

J. Bruner, Foreword: A New Look at the New Look. E. Balcetis, G. Daniel Lassiter, Introduction.  Part 1. Motivation and the Social Psychology of Visual Perception.  K. Pauker, N.O. Rule, N. Ambady, Ambiguity and Social Perception. D. Isaacowitz, H. Fung, Motivation Across Time and Place: What Gaze Can Tell Us About Aging and Culture. S. Duffy , S. Kitayama, Cultural Modes of Seeing Through Cultural Modes of Being: Cultural Influences on Visual Attention. E. Balcetis, D. Dunning, Wishful Seeing: Motivational Influences on Visual Perception of the Physical Environment. L. Johnston, L. Miles, N. Macrae, Male or Female? An Investigation of Factors that Modulate the Sex-Categorization of Strangers.  Part 2. Neuroscience and the Social Psychology of Visual Perception.  M. Weierich, L. Feldman Barrett, Affect as a Source of Visual Attention. R. Todd, A. Anderson, The Role of the Amygdala in Vision. M.P. Viggiano, T. Marzi, Context and Social Effects on Face Recognition. L.M. Oberman, P. Winkielman, V.S. Ramachandran, Embodied Simulation: A Conduit for Converting Seeing into Perceiving.  Part 3.  Ecological Approach to the Social Psychology of Visual Perception.  G.D. Lassiter, M. Lindbergh, J. Ratcliff, L. Ware, A.L. Geers, Top-down Influences on the Perception of Ongoing Behavior. K. Johnson, J. Freeman, A New Look at Person Construal: Seeing Beyond Dominance and Discreteness. J. Stefanucci, Emotional High: Emotion and the Perception of Spatial Layout. J. Montepare, "Cue, View, Action:" An Ecological Approach to Person Perception.

View More



Emily Balcetis is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from Cornell University in Social and Personality Psychology. Her research provides a comprehensive examination of the pervasiveness of motivational biases in visual perception and decision-making, exploring both conscious and unconscious effects using a balance between traditional and high-tech, novel techniques, paradigms, and approaches.

G. Daniel Lassiter is Professor of Psychology at Ohio University. He received his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Virginia, completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, and held a visiting position at the University of Florida before arriving at his present institution in 1987. For more than two decades, he has conducted research on the mechanisms underlying people’s perceptions of the behavior of others, including investigations of the consequences of variation in the behavior-perception process for social judgment and decision-making. During this period, he developed a theoretically driven program of scholarship aimed at examining the effect of presentation format on how mock jurors evaluate confession evidence, which was one of the earliest psychologically oriented research programs on this topic.


"A valuable volume that successfully introduces the reader to inventive paradigms and discusses the wide-ranging theoretical implications of the intriguing findings emerging from this expanding endeavour. ... The synthesis of historical perspectives and sensitive current approaches make this volume easy to recommend to students of social psychology in the second decade of the 21st century." - Andrew P Bayliss, University of Queensland, Australia, in Perception

"The writing is lucid. ... References accompanying each chapter should prove useful for researchers, as should suggestions for further work. Recommended [for] upper-division undergraduates through [to] faculty and professionals." - R. H. Cormack in CHOICE

"Perception depends on perceivers, and human perceivers are inescapably social. This intriguing set of papers describes some of the intricate ways our social sensibilities affect how we see, illuminating both perception and social psychology." - Barbara Tversky, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, Stanford University, USA

"We know a great deal about vision but very little about perception. Providing an adequate portrayal of the psychological meaning of perceptual experience has proved to be far more elusive that specifying vision’s informational bases in optical structure and ocular-motor adjustments. This is as true today as it was a half century ago when Jerome Bruner and colleagues launched the "New Look" in perception. Emily Balcetis and G. Daniel Lassiter have compiled an outstanding collection of chapters in the Social Psychology of Visual Perception, with each contribution providing compelling evidence that social and emotional factors contribute to the psychological meaning of perceptual awareness. This is a book that will inform and delight anyone interested in the psychology of everyday perceptual experience." - Dennis R. Proffitt, Ph.D., Commonwealth Professor and Chair of Psychology, University of Virginia, USA