The Social Psychology of Good and Evil  book cover
2nd Edition

The Social Psychology of Good and Evil

Edited By

Arthur G. Miller

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ISBN 9781462525393
Published July 24, 2016 by Guilford Press
542 Pages

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Book Description

This timely, accessible reference and text addresses some of the most fundamental questions about human behavior, such as what causes racism and prejudice and why good people do bad things. Leading authorities present state-of-the-science theoretical and empirical work. Essential themes include the complex interaction of individual, societal, and situational factors underpinning good or evil behavior; the role of moral emotions, unconscious bias, and the self-concept; issues of responsibility and motivation; and how technology and globalization have enabled newer forms of threat and harm.

New to This Edition
*Many new authors; extensively revised with the latest theory and research.
*Section on group perspectives, with chapters on bystanders to emergencies, remembering historical victimization, organizational dynamics, and globalization and terrorism.
*Chapters on free will, conscious versus unconscious processes, media violence, dehumanization, genocide, and sexual violence.
*Chapters on false moral superiority, compassionate goals in relationships, and moral emotions in incarcerated offenders.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Overview, Arthur G. Miller
I. Conceptual Perspectives on Good and Evil
2. The Evolution of Good and Evil, Joshua D. Duntley and David M. Buss
3. Free Will Evolved for Morality and Culture, Andrew E. Monroe, Kathleen D. Vohs, and Roy F. Baumeister
4. Categories, Intent, and Harm, Susan T. Fiske
5. “The Devil Made Me Do It”: The Deification of Consciousness and the Demonization of the Unconscious, John A. Bargh
II. Harming Others: Contexts, Causes, and Implications
6. Racism among the Well Intentioned: Bias without Awareness, John F. Dovidio, Samuel L. Gaertner, and Adam R. Pearson
7. Understanding Media Violence Effects, Sara Prot, Craig A. Anderson, Muniba Saleem, Christopher L. Groves, and Johnie J. Allen
8. How Dehumanization Promotes Harm, Nick Haslam and Steve Loughnan
9. The Social Psychology of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, Johanna Ray Vollhardt and Maggie Campbell-Obaid
10. Why Are the Milgram Experiments Still So Extraordinarily Famous—and Controversial?, Arthur G. Miller
11. A Social Interaction Approach to Objectification: Implications for the Social-Psychological Study of Sexual Violence, Sarah J. Gervais
III. The Self-Concept in Relation to Good and Evil Acts
12. False Moral Superiority, David Dunning
13. Making Relationship Partners Good: A Model of the Interpersonal Consequences of Compassionate Goals, Jennifer Crocker and Amy Canevello
14. Evil Persons or Evil Deeds?: What We’ve Learned about Incarcerated Offenders, June P. Tangney, Dan V. Blalock, Johanna B. Folk, and Jeffrey Stuewig
15. Dishonesty Explained: What Leads Moral People to Act Immorally, Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely
IV. Group Perspectives on Good and Evil
16. Bystanders and Emergencies: Why Understanding Group Processes Is Key to Promoting Prosocial Behavior, Mark Levine and Neil Wilson
17. Remembering Historical Victimization: Potential for Intergroup Conflict Escalation and Conflict Reduction, Nyla R. Branscombe, Michael J. A. Wohl, and Ruth H. Warner
18. Organizations Matter, Arthur P. Brief and Kristin Smith-Crowe
19. Globalization and Terrorism: The Primacy of Collective Processes, Fathali M. Moghaddam, Victoria Heckenlaible, Madeleine Blackman, Sarah Fasano, and Daniel J. Dufour
V. The Possibilities for Kindness
20. Benefits and Liabilities of Empathy-Induced Altruism: A Contemporary Review, C. Daniel Batson, Nadia Y. Ahmad, and E. L. Stocks
21. Volunteerism: Multiple Perspectives on Benefits and Costs, Mark Snyder, Allen M. Omoto, and Patrick C. Dwyer
22. The Psychology of Heroism: Extraordinary Champions of Humanity in an Unforgiving World, Zeno E. Franco and Philip G. Zimbardo

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Arthur G. Miller, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Miller’s research and publications have focused on stereotyping and stigma, biases in attribution and social judgment, and judgmental reactions to diverse explanations of evil and violence. He recently coedited a special issue of the Journal of Social Issues: "Milgram at 50: Exploring the Enduring Relevance of Psychology's Most Famous Studies."


“In this timely book, preeminent social psychologists illuminate humanity's devilish and angelic actions, and suggest how we might transform today’s closed fists into tomorrow’s open arms. For social science students and for those working to create a more just and peaceful world, these pages offer compelling, state-of-the-art insights into the roots and fruits of our human capacity for good and evil.”--David G. Myers, PhD, Department of Psychology, Hope College

"This edition, like its predecessor, sends a clear message: the social psychology of moral thought, action, and relationships is intellectually compelling, theoretically sophisticated, and empirically persuasive. The chapters are not just summaries of what is known about the good and the bad of human social behavior, but theoretical masterpieces by experts who write with impressive depth, clarity, and insight. The theme of the first edition--that social psychology holds the key to understanding why people act in ways that are sometimes commendable, but sometimes reprehensible--is reaffirmed in this edition, and amplified by the addition of groundbreaking chapters dealing with important issues, including terrorism, dehumanization, objectification, and victimization. I plan to use this book as a reference, as a source of inspiration for research, and as the text in my course on good and evil."--Donelson R. Forsyth, PhD, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

"Psychology has sometimes shied away from the empirical study of concepts with clear moral implications--and no concepts are more fraught in this regard than good and evil. This remarkable volume attests to the fact that anxiety about examining good and evil in an empirical light is abating. Miller has assembled a stellar cast of contemporary scholars to provide an up-to-the minute account of academically and clinically relevant phenomena, from the self-concept to dehumanization to media violence. This exceptional volume belongs on the shelves of students, scholars, and practitioners in both the applied and the basic branches of psychological science."--Robert F. Krueger, PhD, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota

"A splendid volume with an all-star cast of contributors. This book offers a balanced and provocative exploration of the worst--and best--of our inclinations and actions."--Lee D. Ross, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stanford University

"The first edition of this text rapidly became a go-to reference for students and scholars. Addressing issues of pressing importance across the social sciences and society as a whole, the book proved to be enormously influential, and I thought it would be hard to improve on. The second edition has proved me wrong. Thoroughly revised and updated, the chapters now have an even broader reach and wider relevance. Even if you have the first edition on your shelves, you must buy, read, teach, and talk about this landmark contribution to the field."--Alexander Haslam, PhD, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia

"What an outstanding volume! This book brings together what is known and understood regarding goodness, forgiveness, evil, callousness, cruelty, and kindness, authored by leading theorists and investigators from diverse professional perspectives. Clinicians and students will find this book truly fascinating reading. I can’t recommend it more highly."--Thomas A. Widiger, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky

"An outstanding collection of chapters examining the good and bad behavior that people exhibit toward one another--both human virtue and abject cruelty are represented well in this second edition….Researchers and teachers can use this book to enliven their empirical work or classroom discussions. Graduate students will find inspiration and direction. This book will be an excellent resource for organizing undergraduate or graduate seminars on good and evil. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."--Choice Reviews, 02/01/2017

"A fine book, rich in scholarship and argument, rarely tendentious and often stimulating, clear and perceptive. It is to be recommended to scholars and the interested reader alike." (on the first edition)--Metapsychology Online Reviews, 02/02/2006

"Anyone who is interested in the social psychological literature on these topics could not find a better compilation." (on the first edition)--Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 04/01/2006