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Social Psychology with MyPsychLab Access Card


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1

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

Additional Motives

Social Psychology and Social Problems


Chapter 2

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

Archival Analysis

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


Culture and Social Psychology

The Evolutionary Approach

Social Neuroscience

Ethical Issues in Social Psychology

Guidelines for Ethical Research


Chapter 3

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


Chapter 4

Social Perception: How We Come to Understand Other People

Nonverbal Behavior

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

Self-Serving Attributions

Culture and Other Attributional Biases


Chapter 5

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


Impression Management: All the World's a Stage

Culture, Impression Management, and Self-Enhancement

Critical Thinking: How Could You Use This?


Chapter 6

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


Chapter 7

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

Attitude Inoculation

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


Chapter 8

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


Chapter 9

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

Social Dilemmas

Using Threats to Resolve Conflict

Effects of Communication

Negotiation and Bargaining

Critical Thinking: How Could You Use This?


Chapter 10

Interpersonal Attraction: From First Impressions to Close Relationships

What Causes Attraction?

The Person Next Door: The Propinquity Effect


Reciprocal Liking

Physical Attractiveness and Liking

Theories of Interpersonal Attraction: Social Exchange and Equity

Close Relationships

Defining Love

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


Chapter 11

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

Residential Mobility

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


Chapter 12

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?


Chapter 13

Prejudice: Causes and Cures

Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Prejudice: the ubiquitous Social Phenomenon

Prejudice and Self-Esteem

A Progress Report

Prejudice Defined

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

Subtle Sexism

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?


Chapter 14

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

Inducing Hypocrisy

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?


Chapter 15

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


Chapter 16

Social Psychology in Action 3: Social Psychology and the Law

Eyewitness Testimony

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


About the Author

Elliot Aronson

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

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

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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