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American Psychological Association

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American Psychologist

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DOI: 10.1037/amp0000931


Field social psychology is a conceptual and methodological approach to describe, examine, and explain psychological phenomena at multiple levels of analysis with emphasis on the sociocultural environments in which people are embedded, the unfolding of psychological processes over time, and the use of ecologically valid multiple methods in conjunction. In this essay, we first define a contemporary form of field social psychology from its roots in the history of psychological study. Second, we argue for the necessity of the reemergence of this approach given the limitations of the dominant current social psychological paradigm exposed by the replication crisis. Third, we outline an integrative and actionable model of field social psychological research. We describe two contemporary examples of field social psychological research concerning climate change protests in Norway and restorative justice in the U.S.A. to illustrate this framework. We end with implications of field social psychology for developing psychological science. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)


Accepted version. American Psychologist, Vol. 77, No. 8 (2022): 940-952. DOI. © 2022 American Psychological Association. Used with permission.

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