Social Psychology


Social Psychology



This distinctive, theory-driven text uses 'The Self' as a theme to give students a meaningful context for exploring the key concepts of social psychology. To help students understand how social psychological knowledge applies to everyday living, end-of-chapter 'Applications' sections demonstrate how current theories and research provide benefits in real-world settings. Operating on the principle that 'knowledge is power,' each chapter contains multiple Self/Social Connection exercises so that students understand how text material relates to their own lives. Further, critical thinking questions are integrated into each chapter, with possible answers provided in an end-of-text appendix. Finally, this sixth edition continues its strong cross-cultural, gender, and diversity coverage, while expanding coverage of evolutionary theory, social cognition, positive psychology, and social neuroscience.



Publication Date



BVT Publishing


Redding, CA




Table of Contents

Preface, XV.

Chapter 1: 2.

Introducing Social Psychology, 2.


What Is Social Psychology?, 3.

Social Psychology Studies How We Are Influenced by Others, 3.

Social Psychology Is More Than Common Sense, 4.

Social Psychology Studies How Social Reality Is Created (and Recreated), 5.

Social Psychology Is Studied in Both Psychology and Sociology, 9.

Social Psychology Has Both European and American Roots, 9.

Organizing Concepts and Perspectives in Social Psychology, 14.

The Self Is Shaped by-and Shapes-the Social Environment, 14.

Our Social Thinking Can Be Automatic or Deliberate, 17.

Culture Shapes Social Behavior, 18.

Evolution Shapes Universal Patterns of Social Behavior, 23.

Brain Activity Affects and Is Affected by Social Behavior, 26.

Positive Psychology Is an Emerging Perspective in Social Psychology, 28.

Web Sites, 31.

Chapter 2: 34.

Conducting Research in Social Psychology, 34.


The Goals and Process of Research, 35.

Two Research Coals Focus on Acquiring and Applying Knowledge, 35.

The Research Process Involves a Series of Steps, 36.

Meta-Analysis Examines the Outcomes of Many Studies, 43.

One Strength of the Scientific Method Is Its Self-Correcting Nature, 44.

Common Scientific Methods, 46.

Description Is the Coal of Observational Research, 46.

Correlational Research Assesses the Direction and Strength of the Relationship Between Variables, 50.

Experimental Research Can Determine Ca use-Effect Relationships, 55.

The Promise and Caution in Using Emerging Technologies, 58.

Social Psychologists Are Increasingly Using New Technologies, 58.

The Study of Actual Behavior Is Declining in Social Psychology, 62.

Web Sites, 63.

Chapter 3: 66.

The Self, 66.


The Self as Bath Active Agent and Object of Attention, 67.

Contemporary Self Theories Are Based on the Insights of James and Mead, 67.

Self-Awareness Is Reflective Thinking, 68.

Culture and Self-Awareness, 71.

Self-Regulation Is the Self's Most Important Function, 73.

The Self as a Knowledge Structure, 78.

Self-Concept Involves a Network of Self-Aspects, 78.

Cultural Beliefs about Self-Group Relationships Shape Self-Concept, 80.

Cultural Beliefs about Gender Shape Self-Concept, 84.

Social Identities Establish " What" and "Where " We Are as Social Beings, 85.

Presenting the Self to Others, 88.

Self-Presentations Are Either Consciously or Automatically Constructed, 88.

Self-Presentation Strategies Differ in Their Goals, 90.

Evaluating the Self, 95.

Self-Esteem Influences How We Approach and Respond to Life Challenges, 95.

Self-Enhancement and Self-Verifica tion Motives Conflict in Low Self-Esteem Persons, 97.

There Is a Dark Side to High Self-Esteem, 98.

In Social Relationships, Self-Esteem Is Maintained Through Social Reflection and Social Comparison, 100.

Applications, 103.

Web Sites, 105.

Chapter 4: 108.

Social Cognition and Person Perception, 108.


How Does Automatic Thinking Help Us Make Sense of Social Information?, 110.

We Are Categorizing Creatures, 110.

Schemas Affect What Information We Notice and Later Remember, 111.

Schemas Can Be Situationally or Chronically Activated, 113.

Heuristics Are Time-Saving Mental Shortcuts, 116.

How Does Deliberate Thinking Help Us Make Sense of Past Events? 120.

The Hindsight Bias Is Fueled by Our Desire for Sense Making, 120.

Counterfactual Thinking Likely Follows Negative and Unexpected Events, 121.

Suppressing Thoughts Can Sometimes Backfire, 123.

Person Perception, 124.

Nonverbal Behaviors of Others Shape Our Impressions of Them, 124.

Culture and Gender Influence the Expression of Nonverbal Cues, 129.

Our Brains Are Wired For Gossip, 131.

Most of Us Are Poor Deception Detectors, 132.

We Develop Implicit Personality Theories Based on Central Traits, 134.

We Often Seek Information to Confirm Our First Impressions, 136.

Making Attributions, 137.

We Rely Upon Particular Information When Explaining People's Actions, 137.

Correspondent Inference Theory Assumes that People Prefer Making Dispositional Attributions, 139.

The Covariation Model Explains Attributions Derived from Multiple Observation Points, 147.

There Are Biases in the Attribution Process, 143.

Making Attributions Involves Both Automatic and Deliberate Thinking, 148.

Applications, 150.

Web Sites, 153.

Chapter 5: 156.

Attitudes and Persuasion, 156.


The Nature of Attitudes, 157.

Attitudes Are Positive or Negative Evaluations of Objects, 158.

Implicit Attitudes May Underlie Explicit Attitudes, 159.

Reference Groups Shape Socia l and Political Attitudes, 162.

How Does Automatic Thinking Shape Attitudes and Behavior? 163.

Mere Exposure Can Lead to Positive Attitudes, 163.

Attitudes Can Form Through Classical Conditioning, 166.

Reinforcement and Punishment Can Shape Attitudes, 167.

Attitudes Are Influenced by Changes in Facial Expression Head Movement, and Body Posture, 168.

How Does Deliberate Thinking Shape Attitudes and Behavior? 171.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory Asserts that Rationalization Shapes Attitudes, 177.

Cognitive Consistency Is Not a Universal Motive, 178.

Self-Perception Theory Contends that Behavior Causes Attitudes, 180.

The Theory of Planned Behavior Explains "Thought-Through" Actions, 182.

The Nature of Persuasion, 184.

Persuasion Can Occur Through Both Effortful and Effortless Thinking, 184.

Persuader Credibility and Attractiveness Can Affect Persuasion, 187.

Rapid Speech Encourages Peripheral-Route Persuasion While Hindering Central-Route Processing, 190.

Emotions Motivate, Enhance, and Hinder Persuasion, 197.

Two-Sided Messages Inoculate Audiences Against Opposing Views, 193.

We Can Develop Attitude Certainty by Actively Trying to Counterargue, 195.

Applications, 199.

Web Sites, 202.

Chapter 6: 204.

Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination, 204.


Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Components of Intergroup Conflict, 207.

Stereotypes Are Beliefs About Social Groups, 207.

Prejudice Is an Attitude and Discrimination Is an Action, 211.

There Are Three Basic Forms of Prejudice, 213.

Common Targets of Intolerance in Contemporary Society, 215.

Race-Based Appearance Cues Can Trigger Discrimination, 217.

Modern-Day Racism Is More Ambivalent than Openly Hostile, 219.

Sexism Has Both a Hostile and a Benevolent Component, 223.

Intolerance Based on Weight and Sexual Orientation 15 Often Accepted, 227.

Stigmatized Groups Can Experience Stereotype Threat, 230.

What Motives and Social Factors Shape Prejudice and Discrimination? 234.

Ingroup Members Are Favored over Outgroup Members, 234.

Intergroup Competition Can Lead to Prejudice, 236.

Prejudice Can Serve as a justification for Oppression, 240.

Authoritarianism Is Associated with Hostility toward Outgroups, 243.

Can We Reduce Intergroup Bias and Intolerance? 246.

Prejudice and Discrimination Can Be Reduced by Monitoring Stereotyped Thinking, 247.

Targets of Prejudice Can Become Positive Social Change Agents, 249.

The Contact Hypothesis Identifies Social Conditions That Reduce Intergroup Conflict, 250.

Applications, 253.

The Big Picture, 255.

Web Sites, 255.

Chapter 7: 258.

Social Influence, 258.


What Is Social Influence? 261.

Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience Are Different Types of Social Influence, 261.

People with Social Power Are More Likely to Initiate Action, 262.

Classic and Contemporary Conformity Research, 263.

Sherif Analyzed Conformity to an Ambiguous Reality, 263.

Specific Situations Can Automatically Activate Specific Social Norms, 266.

Asch Analyzed Conformity to a Unanimous Majority, 268.

Normative and Informational Influence Shape Conformity, 270.

Schachter Investigated the Rejection of the Nonconformist, 272.

What Factors Influence Conformity? 275.

Situational Factors Impact Conformity, 275.

Personal Factors Influence Conformity, 277.

Cultures Differ in Their Conf9rmity Patterns, 279.

The Minority Can Influence the Majority, 280.

Conformity 15 Sometimes Automatically Activated, 283.

Compliance, 284.

Manipulating Moods and Invoking Norms Foster Compliance, 284.

Two-Step Strategies Are Effective Compliance Traps, 286.

Obedience, 291.

Milgram 's Research Suggests that Destructive Obedience Is Fairly Common, 291.

Recent Studies Provide Further Insights into Milgram's Original Findings, 294.

Observing Others Defy Authority Greatly Reduces Obedience, 296.

Toward a Unified Understanding of Social Influence, 297.

Social Impact Theory Explains Influence Strength, 298.

Applications, 300.

The Big Picture, 302.

Web Sites, 303.

Chapter 8: 306.

Group Behavior, 306.


The Nature of Groups, 307.

Group Success Fosters Social Identification, 307.

Groups Differ in Their Social Cohesiveness, 308.

Groups Accomplish Instrumental Tasks and Satisfy Socioemotional Needs, 311.

Group Structure Develops Quickly and Changes Slowly, 312.

There Are Five Phases to Group Membership, 313.

Group Influence on Individual Behavior, 316.

The Presence of Others Can Energize Us, 316.

The Presence of Others Can Hide Us, 318.

Being Both Energized and Hidden Can Lower Our Inhibitions, 321.

Decision Making in Groups, 325.

Group Decision Making Occurs in Stages and Follows Various Rules, 325.

Group Discussion Enhances Majority Opinions, 328.

Consensus Seeking Overrides Critical Analysis is in Groupthink, 330.

Leadership, 330.

A Leader Is an Influence Agent, 333.

Transformational Leaders Inspire Followers, 334.

The Contingency Model Is an Interactionist View of Leadership, 335.

Gender and Culture Can Influence Leadership Style, 337.

Group Interests Versus Individual Interests, 340.

Social Dilemmas Occur When Short-term and Long-term Interests Conflict, 340.

Cooperation Is Necessary to Resolve Social Dilemmas, 342.

Applications, 344.

The Big Picture, 346.

Web Sites, 346.

Chapter 9: 348.

Interpersonal Attraction, 348.


Affiliation Needs, 350.

Two Reasons for Affiliation Are Comparison and Exchange, 350.

Our Evolutionary Heritage and Biology Influence Our Affiliation Desires, 351.

Socialization Shapes Our Inborn Affiliation Tendencies, 352.

Characteristics of the Situation and Attraction, 355.

Close Proximity Fosters Liking, 355.

Our Affiliation Desires Increase with Anxiety, 357.

Characteristics of Others and Attraction, 362.

We Are Drawn Toward the Physically Attractive, 363.

There Are Gender Based Attractiveness Standards, 365.

Gender· Based Attractiveness Standards Shape Body Esteem, 370.

Social Comparison Influences Attractiveness Judgements, 371.

Birds of a Feather Really Do Flock Together, 373.

We Like Those Who Like Us, 376.

When Social Interaction Becomes Problematic, 377.

Social Anxiety Can Keep Us Isolated from Others, 377.

Loneliness Is the Consequence of Social Isolation, 379.

Applications, 380.

The Big Picture, 386.

Web Sites, 386.

Chapter 10: 388.

Intimate Relationships, 388.


What Is Intimacy? 390.

Intimacy Involves Including Another in Your Self-Concept, 390.

Parent-Child Attachment and Later Adult Relationships, 394.

Attachment Is an Inborn Adaptive Response, 394.

Attachment Styles Influence Romantic Relationships, 395.

Friendship, 400.

Self-Disclosure Shapes Friendship Development and Maintenance, 400.

Gender Differences Exist in Heterosexual Friendships, 403.

Cross-Sex Heterosexual Friendships Gravitate to an "Intimacy Mean” 406.

"Friends-with-Benefits" Relationships Pose Unique Challenges and Dangers, 407.

Gender Differences Disappear in Same-Sex Homosexual Friendships, 408.

Important Barriers to Long-Distance Friendships Are Falling, 409.

Romantic Relationships, 410.

Culture Shapes How We Think About Romantic Love, 410.

Online Romance and Speed Dating Follow Similar Rules as Face-to-Face Romance, 413.

Passionate Love Can Be Triggered by Excitation Transfer, 414.

Companionate Love Is More Stable and Enduring than Passionate Love, 420.

Women and Men May Differ in Their Experience of Love. 421.

Will Love Endure? 424.

Social Disapproval of One's Partner Harms Relationship Stability, 424.

People Are Happiest with Romantic Equity, 424.

Self-Esteem Can Both Facilitate and Undermine Romantic Love, 425.

Romantic Happiness Is Based on Both Positive Illusions and Accurate Judgments, 426.

Social Support Predicts Relatiof1ship Satisfaction, 428.

We Are Meaner to Those We Love Than We Are to Strangers, 429.

People Use Different Strategies to Cope with a Troubled Relationship, 431.

Romantic Breakups Often Cause Emotional Distress, 432.

Applications, 414.

The Big Picture, 417.

Web Sites, 418.

Chapter 11: 440.

Aggression, 440.


What Is Aggression? 441.

Aggression Is Intentional Harm, 441.

Instrumental and Hostile Aggression Have Different Goals, 443.

Gender and Personality Moderate the Expression of Aggression, 444.

Intergroup Aggression Is Often More Extreme than Interpersonal Aggression, 447.

The Biology of Aggression, 448.

Evolution Shaped Our Aggressive Behavior Patterns, 449.

Biological Factors Influence Aggressive Behavior, 450.

Aggression as a Reaction to Negative Affect, 452.

The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis Asserts that Frustration Triggers Aggression, 452.

Unpleasant Situations Can Activate Aggressive Thoughts and Associations, 453.

Alcohol Consumption Increases the Likelihood of Aggression, 458.

Excitation Transfer Can Intensify Hostility-based Aggression, 460.

Learning Aggressive Behavior, 461.

Social Learning Theory Emphasizes the Shaping of Aggressive Behavior, 461.

Media and Video Violence Fosters Aggressive Behavior, 464.

The "Culture of Honor" Encourages Male Violence, 467.

Sexual Aggression, 469.

Pornography Promotes the "Rape Myth" and May Increase Violence Against Women, 469.

Culture Based Sexual Scripts Make Acquaintance Rape More Likely, 474.

Reducing Aggression, 476.

Punishment Can Both Decrease and Increase Aggression, 476.

Inducing Incompatible Responses Can Inhibit Aggression, 476.

Teaching Nonaggressive Responses to Provocation Can Control Aggression, 477.

Applications, 479.

The Big Picture, 480.

Web Sites, 481.

Chapter 12: 484.

Prosocial Behavior: Helping Others, 484.


Why Do We Help? 486.

There are Two Basic Forms of Helping, 486.

Helping Is Consistent with Evolutionary Theory, 488.

Social Norms Define the Rules of Helping Others, 490.

Political and Social Class Differences Shape Willingness to Help, 490.

Individualists and Collectivists Differ in Their Helping Tendencies, 492.

Gender and Personality Influence Helping Responses, 493.

Learning to Be a Helper Involves Both Observation and Direct Reinforcement, 496.

When Do We Help? 500.

Bystander Intervention Involves a Series of Decisions, 500.

Outcome and Information Dependence Produces the Audience Inhibition Effect, 503.

Diffusion of Responsibility Increases with the Number of Bystanders, 505.

Bystander Intervention Is Also Shaped by Emotional

Arousal and Cost-Reward Assessments, 508.

Positive and Negative Moods Can Either Increase or Decrease Helping, 510.

The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis Contends that Empathy Produces Altruistic Motivation, 512.

Whom Do We Help? 516.

We Tend to Help Similar Others, 516.

We Help Deserving Others, but We Also Blame Victims, 518.

Are There Hidden Costs For Help Recipients? 520.

Being Unable to Reciprocate Help Can Create Stress, 520.

Receiving Help Can Threaten Self-Esteem, 521.

Applications, 523.

The Dig Picture, 524.

Web Sites, 524.

Appendix, 526.

Glossary, 540.

References, 548.

Text and Line and Credits, 606.

Photo Credits, 608.

Name Index, 610.

Subject Index, 626.

Social Psychology