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Introducing Social Psychology

ISBN: 978-0-7456-1093-1
544 pages
November 2001, Polity
Introducing Social Psychology (0745610935) cover image


This book offers an accessible and broadly conceived introduction to social psychology. Written in a lucid and lively style, it assumes no prior knowledge of the field, and is the ideal textbook to get students thinking about the subject.

The volume covers the main issues of social psychology ? as well as many classic studies ? such as self and personality, interpersonal relations, language and communication, altruism and aggression, group processes, attitudes, and intergroup relations. What sets this book apart is its coverage of less orthodox topics which are often neglected in introductions of this kind. These areas include emotions, social and moral development, social representations, health and illness, employment and unemployment, and the implications of these fields for social policy. The result is an unusually rich and wide-ranging presentation of social psychology, drawing together a deliberately varied range of methodology and theory.

The currently dominant cognitive and psychological approach to social psychology receives systematic consideration in a number of chapters, but its focus on individuals and face-to-face interaction is continually related to broader social concerns and contexts. This is achieved through the use of cross-cultural and historical comparisons, together with an awareness of the contributions that can be made by related social sciences. The authors aim to show that social psychology illuminates the whole of social life, including everyday issues faced by all of us.

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Table of Contents

1. A Brief Introduction.

PART I: The Social Individual.

2. Personality and the Self.

3. Cognition and Social Behaviour.

4. Emotion.

5. Language and Communication.

PART II: Social Interaction and Relationships.

6. The Development of Social Relationships.

7. Interpersonal Relationships.

8. Interaction in Groups.

9. Altruism and Aggression.

PART 111: Understanding the Social World.

10. The Development of Moral Reasoning.

11. Perceiving and Understanding People.

12. Attitudes and Actions.

13. Attitude Organization and Change.

14. Social Representations.

PART IV: Social Issues.

15. Prejudice and Intergroup Relations.

16. The World of Paid Work.

17. Health and Illness.

18. Social Psychology and Policy.

PART V: The Nature of Social Psychology.

19. Research Methods.

20. The Nature of Social Psychology.


Picture Credits.


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Colin Fraser is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and was formerly a University Lecturer in Social Psychology at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.

Brendan Burchell is a University Lecturer in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Churchill College.

Gerard Duveen was formerly University Lecturer in Social and Developmental Psychology at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

Dale Hay is a Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Cardiff.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Clear, accessible and attractive introduction to social psychology

  • Written and designed as a core textbook for students approaching the subject for the first time

  • Covers all the main topics of social psychology as well as some topics not normally covered in textbooks of this kind (such as emotions, social and moral development, and social representations)
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