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Theories in Social Psychology

Derek Chadee (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3122-6
320 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Theories in Social Psychology (1444331221) cover image


Theories in Social Psychology is an edited volume that identifies and discusses in-depth the important theoretical perspectives and theories that underlie the discipline of social psychology.
  • The only current book focusing specifically on the theories within social psychology
  • Brings together a range of distinguished scholars in the field of social psychology – including Bertram F. Malle, Paul R. Nail, Richard E. Petty, Thomas Mussweiler, Faye J. Crosby, Miles Hewstone, Richard J. Crisp and Mein Koslowsky
  • Critically discusses important perspectives and theories in the discipline allowing a deeper understanding of the theoretical framework
  • Allows students and academics to reflect on theories and opens up future areas of enquiry
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.



Part I: Social Cognition:

1. Toward Freedom: Reactance Theory Revisited (Derek Chadee, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine).

2. Inconsistency in Cognition: Cognitive Dissonance (Paul R. Nail and Kurt A. Boniecki, University of Central Arkansas).

3. Attribution Theories: How People Make Sense of Behavior (Bertram F. Malle, Brown University).

4. The Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion: Thoughtful and Non-Thoughtful Social Influence (Benjamin C. Wagner and Richard E. Petty, Ohio State University).

Part II: Social Comparison:

5. Social Comparison: Motives, Standards, and Mechanisms (Katja Corcoran, Jan Crusius, and Thomas Mussweiler, University of Cologne).

6. Relative Deprivation: Understanding the Dynamics of Discontent (Jenny Carrillo, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Alexandra F. Corning, University of Notre Dame, Tara C. Dennehy, San Francisco State University, and Faye J. Crosby, University of California, Santa Cruz).

Part III: Social Reinforcement:

7. Evaluating Fairness: Critical Assessment of Equity Theory (Denise M. Polk, West Chester University of Pennsylvania).

8. Interdependence in Social Interaction (Ann C. Rumble, Ohio University-Chillicothe).

Part IV: Self:

9. Self-Categorization and Social Identification: Making Sense of Us and Them (Katharina Schmid, Miles Hewstone, New College, University of Oxford), and Ananthi Al Ramiah, University of Oxford).

10. Social Categorization Theories: From Culture to Cognition (Richard J. Crisp, University of Kent and Angela T. Maitner, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates).

11. Symbolic Interactionism: From Gestalt to Cybernetics (Andreas Schneider, Texas Tech University).

12. Impression Management: Influencing Perceptions of Self (Meni Koslowsky and Shani Pindek, Bar-Ilan University).

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Derek Chadee is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Behavioural Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, where he is also Director of the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre. He is co-editor of Current Themes in Social Psychology (2006) with Jason Young, and has been published in numerous journals including the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, the British Journal of Criminology, International Victimization, and Media and Culture.
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“Theories in Social Psychologyis a handy resource for researchers and students of social psychology Theories in Social Psychologyis a handy resource for researchers and students of social psychology.”  (Dharma Deepika, 1 June 2013)

This exciting volume, with contributions from major social psychological scientists, calls attention to the fundamental truth that theories are what our enterprise is all about. And that beyond the fads, the fashions and the Zeitgeists, beyond sexy findings and fancy effects, our understanding of human social behavior boils down to our theoretical knowledge of the processes involved. A must read for all those for whom social psychology is near and dear to their hearts and minds.
Arie W. Kruglanski, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, USA

"This volume contains a solid presentation of major theories in social psychology. The historical roots, tenets, and research substantiation of a broad range of theories are laid out in a lucid and detailed manner. Contemporary applications addressing everyday situations in an ever interconnected social world increase the book's utility across parent disciplines."
Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, Jack Reilly Professor of Child and Family Studies, Syracuse University, New York, USA.

“Nothing is as practical as a good theory,” wrote Kurt Lewin, the founder of modern social psychology. I interpret it to mean that although theories are abstract and theoretical, they could be the source of practical applications in the real world of phenomena and social structures. Theories in their best form are organizational, generational, and inspirational. They organize the existing findings and concepts in a given domain of knowledge. They generate new hypotheses that can be put to test experimentally. And they inspire researchers to engage in new research they might not have thought of prior to the existence of particular theories.

In this wonderful compilation of theories, at the core of modern social psychology, presented to us by Derek Chadee, we are given a special gift that enriches scholars, teachers and students of psychology in social and general psychology. We are treated to a clear exposition of these theories, some of the research and controversy that each has generated, and are given some guidelines to new paths for future exploration of their implications. My research career has benefitted from working in the domains of dissonance, attribution, and social comparison theories, but my teaching and textbook writing has relied on all of the theories and their concepts so elegantly orchestrated here.
Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

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