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Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology, 4th Edition

Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology, 4th Edition

Susan T. Fiske

ISBN: 978-1-119-49210-8

Jul 2018

$47.50

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It is a nearly universal truth that people need people; humans have adapted to life with other humans, and the interactions and relationships that result are the most relevant adaptation environment. This book explores the core motives and goals that shape these interactions with others, with the self, and collectively as a group; in other words, “Why do people do what they do?” A brief overview of the field’s unifying themes—belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self, and trusting—gives way to a detailed exploration of the human condition as well as the techniques used to study and understand it.

By delving into the motivations behind attraction, helping, bias, persuasion, aggression, and more, this book helps students grasp the complex interplay of internal and external cues and influences that inform every interaction. An emphasis on real-world applications relates social psychology principles to everyday life, and this latest revision has been updated with the most recent research and trends to provide an accurate picture of the state of the field. Blending traditional topics with new developments in an informal, readable style makes this the ideal text to ignite students’ deeper interest and full engagement with social psychology concepts.

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PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION xv

PREFACE TO LATER EDITIONS xix

ABOUT THE AUTHOR xx

1 INTRODUCTION: ADAPTIVE MOTIVES FOR SOCIAL SITUATIONS, VIA CULTURES AND BRAINS 1

What Is Social Psychology?, 1

A Classic Definition, 3

Levels of Analysis, 4

Situationism, 5

The Major Intellectual Contribution of Social Psychology, 6

Situations versus Personalities, 7

The Power of Situations as an Evolutionary Adaptation, 9

Summary of Situationism, 11

A Note on the Social Brain, 11

Core Social Motives, 12

Five Unifying Themes in Social Psychology, 12

Belonging, 14

Understanding, 15

Controlling, 16

Self-enhancing, 18

Trusting, 19

Summary of Core Social Motives, 21

Culture and the Core Social Motives, 21

Summary of Culture and the Core Social Motives, 24

Key Features of Social Psychology’s Approach, 24

Broad Scope, 26

Cultural Mandate, 27

Scientific Methods, 27

Search for Wisdom, 28

Chapter Summary, 28

Suggestions for Further Reading, 29

2 SCIENTIFIC METHODS FOR STUDYING PEOPLE IN INTERACTION 30

Forming Hypotheses: Conceptualization, 31

Application as a Source of Hypotheses, 31

Theory as a Source of Hypotheses, 32

Hypotheses, 34

Variables, 35

Conceptual Variables, 36

Summary of Hypotheses, 36

Testing Hypotheses: Operationalization, 36

Operational Variables, 36

Levels of a Variable, 37

Scientific Standards in Operationalizing Variables, 39

From Concept to Operation: Some Examples, 41

Summary of Testing Hypotheses via Operationalization, 43

Choosing a Research Strategy, 43

Descriptive Research, 43

Correlational Research, 47

Experimental Research, 52

Methodological Challenges in Social Setting, 60

Expectancy Effects and Motives to Belong, 60

Participant Construal and Motives to Understand, 61

Demand Characteristics and Motives to Control, 61

Social Desirability and Motives to Self-Enhance, 62

Positivity Biases and Motives to Trust, 62

Summary of Methodological Challenges in Social Settings, 62

Ethics in Research, 63

Ethical Dilemmas, 63

Ethical Decisions, 64

Summary of Ethics in Research, 64

Chapter Summary, 65

Suggestions for Further Reading, 65

3 ORDINARY PERSONOLOGY: FIGURING OUT WHY PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY DO 66

What Is Ordinary Personology, 67

Conceptual Definition, 68

Operational Definitions, 71

Core Social Motives, 72

Summary of Definitions and Core Social Motives in Personology, 74

Nonverbal Behavior: Understanding Feeling, 74

Conceptual and Operational Definitions, 74

Doing and Detecting Deception, 76

Attraction and Coordination, 77

Gaze, Attention, and Intention, 78

Summary of Nonverbal Behavior, 78

Attribution of Dispositions: Understanding Traits, 79

Heider’s Attribution Theory: The Naïve Psychology of Traits, 79

Inferring Traits from Other People’s Behaviors, 81

Inferring Dispositions from Our Own Behavior, 88

Schachter’s Two-Factor Theory of Attributing Emotion, 90

Summary of Dispositional Attribution Theories, 92

Errors and Biases in Attribution: Controlling and Self-Enhancing, 93

Believing Someone Is in Control: Ignoring the Hidden Power of Situations, 93

Explaining the Dispositional Bias in Attributions, 95

Self-Enhancing Attributions: Feeling Good by Credit and Blame, 98

Normative and Descriptive Models, 100

Mind Perception, 100

Chapter Summary, 101

Suggestions for Further Reading, 102

4 SOCIAL COGNITION: MAKING SENSE OF OTHERS 103

What Is Social Cognition?, 104

Conceptual Definition, 104

Operational Definition, 104

Core Social Motives, 104

Summary of Definitions and Core Motives, 108

Accuracy and Inaccuracy: People Seek Good-Enough Understanding, 109

Accuracy of Impressions, 109

Inferences and Heuristics, 113

Summary of Accuracy and Inaccuracy, 121

Expectations: People Understand and Trust the Familiar, 121

Impression Formation before the Cognitive Revolution: A Tale of Two Processes, 122

Mental Representations in Other Domains of Psychology, 125

Kinds of Expectations, 125

Uses of Social Expectations, 129

Expectations Develop and Change, 132

Mental Representation of Specific Experience, 132

Summary of Expectations, 133

Goals, Automaticity, and Control: People Can’t Always Control What They Think, 133

Automaticity, the New Unconscious, 134

Goals That Prompt Automaticity and Control, 140

Chapter Summary, 141

Suggestions for Further Reading, 142

5 THE SELF: SOCIAL TO THE CORE 144

What Is the Self?, 144

Conceptual Definitions, 145

Operational Definitions, 146

Core Social Motives, 148

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 150

Self-Concepts: Understanding the Self, 150

The Rich, Elaborate, Complex Self: The Self Is Not a Bowling Ball, 152

The Coherent Self: The Self Is Not Just Scattered Bowling Pins, 154

How People Get to Know Themselves, 156

Self-Enhancement versus Self-Verification, 160

Cultural Differences: Interdependent and Independent Self-Concepts, 162

Summary of Self-Concepts, 167

Self and Emotion: Enhancing the Self, 167

Biases in Self-Esteem, 167

Self-Discrepancy Theory, 169

Self-Evaluation Maintenance Theory, 172

Affective Forecasting, 173

Summary of Self and Emotion, 173

Self and Behavior: Wanting to Belong, 174

Self-Presentation Contexts, 174

Strategic Self-Presentation, 176

Self-Monitoring, 179

Self-Regulation, 181

Chapter Summary, 182

Suggestions for Further Reading, 182

6 ATTITUDES AND PERSUASION: CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS 184

What Are Attitudes? The Importance of Being Persuasive, 185

Conceptual Definitions, 185

Operational Definitions, 186

Core Social Motives as Functions of Attitudes, 189

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 192

How Attitudes Form via Affect First: Understanding What to Approach or Avoid, 192

Learning Theories, 193

Emotional Appraisal, 195

Mere Exposure, 196

Automatic and Implicit Attitudes, 196

The Importance of Affect and Emotion, 197

Can People Control Affectively Formed Attitudes? Prejudice as a Critical Case, 198

Summary of Attitude Formation via Affect, 205

Attitude Change via Discomfort with Contradiction: Understanding as Cognitive Consistency, 206

Theories of Cognitive Consistency, 206

Dissonance Theory, 206

Summary of Attitude Change via Discomfort, 210

Attitude Change via Understanding Persuasive Communication, 211

Yale Communication and Persuasion Approach, 211

Dual-Process Persuasion Models, 213

Summary of Persuasive Communication, 216

When and Why Attitudes Matter: Predicting Behavior via Understanding and Belonging, 217

Attitudes Don’t Always Predict Behavior, 217

When Attitudes Do Predict Behavior, 219

Summary of Attitude–Behavior Research, 222

Chapter Summary, 223

Suggestions for Further Reading, 224

7 ATTRACTION: INITIATING ROMANCE, FRIENDSHIP, AND OTHER RELATIONSHIPS 225

Attraction in Daily Life and in Science, 225

Conceptual Definitions, 226

Operational Definitions, 226

Core Social Motives, 227

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 228

Mere Exposure, 229

Proximity, 230

Summary of Familiarity, 231

Physical Attractiveness: Liking Those Who Look Good (and Enhance Us), 231

Images of Attractive People, 231

Functions of Physical Attractiveness Stereotypes, 232

Qualifications of Physical Attractiveness Effects, 233

Conclusion: Linking Physical Attractiveness to Other Principles, 234

Similarity: Liking Those Like Us (Understandable and Enhancing), 234

Balancing Friends and Attitudes, 235

Becoming a Unit, 236

Complementarity in Attraction, 237

Explaining the Similarity–Attraction Principle, 238

Summary of Similarity, 239

Reciprocity: Liking Those Who Like (and Enhance) Us, 239

Direct Reciprocity, 239

Reciprocal Liking via Good Moods, 241

Reciprocal Liking via Rewards, 241

Exception to Reciprocity? Evoking Dissonance and Playing Hard to Get, 242

Reciprocity via Sex or Resources: Who Reciprocates What?, 242

Summary of Reciprocity, 244

Chapter Summary, 245

Suggestions for Further Reading, 245

8 CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS: PASSION, INTERDEPENDENCE, COMMITMENT, AND INTIMACY 246

What Is a Close Relationship?, 246

Conceptual Definitions, 246

Operational Definitions, 251

Variations: Love, Family, and Friendship across Culture, Age, Gender, and Sexual Orientation, 253

Core Social Motives, 256

Summary of Definitions, Variations, and Motives, 257

Interdependence: Controlling and Trusting, 257

Interdependence, Control, and Emotion, 257

Commitment and Accommodation, 263

(Mis)handling Conflict, 264

Summary of Interdependence, 266

Attachment: Belonging and Trusting, 267

Theoretical Background, 267

Styles of Belonging: Attachment Models and Relationships, 268

Summary of Attachment, 271

Social Norms: Belonging and Understanding, 271

Equity and Exchange, 272

Communal and Exchange Relationships, 272

Relational Models Theory, 273

Summary of Norms, 274

Chapter Summary, 274

Suggestions for Further Reading, 275

9 HELPING: PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR 276

What Is Prosocial Behavior?, 276

Conceptual Definitions, 276

Operational Definitions, 277

Core Social Motives, 280

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 281

Egoism Hypotheses: Purely Self-Enhancing and Controlling, 282

Kin Selection, 283

Social Learning, 284

Mood Protection, 287

Summary of Egoism Hypotheses, 291

Altruism Hypotheses: Maintaining Trust in the World as Benevolent, 292

Attributions of Responsibility, 293

Empathy, Sympathy, and Altruism, 296

Summary of Altruism Hypotheses, 300

Collectivism: Maintaining Group Belonging, 301

Similarity and Group Identity, 302

Norms, 304

Individual Differences in Group Prosocial Orientation, 305

Summary of Collectivism Hypotheses, 306

Principlism: Moral Understanding, 306

Moral Reasoning, 307

Reasoning or Rationale?, 309

Personal Norms and Values, 310

Summary of Principlism Hypotheses, 312

Chapter Summary, 312

Suggestions for Further Reading, 314

10 AGGRESSION: ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR 315

What Is Aggression?, 316

Conceptual Definitions, 316

Operational Definitions, 317

Chronic Social Issues: Aggression and Social Artifacts, 319

Core Social Motives, 324

Summary of Definitions, Social Issues, and Motives, 327

Cognitive Theories of Aggression: Antisocial Understanding, 327

Social Learning: Understanding How and When, 328

Cognitive Structural Approaches: Understanding What Habits of Aggression to Acquire and Why, 329

Attributional Approaches: Understanding Why, 334

Summary of Cognitive Theories, 336

Conflict: Controlling Others, 336

Frustration–Aggression Hypothesis, 336

Controlling the Weak, 338

Controlling the Strong: Terrorism as Frustration–Aggression, 340

Summary of Control Theories, 341

Protecting One’s Image: Self-Enhancement, 341

Narcissistic Rage, 341

Culture of Honor, 343

Summary of Self-Enhancement Theories, 344

Chapter Summary, 344

Suggestions for Further Reading, 345

11 STEREOTYPING, PREJUDICE, AND DISCRIMINATION: SOCIAL BIASES 346

What Are Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, 347

Conceptual Definitions, 347

Operational Definitions, 348

Core Social Motives, 349

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 352

Subtle Bias: (Mis)understanding Others but Enhancing Self, 352

Cool and Indirect Biases: Modern Racism and Subtle Prejudice, 354

Automatic Biases: Categorization and Associations, 356

Ambiguous Biases: Excuses, 359

Ambivalent Biases: Mixed Feelings, 360

Summary of Subtle Biases: Automatic, Ambiguous, Ambivalent, 364

Subtle Bias Is Socially Useful: Belonging and Controlling, 364

Subtle Bias Predicts Deniable Discrimination, 365

Self-fulfilling Prophecies Create Confirming Behavior, 365

Socially Communicated Biases Build Ingroup Cohesion, 366

Accuracy Would Make Stereotypes Useful, 367

Summary and Conclusion Regarding Functions of Subtle Bias, 370

Blatant Bias: Belonging with the Ingroup, Controlling Outgroup Threats, and Enhancing the Self, 371

Realistic Group Conflict Theory: Threat to Resources, 371

Social Identity, Self-Categorization, and Related Theories: Threat to Group Identity, 372

Authoritarianism: Threat to Values, 375

Social Dominance Orientation: Threat to Group Status, 377

System Justification: Threats to the Status Quo, 378

Summary of Blatant Bias, 379

Effects of Bias on Targets: Belonging, Controlling, and Self-Enhancing, 379

Collective Identity and Well-being, 379

Attributional Ambiguity, 381

Stereotype Threat, 382

Summary of Target Responses to Bias, 383

Strategies for Change: Constructive Intergroup Contact Can Control Bias, 384

Chapter Summary, 386

Suggestions for Further Reading, 387

12 SMALL GROUPS: ONGOING INTERACTIONS 389

What Is a Group?, 390

Conceptual Definitions, 390

Operational Definitions, 395

Core Social Motives, 397

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 401

Group Membership: Belonging, 402

Social Identity Operates in Context, 402

Attraction to the Group Fosters Cohesion, 404

Diversity Both Challenges and Facilitates the Group, 405

Joining a Group Occurs in Stages, 406

Summary of Group Belonging, 407

Socially Shared Cognition: Understanding Group Structure, 407

All Norms Are Local, 409

Roles Include Leadership and Much More, 413

Subgroups: Minorities and Majorities, 416

Summary of Group Cognition, 418

Performance: Understanding and Controlling, 418

Decision-Making, 418

Productivity, 421

Summary of Group Performance, 423

Conflict Within Groups: Controlling, 423

Social Dilemmas, 424

Negotiation, 425

Chapter Summary, 426

Suggestions for Further Reading, 427

13 SOCIAL INFLUENCE: DOING WHAT OTHERS DO AND SAY 428

What Is Social Influence?, 429

Conceptual Definitions, 429

Operational Definitions, 429

Core Social Motives: Belonging, Understanding, Controlling, Self-Enhancing, and Trusting, 430

Summary of Definitions and Motives, 431

Conformity: Belonging and Understanding by Doing What Others Do, 431

Classic Studies: Sherif and Asch, 431

Conformity Processes: Fairly Automatic, 433

Minority Influence: Another Process, 434

Self-Categorization Theory: Conforming to Social Reality, 435

Memes, Modern Myths, Rumors, and Gossip, 436

Summary of Conformity, 437

Obedience: Belonging, Controlling, Trusting, and Understanding by Doing What Others Say, 437

Social Forces: Milgram, 437

Power: Control Resources and Maintain Belonging, 440

Summary of Obedience, 445

Compliance: Strategies to Understand Self, Maintain Belonging, and Control Resources, 445

Understanding Self as Consistent, 445

Belonging via Reciprocity, Liking, and Approval, 446

Controlling Resources by Valuing Freedom and Scarcity, 447

Summary of Compliance, 448

Chapter Summary, 448

Suggestions for Further Reading, 449

14 CONCLUSION: SOCIAL BEINGS 450

Social to the Core: Situations, Adaptation, Culture, and Core Motives, 450

Belonging: Focus on Norms, Roles, and Identity, 450

Within Individuals, 451

Between Individuals, 451

Groups, 451

Belonging: Key to Life, 452

Understanding: Focus on Gestalts and Cognition, 452

Within Individuals, 453

Between Individuals, 454

Groups, 454

Understanding: Thinking Is for Doing, 455

Controlling: Focus on Outcomes, 455

Within Individuals, 455

Between Individuals, 455

Groups, 456

Controlling: Contingencies of Cost and Benefit, 456

Enhancing Self: Focus on Defense and Improvement, 457

Within Individuals, 457

Between Individuals, 457

Groups, 458

Enhancing Self: Varieties of Ways to Keep Going, 458

Trusting: Focus on Positivity and Attachment, 458

Within Individuals, 458

Between Individuals, 459

Groups, 459

Trusting: Keeping the World Benevolent, 459

Conclusion: The Social Psychological Enterprise, 459

REFERENCES 460

AUTHOR INDEX 532

SUBJECT INDEX 561

New to this Edition:

  • New coverage of cutting-edge topics including embodied cognition, mind perception, emotion, terrorism, and homosexual close relationships
  • Inclusion of social neuroscience perspectives throughout the topic discussions, mirroring the current trends in the field
  • Updated coverage of the latest research pertaining to both core topics and new explorations 

Wiley Advantage:

  • Blends classic and contemporary topics to build a more relevant understanding of the field
  • Integrates cultural considerations throughout, rather than as a separate topic
  • Draws on the latest research, classical and contemporary fiction, and examples from students themselves
  • Emphasizes applications including health, law, politics, marketing, and more
  • Builds from well-designed pedagogy to logically flow from the intrapersonal, to the interpersonal, to group dynamics
  • Introduces social psychology fundamentals in a uniquely engaging manner