Afterword: Reflecting on
ReflectionsRobert V. Levine and Aroldo Rodrigues
In the previous chapters nine legends of experimental social psychology look back
on the field they helped to create. The chapters do not fit neatly together. But what
else should we expect? If we invite nine authorities to sit around a table, we should
be prepared for a many-sided conversation. In fact, we hoped for such a conversation and the present authors did not disappoint us. But although the chapters diverge on many levels, there are several common themes worth noting.
Kurt LewinWith the exception of Pepitone's detailed review of early social psychology textbooks, there is here little reference -- and certainly little sense of intimate connection -- to roots going back as far as 100 years or, for that matter, to very much before Kurt Lewin in the late 1930s. When Berkowitz goes back to early textbooks,
for example, he begins with Newcomb and
Hartley 1947 Readings in Social Psychology. Partly, of course, this simply reflects Berkowitz's choice to focus on the
times he lived through rather than those he just read about. But it also speaks to
the perceptible roots of the field as it is practiced today. In textbooks much older
than Newcomb and Hartley, the tables of contents are not just broader and more
interdisciplinary than those of textbooks today, as Berkowitz points out, but
seem almost unrelated to the topic areas as defined in current books.If we look, for example, at a late edition of William McDougall 1908 Introduction to Social Psychology (which Pepitone describes as the "other" pioneer social psychology textbook), we find an almost unrecognizable table of contents
( McDougall, 1923). The first section ("The Mental Characters of Man of Primary
Importance for His Life in Society") contains the following chapters:
|"The Nature of Instincts and Their Place in the Constitution of the Human
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology.
Contributors: Aroldo Rodrigues - Editor, Robert V. Levine - Editor.
Publisher: Basic Books.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 215.
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