The Scientific Study of Social Behaviour

The Scientific Study of Social Behaviour

The Scientific Study of Social Behaviour

The Scientific Study of Social Behaviour

Excerpt

This book is intended for students of psychology and of the other social sciences, to give a guide to the procedures and results in this rapidly growing field. I hope that it will not be regarded as a 'textbook of social psychology', of which thereare many already--often illustrating a particular theoretical viewpoint with a congeries of experiments, quasi-experiments, and other people's opinions. Here only part of social psychology is dealt with-- the part dealing with the study of social interaction--the fields of socialisation and personality being excluded. An effort has been made to put facts before theory, and to set out what facts have been discovered about social behaviour by reference to a substantial proportion of the valid research which has been done. The various theories are then examined in the light of this evidence.

It is hoped that the book will also be of interest to others outside the strict category of 'students', since many of the results reported are of direct relevance to social administrators, while the methods of research described could be readily applied to the solution of practical problems.

If I had not written this book I could have spent more time interviewing, observing, and calculating. Nevertheless I have learnt a great deal myself, and hope that this attempt to survey an important new field will be of some interest and value to others.

MICHAEL ARGYLE

Institute of Experimental Psychology, Oxford
May 1955 . . .

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