A Distinctive Approach to Psychological Research: The Influence of Stanley Schachter

A Distinctive Approach to Psychological Research: The Influence of Stanley Schachter

A Distinctive Approach to Psychological Research: The Influence of Stanley Schachter

A Distinctive Approach to Psychological Research: The Influence of Stanley Schachter

Excerpt

The contributions of any individual can be direct or indirect. For a scientist or scholar, direct contributions are made through research and teaching. Indirect contributions are made through the contributions of those individuals whom we teach. The influence of an individual depends on both types of contributions. To succeed at either type is notable; to succeed at both types is extraordinary.

Stanley Schachter's direct contributions are well-known and are widely cited in original investigations, scholarly reviews, and textbooks and courses in general psychology, social psychology, and health psychology. Schachter's distinctive approach to psychological research has broken new ground in the study of deviance, affiliation, emotions, obesity, cigarette smoking, and the psychology of money; has delighted and interested uncountable numbers of undergraduates; has impressed or infuriated uncountable numbers of colleagues; and has indelibly influenced the style and thinking of his graduate students.

In addition to the direct contribution of the particular content areas of his research, Schachter has made major contributions in unfolding and enlightening domains of psychology in which he is not usually associated. The growth of interest in social cognition and its basis in attribution theory are developments foreshadowed by Schachter's work in cognitive attributions as factors in emotional behavior. Indeed, much of the health-psychology attribution research has clear roots in Schachter's work. In an era when social psychology was an almost self-contained entity, divorced even from many aspects of general experimental psychology, Schachter has always considered the broader context in which social behavior was embedded. This is most apparent in his appreciation and consideration of biological processes in the under-

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