Social Psychology Interpreted

Social Psychology Interpreted

Social Psychology Interpreted

Social Psychology Interpreted

Excerpt

This volume is intended for students who are beginning the study of social psychology. As the title indicates it is an introduction to social psychology. This work has grown out of the author's experience in teaching this particular phase of psychology to undergraduates. The volume attempts to supply what the author feels is a genuine need, namely, a survey of leading problems that in one form or another have engaged the attention of students in this field. Social psychology, in some respects the most important of all psychologies, is characterized by an indefiniteness of both subject-matter and method unknown in any other branch of science. These two leading problems comprehend all others. As long as the student is ignorant of their origin, he can be only a reader of books. As long as they remain indefinite, he may be expected to become a learner of this or that aspect of social psychology without becoming in any real sense a student.

The nature of social psychology is such that it cannot in its present stage of development be known without recourse to its history. For this reason considerable space has been given to historical considerations. The close relation of social psychology to sociology, history and anthropology is sufficient reason for pursuing it from a historical point of view.

Social psychology on the other hand is a living subject. For this reason the student should be taught to discover it in the daily lives of communities and individuals. The major illustrations in the text are generally presented at length for the purpose of illustrating methods of study. It is the author's conviction that in the study of social psychology, class room discussions may be conveniently supplemented by the study of concrete cases. Students should be required to make detailed reports of specific social situations. In this respect the teacher of social psychology is especially favored--his laboratory is all about him. He cannot escape it even if he would; his very . . .

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