Fundamentals of Social Psychology

Fundamentals of Social Psychology

Fundamentals of Social Psychology

Fundamentals of Social Psychology

Excerpt

The race of humanology and technology, with civilization as the prize, has challenged all social scientists to review their theories and to redouble their research efforts. The present volume is an effort to integrate thinking and findings in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and psychiatry, to provide an outline of basic principles governing the nature of human interaction. Our feeling has been that a well-grounded general theory can be of tremendous value in guiding seekers for answers, while specific answers represented by discrete studies tend to be rather limited in the scope of their utility.

In reviewing past research, instead of being satisfied with sheer summary, we have consistently sought for principles that might help in the understanding of social behavior. On key problems, where no directly relevant research has been done, we have tried to find signposts and cues to the directions in which answers might lie.

Although we have resisted the temptation to be encyclopedic, we have tried, where possible, to make principles explicit and to describe selected objective studies which corroborate them. In addition, we have attempted to stay within the boundaries of social psychology, as we conceive it, drawing as needed from related fields, but trying to keep the overlap with courses in general psychology, personality, and introductory sociology to a minimum.

We have organized our presentation in three parts. Part One deals with communication, Part Two discusses socialization, and Part Three examines the functioning of the individual in the group. Each part is, of course, interrelated with the other two, but we have tried to write them so that each can stand as a unit. Our organization represents what for us is a logical approach to the subject matter, but we realize full well the importance of flexibility in organization to meet the variety of pedagogical and psychological needs encountered across the country. It was this consideration that led us to write the sections as we did even though that has resulted in a certain amount of repetitiveness. In actual classroom use, therefore, teachers can feel free to reorder the . . .

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