Social Psychology in Life

Social Psychology in Life

Social Psychology in Life

Social Psychology in Life

Excerpt

At no period in the history of psychology has a challenge to one area of psychology been greater than is the present challenge to social psychology. The vast strides in the civil rights movement, the focus on the poverty problem, the problem of violence in our culture, and the assassinations of a number of significant political and social leaders in the recent past--all these present a tremendous challenge to the social psychologist in the university setting to at least provide perspective for his students on such developments. We feel strongly that this challenge should be met in introductory psychology courses in general, and in social psychology courses in particular.

In most textbooks for such courses, although the student is briefly exposed to at least some perspective on social problems of immediate interest to him, the social problems are frequently presented in the context of artificial, simulated, experimental situations, rather than in the context of real life. The student too often is asked to learn the rules and language of a "research game," and instead of having the opportunity to relate the principles of this game to significant real-life problems, he finds himself bogged down in learning the rules of the game for their own sake.

This situation as related to many college courses concerned with experimental methodology was described very bluntly by . . .

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