Social Psychology: The Study of Human Interaction

Social Psychology: The Study of Human Interaction

Social Psychology: The Study of Human Interaction

Social Psychology: The Study of Human Interaction

Excerpt

This book began as a revision of the senior author's Social Psychology, published in 1950. It has emerged as a totally new work: its organization is wholly new and so is the greater part of its content-hardly a paragraph of the earlier work reappears. After all, it can fairly be argued that the field of social psychology is moving apace. In the single area of small-group studies, according to Hare (1962), bibliographic references increased from an average of 43 a year during the ten years before 1950 to more than 150 annually during the four years beginning in 1950, with no evident slackening during the past decade. Not only do we now have far more data; we also have more substantial bases for inclusive perspectives. Such considerations led us to rebuild rather than to remodel.

Some readers with long memories will nevertheless note similarities between this and the earlier work. We have aimed at flow and continuity from chapter to chapter; it is for this reason that the almost totally new material on the measurement of individuals' attitudes and public opinion, and on interaction process analysis now appears in appendixes, rather than in chapters of the text. We have not attempted to perform the functions of handbooks and compendiums of research findings. We have tried, rather, to be selective in citing comparatively few investigations which, we hope, are not only worthy of being described at some length but are also woven into the text. We have continued the use of research illustrations like those that appeared in the opening pages of each of the 1950 chapters, now formally titling them as such and introducing a few of them in each chapter.

The present work continues, though in more explicit and formal fashion, the earlier emphasis on human interaction. Because we have taken seriously the earlier intention "to frame nearly every kind of social-psychological problem in terms of psychological processes which take their particular form from the interactional context in which they occur," we have added the subtitle, The study of human interaction.

Any textbook in social psychology nowadays must necessarily be selective, and our basis for inclusion and exclusion has been our conviction . . .

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