Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology

By Aroldo Rodrigues; Robert V. Levine | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
Actually, although both groups tended to favor their own religions, the group identification effect was significant only for the Catholic subjects. I was very impressed with this study, but I don't recall Festinger's ever citing it or referring to it, suggesting that perhaps it did not meet his later standards.
2.
The social scientists on the staff of the Office of Naval Research and other military agencies were often hard-pressed to defend before their superiors the support for basic research in experimental social psychology. We are deeply indebted to people such as Luigi Petrullo of the Group Psychology Branch and others for their dedication in this regard. Though we had considerable freedom in selecting our areas of research, our contract officers would often give us the current buzzwords to use in the section of our proposals in which we were asked to indicate relevance for the military -- for example, "These findings on social power are especially important for consideration by military officers in the manner in which they exercise their authority," or, "The research on group cohesiveness and group effectiveness has relevance for the operation of residents of naval facilities in isolated communities." Later the buzzwords became more ominous, such as justifying how the research might be relevant to counterinsurgency. Yet I do not believe that the social psychologists involved felt pressed to alter what we wished to study.
3.
Note that we listed "information" only as a means of influence in our original paper ( French & Raven, 1959) but I later logically included it as a basis of power ( Raven, 1965).
4.
The Harwood Manufacturing studies also represent one instance in which experimental social psychology was portrayed in a very popular Broadway musical, The Pajama Game. The basic theme of the musical parallels the discussion by Marrow ( 1969, pp. 141 ff.), a struggle between the industrial advocates of the time/motion, work efficiency orientation of Frederick Taylor and the group participation, human relations approach of Kurt Lewin.
5.
This process of escalation has been described as a "runaway norm" The analogy would be a thermostat in which the element was altered so that each increase in temperature resulted in a further increase, rather than a decrease, in the heat supply ( Raven, 1974).
6.
The model also includes referent and expert power as "subjective" norms.
7.
In providing an overview of experimental social psychology, this collection of essays may be rather restricted in that all of the contributors are strongly identified and committed to the approach to social psychology. This brief section of my chapter is intended to give at least some recognition of alternative views.
8.
I have found it personally exciting to apply basic theory and research developed through experimental social psychology to the analysis of nonquantitative historical data. See my analysis of the "Nixon group" ( Raven, 1974), two publications applying the power/interaction model to the analysis confrontations between political figures ( Gold & Raven, 1992; Raven, 1990), and my application of the model to an analysis of religion as a mechanism of social control ( Raven, in press).

References

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. ( 1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Allport, F. H. ( 1924). Social psychology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

-131-

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