Principles of Social Psychology

Written by: Dr. Charles Stangor (University of Maryland) with updates from Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani (Kwantien Polytechnic University) and Dr. Hammond Tarry (Capilano University)

Originally published in 2011, this textbook on the Principles of Social Psychology was updated in 2014 with contributions from Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani and Dr. Hammond Tarry.

The 2014 edition, or 1st International Edition, included video clips and a variety of other “web” features. Dr. Jhangiani is with the Kwantien Polytechnic University and Dr. Tarry is with Capilano University. When Dr. Charles Stangor, University of Maryland, wrote this textbook; his intention was to encourage students to be critical thinkers. A bit refreshing was his comment in the preface that he didn’t expect students to remember the details of a study that was discussed in class 10 years later. His hope was that his former students would be able to critically analyze new situations based on the concepts that study presented.

Stanger wants students to focus more on the forest than the trees. He presents the material based upon two underlying principles that are essential to social psychology:

1. Person and situation (the classic treatment)
2. The ABCs of social psychology (affect, behavior and cognition)

The discussions are also framed around the human motivations of self-concern and other-concern.

Table of Contents

1. Introducing Social Psychology
Defining Social Psychology: History and Principles
Affect, Behavior, and Cognition
Conducting Research in Social Psychology
2. Social Cognition
Sources of Social Knowledge
How We Use Our Expectations
Social Cognition and Affect
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Social Cognition
3. The Self
The Cognitive Self: The Self-Concept
The Feeling Self: Self-Esteem
The Social Self: The Role of the Social Situation
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about the Self
4. Attitudes, Behavior, and Persuasion
Exploring Attitudes
Changing Attitudes through Persuasion
Changing Attitudes by Changing Behavior
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Attitudes, Behavior, and Persuasion
5. Perceiving Others
Initial Impression Formation
Inferring Dispositions Using Causal Attribution
Biases in Attribution
Individual Differences in Person Perception
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Person Perception
6. Influencing and Conforming
The Many Varieties of Conformity
Obedience, Power, and Leadership
Person, Gender, and Cultural Differences in Conformity
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Social Influence
7. Liking and Loving
Initial Attraction
Close Relationships: Liking and Loving over the Long Term
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Liking and Loving
8. Helping and Altruism
Understanding Altruism: Self and Other Concerns
The Role of Affect: Moods and Emotions
How the Social Context Influences Helping
Other Determinants of Helping
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Altruism
9. Agression
Defining Aggression
The Biological and Emotional Causes of Aggression
The Violence around Us: How the Social Situation Influences Aggression
Personal and Cultural Influences on Aggression
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Aggression
10. Working Groups: Performance and Decision Making
Understanding Social Groups
Group Performance
Group Decision Making
Improving Group Performance and Decision Making
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Social Groups
11. Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Social Categorization and Stereotyping
Ingroup Favoritism and Prejudice
Reducing Discrimination
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Stereotyping, Prejudice, and

12. Competition and Cooperation in Our Social Worlds
Conflict, Cooperation, Morality, and Fairness
How the Social Situation Creates Conflict: The Role of Social Dilemmas
Strategies for Producing Cooperation
Thinking Like a Social Psychologist about Cooperation and Competition

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Principles of Social Psychology

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