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Social Psychology For Dummies

Book Description

Written for psychology students, Social Psychology For Dummies is an accessible and entertaining introduction to the field. Social Psychology For Dummies follows a typical university course, which makes it the perfect reference if you're in need of a clear (and enjoyable) overview of the topic. Whether you plan is to get ahead of the game or make up for lost time, we have you covered.

Online accessible review questions for each chapter are available to consolidate learning.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. Icons Used in This Book
      4. Beyond the Book
      5. Where to Go from Here
    2. Part I: Getting Started with Social Psychology
      1. Chapter 1: Introducing the Science of Social Psychology
        1. Looking Down the Social Psychologists’ Microscope
          1. Rummaging through the social psychologists’ toolkit
          2. Mastering the power of the experiment
          3. Digging for the foundations of social psychology
        2. Understanding What People Think and What Makes Them Act
          1. Asking people what they think
          2. Measuring what people really think
          3. Predicting people’s behaviour
        3. Who Am I, Who Are You and Why Did They Do That?
          1. Constructing your sense of self
          2. Loving yourself
          3. Explaining the actions of others
          4. Judging and labelling others
        4. Measuring the Power of Social Forces
          1. Controlled by the situation
          2. Obeying authority
          3. Being one of the crowd
          4. Persuading and convincing
        5. Living the Social Life
          1. Liking, loving and respecting
          2. Thinking and deciding
          3. Living in different cultures
        6. Looking Back Up the Microscope
      2. Chapter 2: Exploring the Territory of Social Psychology
        1. Looking at the Disciplines that Comprise Social Psychology
          1. Surveying the surveys of personality psychology
          2. Entering the laboratory of cognitive psychology
          3. Playing with the gadgets of neuroscience
          4. Engaging with sociology
          5. Tracing the ideas of evolutionary biology
        2. Social Psychology in Action
          1. Asking the right questions
          2. Finding answers with social psychology
      3. Chapter 3: Kitting Out: The Tools of Social Psychology
        1. Facing Social Psychology’s Greatest Enemy: Common Sense
          1. Challenging the notion of common sense
          2. Accepting that common sense can be nonsense
          3. Confirming biases in social thinking
        2. Entering the Fascinating World of the Social Psychology Experiment
          1. Appreciating the awesome power of the scientific method
          2. Designing an experiment
          3. Operationalisation: Turning concepts into things you can count
        3. Understanding Experiments and Statistics
          1. Taking to heart experimental terminology
          2. Drawing conclusions
          3. Strengthening evidence
          4. Recognising good and bad social experiments
    3. Part II: Understanding Attitudes and Actions
      1. Chapter 4: Appraising Attitudes: The Troublesome Atoms of Social Psychology
        1. Adopting an Attitude to Attitudes
          1. Discovering the three dimensions of attitudes
          2. Understanding what attitudes do
          3. Finding ways to measure attitudes
        2. Having an Attitude Problem
          1. Examining the relationship between attitudes and behaviour
          2. Feeling the force . . . to be consistent
          3. Looking good for the person with the clipboard: People want to be liked
          4. Influencing with frames and anchors
      2. Chapter 5: Uncovering Implicit Attitudes and Associations
        1. Bringing Implicit Attitudes into the Light
          1. Meeting the masters: Advertisers
          2. Where did that come from? The origins of implicit attitudes
          3. Recognising the powerful force of mere exposure
          4. Do you feel lucky, punk? The reality of implicit egoism
          5. Making connections: Implicit associations
        2. Measuring Implicit Attitudes
          1. Investigating automatic activation of behaviour
          2. Trying out the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
          3. Discovering how explicit and implicit attitudes interact
      3. Chapter 6: Investigating the Link between Behaviour and Attitudes
        1. Dealing with Conflicting Ideas: Cognitive Dissonance
          1. Experiencing cognitive dissonance
          2. Considering the consequences of insufficient justification
          3. Explaining the power of fraternities
          4. Justifying it all . . . for love!
          5. Looking at some objections to the cognitive dissonance theory
        2. Looking at Yourself: Self-Perception Theory
          1. Explaining yourself to yourself
          2. Seeing that rewards and punishments can backfire
          3. Assessing self-perception theory
    4. Part III: Thinking about Ourselves and Others
      1. Chapter 7: Asking the Perennial Question: Who Am I?
        1. Constructing Your Sense of Self
          1. Discovering how you think about your identity
          2. ‘We’re through the looking-glass here, people’
          3. Living through the eyes of others: Social comparison theory
        2. Finding a Place in the World: Consequences of Identity
          1. Identifying with others: basking in reflected glory
          2. Don’t believe the stereotype hype
          3. Trying hard is better than being a genius
      2. Chapter 8: How Fantastic Am I! Looking at Self-serving Bias
        1. Looking at Yourself: Positive Illusions
          1. Believing that you’re better than average
          2. Judging yourself as better than you used to be
          3. Estimating your strengths as rare but your failures as commonplace
          4. Self-handicapping: Failure isn’t your fault
        2. Thinking that You’re Right Most of the Time
          1. Deeming your choices to be right
          2. Being sure that your beliefs are correct
          3. Regarding everyone else as wrong!
        3. Questioning How Long Something Makes You Happy
          1. Trusting that time really does heal
          2. Shifting focus over time
          3. Looking at the role of your psychological immune system
      3. Chapter 9: Attributing Causes to People’s Behaviour
        1. Introducing the Concept of Making Attributions
          1. Understanding when you tend to make attributions
          2. Deciding between a ‘bad’ person or a ‘bad’ situation
        2. Falling Prey to the Fundamental Attribution Error
          1. Seeing Jones and Smith’s surprising discovery
          2. Revealing the FAE through experiments and experience
          3. Identifying the signs of the FAE
          4. Taking the simple route to explaining behaviour
          5. Living with the consequences of the FAE
        3. Digging Deeper into the FAE
          1. Experiencing differences across the world
          2. Appreciating the role of perspective
          3. Noticing the actor-observer bias
      4. Chapter 10: Making Judgements about Other People: Bias and Prejudice
        1. Staring at Stereotypes and Peering at Prejudice
          1. Recognising that stereotypes are just categories
          2. Understanding that categorisation can become prejudice
        2. Creating and Sustaining Stereotypes
          1. Tracking stereotypes back to their source
          2. Revealing biases in social judgements
          3. Proving what you already know: Confirmation bias
          4. Coming to wrong conclusions: Illusory correlations
          5. Making your predictions come true: Self-fulfilling prophecies
        3. Observing Stereotypes in Action
          1. Pressing the ‘activate stereotype’ button
          2. Taking charge of stereotypes: Automatic and controlled processes
          3. Fooling yourself
        4. Overcoming Bias and Prejudice
    5. Part IV: Comprehending Social Influence
      1. Chapter 11: Appreciating the Power of the Situation
        1. Seeing How Situation Influences Behaviour
          1. Balancing the power of beliefs against situation
          2. Interpreting the situation: Bystander intervention
          3. Wearing a cloak of anonymity: Deindividuation
        2. Playing Cops and Robbers: the Stanford Prison Experiment
          1. Background to the experiment
          2. Preparation
          3. The experiment begins
          4. All too much: The experiment ends prematurely
          5. Analysing the fall out
        3. Analysing What Makes Someone Evil
      2. Chapter 12: Carrying Out Orders: Obedience
        1. Investigating Obedience
          1. Obeying in the laboratory: Milgram’s experiments
          2. Suggesting influences on increasing and decreasing obedience
          3. Theorising reasons for levels of obedience
        2. Researching Obedience Today
          1. Studying obedience in ethical ways
          2. ‘All together now!’
      3. Chapter 13: Getting into Line: Conformity and Social Norms
        1. Addressing the Reasons for Social Norms
          1. Doing impressions: The urge to mimic
          2. Getting information from others
          3. Acknowledging the need to fit in
        2. Getting Along: Ways People Conform
          1. Absorbing other people’s opinions
          2. Aligning your perception with others
          3. Choosing to conform over choosing to be right
        3. Facing the Costs of Non-conformity: Ostracism
          1. Admitting that no one likes a real-life rebel
          2. Feeling left out: The pain of ostracism
      4. Chapter 14: Persuading People to Part with Their Pounds
        1. Walking the Routes to Persuasion
          1. Considering arguments rationally: Deep processing
          2. Being swayed by appearances: Shallow processing
          3. Appealing to emotions
        2. Recognising the Six Principles of Persuasion
          1. ‘I scratch your back . . .’: The urge to reciprocate
          2. ‘You really know your stuff!’: Being consistent
          3. Nine out of ten advertisers use social proof
          4. ‘What a coincidence, me too!’: The desire to be liked
          5. ‘Trust me and my white coat’: Responding to authority figures
          6. ‘Don’t delay, call today’: Implying scarcity
        3. Combating Persuasion: Resistance Isn’t Always Useless
    6. Part V: Assessing Relationships, Groups and Societies
      1. Chapter 15: Interpersonal Relations: Liking, Loving and Living with Other People
        1. Considering an Evolutionary Perspective on Attraction
        2. Discovering Why You Like the People You Like
          1. Defining a pretty face
          2. Preferring averagely pretty faces
          3. Choosing a mate
          4. Liking people who are like you
        3. Focusing on the People You Love
          1. Developing types of attachment in childhood
          2. Searching for the ‘gay gene’
          3. Interacting elements: Exotic becomes erotic
        4. Living with Others: Reciprocal Altruism
          1. Co-operating with each other
          2. Catching the cheaters
        5. ‘I Know my Place’: Power and Social Status
      2. Chapter 16: Examining the Benefits and Dangers of Social Groups
        1. Introducing the Desire to Separate People into Groups
          1. Categorising people just for the sake of it
          2. Favouring people in your group
          3. Safety in numbers: Motivational approach
        2. Seeing Groups in Action: Group Decision-making
          1. Appreciating the wisdom of the crowds
          2. Discovering how a group of clever people can make bad decisions
          3. Accepting that even experts can be stupid in a group
        3. Examining the Economic Approach to Group Behaviour
          1. Competing for resources
          2. Increasing contact to remove conflict
          3. Forcing co-operation to heal divisions
      3. Chapter 17: Bridging Cross-Cultural Differences
        1. Meeting the People Who Take Part in Experiments
        2. Examining Western and Non-western Thinking
          1. Possessing different views of the self
          2. Displaying cultural differences in judgements
          3. Considering perceptual differences
          4. Testing the consequences of perceptual variations
        3. Recognising What Cultures Have in Common
    7. Part VI: The Part of Tens
      1. Chapter 18: Ten Questions for Getting the Most from Psychology Articles
        1. How Does the Result Generalise to Life Outside the Laboratory?
        2. Are the Authors Really Measuring What They Claim to be Measuring?
        3. Are the Researchers from a Well-regarded University?
        4. How Many People Are in the Experiment?
        5. Are the Participants WEIRD?
        6. Does the Experiment Involve Any Demand Characteristics?
        7. Was the Experimenter Blind to the Conditions?
        8. What Was the Control Condition?
        9. Does Common Sense Support the Conclusion?
        10. Does a Simpler Explanation Exist?
      2. Chapter 19: Ten Great Ways to Delve Deeper into Social Psychology
        1. Consulting Research Journals
        2. Becoming a Google Scholar
        3. Looking up Psychological Societies
        4. Using the Social Psychology Network
        5. Prejudice and Bias: Highlighting Two Useful Websites
        6. Communicating via Blogs
        7. Following Twitter Feeds
        8. Taking Online Classes
        9. Listening to TED Talks
        10. Working with Wikipedia Effectively
    8. About the Author
    9. Cheat Sheet