Exploring the subject of social psychology, this volume offers 28 studies that shed light on human social thinking and behaviour. They address topics such as people's unawareness of why they do what they do, the tenacity with which they maintain beliefs despite contrary evidence, and the surprising extent to which they are influenced by groups to which they belong. The results are intended to help the reader understand otherwise puzzling social phenomena, such as mass suicide by cult members, the operation of unconscious prejudice, and the cruelty and indifference of ordinary people. The book provides a convincing case for using the experimental method in social psychological research. Each chapter offers a detailed exposition of, and commentary on, a single study. This approach allows the authors to cite other closely related research. Each study selected raises questions of theoretical significance or addresses a problem of practical importance. The book's introduction provides a brief overview of social psychology, including its history, scope, and goals. It also reviews the critical role the experimental method plays in answering many significant psychological questions.
Robert P. Abelson, Aiden Gregg, Kurt P. Frey
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