Constructing Social Psychology: Creative and Critical Aspects

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Overview

William J. McGuire's research on the diverse topics of attitudes, beliefs, self, thought systems, language, history, and methodology created and shaped social psychology in enduring ways. In this collection, his work appears with new commentary and bridging sections that illuminate the context in which the original papers were written. Here, students of psychology and its history can learn about the creative and critical processes that McGuire sought to study: the magical experiments on attitude innoculation showing that small doses of a persuasive message can increase resistance to later larger doses; the construction of self in terms of its distinctive and atypical features; the content, structure, and processing of thought system functioning by balancing logical consistency, realistic coping, and hedonic gratification; persuasion by Socratic questioning that selectively directs attention; and the process of doing research as an exciting and infinitely rewarding activity. These papers not only provide insight into one of psychology's greatest minds, but they also tell the story of psychology's history over the past fifty years. William J. McGuire is Professor of Psychology at Yale University. A Fulbright Scholar and Guggenhiem Fellow, McGuire received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and is a William James Fellow of the American Psychological Society.

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Editorial Reviews

William J. McGuire
Readers of this book will appreciate the quality of its writing, which addresses serious and intricate questions with great clarity and little jargon.
Times Literary Supplement
From the Publisher
"The surprises in these papers come, not only from the ideas themselves, but also from the expression of the ideas. The reader's pleasure thus derives from encountering excellent, innovative ideas joined with extraordinary writing. These papers reveal a richness of language rarely encountered in scientific writing in psychology." APA Review of Books
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521641074
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/13/1999
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Learning my way; 2. Immunization against persuasion; 3. Attitude change studies; 4. Analyzing social influence processes; 5. Developing effective persuasion campaigns; 6. Thought systems: their contents, structure and functioning; 7. Topography of the phenomenal self; 8. Distinctiveness theory and the salience of self-characteristics; 9. Language and thought asymmetries; 10. Psychology and history; 11. Winters of our discontents: crises in social psychology; 12. A perspectivist epistemology: knowledge as misrepresentation.

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