Constructing Social Psychology: Creative and Critical Aspects

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This collection of papers by William J. McGuire reports research on the phenomenal self, revealing how we perceive ourselves and other complex stimuli selectively in terms of distinctive or atypical features, often noticing what is missing rather than what is there. The content, structure, and processing of thought systems surrounding the self and other complex stimuli are shown to function by balancing logical consistency, realistic coping, and hedonic gratification. Attitude-change and social-influence processes are described, with particular attention given to the personality correlates of persuadability, how beliefs can be immunized against persuasion, how persuasive communications affect beliefs, and how people can be persuaded by Socratic questioning that does not give them new information but rather directs their attention to selected subsets of information they already have. Also reported are findings on language and thought, psychology and history, and techniques of creative thinking in psychology and other fields.
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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: 9780521646727
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
1 Learning My Way 1
2 Immunization against Persuasion 44
3 Attitude-Change Studies 74
4 Integrative Reviews of Social Influence Processes 96
5 Developing Effective Persuasion Campaigns 136
6 Thought Systems: Their Content, Structure, and Functioning 180
7 A Topography of the Phenomenal Self 230
8 Distinctiveness Theory and the Salience of Self-characteristics 263
9 Language and Thought Asymmetries 294
10 Psychology and History 323
11 Winters of Our Discontents: Crises in Social Psychology 376
12 A Perspectivist Epistemology: Knowledge as Misrepresentation 395
Selected References 433
Index 443
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