The Social Psychology of Science

The Social Psychology of Science

by William R. Shadish
     
 

The social psychology of science is a compelling new area of study whose shape is still emerging. This erudite and innovative book outlines a theoretical and methodological agenda for this new field, and bridges the gap between the individually focused aspects of psychology and the sociological elements of science studies. Presenting a side of social psychology

Overview

The social psychology of science is a compelling new area of study whose shape is still emerging. This erudite and innovative book outlines a theoretical and methodological agenda for this new field, and bridges the gap between the individually focused aspects of psychology and the sociological elements of science studies. Presenting a side of social psychology that, until now, has received almost no attention in the social sciences literature, this volume offers the first detailed and comprehensive study of the social psychology of science, complete with a large number of empirical and theoretical examples.
The volume's introductory section provides a detailed analysis of how modern social psychology might apply to the study of science. Chapters show how to analyze science in terms of social cognition, attribution theory, attitudes and attitude change, social motivation, social influence and social conformity, and intergroup relations, weaving extensive illustrations from the science studies literature into the theoretical analysis. The nature and role of experimentation are discussed, as are metaanalytic methods for summarizing the results of multiple studies. Ways to facilitate the generalization of causal inferences from experimental work are also examined. 

The book focuses on such topics as interactions among small groups of scientists, and the impact of social motivation, influence, and conformity on scientific work. Also covered are scientists' responses to ethical issues in research, differences in cognitive style distribution, creativity in research and development, and the sociologists's view of the social psychology of science and technology. In addition, the book provides two annotated bibliographies, one on the philosophy of science and the other on social psychology, to guide readers in both disciplines to salient recent works.

Valuable to the entire science studies community, this text will be of special interest to philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, and historians of science interested in the nature of knowledge development in science. Because of its novel application of social psychological theories and methods, this book will be useful as a primary text or a secondary text in courses on science studies in psychology, sociology, or philosophy departments.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven R. Daugherty, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This collection of essays and reviews explores the current thinking about the social psychology of science. At issue is the question, "What really drives science?"
Purpose: The purpose is to expand the understanding of the forces that produce science, stepping beyond the overused tenets of cognitive psychology to emphasize the social and situational aspects of knowledge production. The authors succeed in collecting some of the best minds in the area into a single readable volume.
Audience: Although the stated audience for this book is the broad spectrum of social science practitioners, the volume will be of more interest to social science graduate students and academics interested in the philosophy of science. It is a book for those who want to understand the big picture, not day-to-day practice.
Features: Given the conceptual nature of the subject matter, it is not surprising that the book contains no color and few black-and-white illustrations. The book has a decidedly professional quality and is well supported by current reference citations. The annotated reading list in the back of the book is an added attraction.
Assessment: Like many edited volumes, the book is uneven in terms of the intellectual quality of the presentation. Although a number of the contributors are leaders in their fields and are able to share with the reader a valuable overview, other contributors seem caught up with esoteric points. The book is at its best when discussing theoretical issues, but fails expectations when trying to detail the practical implications of those theories. A good summary chapter is needed to elevate the work from a collection of essays to an integrated statement of a perspective.
Social Studies of Science
"...an important book which will surely have an impact on ongoing research and debate in science studies."—Social Studies of Science
3 Stars from Doody
Steven R. Daugherty
This collection of essays and reviews explores the current thinking about the social psychology of science. At issue is the question, "What really drives science?" The purpose is to expand the understanding of the forces that produce science, stepping beyond the overused tenets of cognitive psychology to emphasize the social and situational aspects of knowledge production. The authors succeed in collecting some of the best minds in the area into a single readable volume. Although the stated audience for this book is the broad spectrum of social science practitioners, the volume will be of more interest to social science graduate students and academics interested in the philosophy of science. It is a book for those who want to understand the big picture, not day-to-day practice. Given the conceptual nature of the subject matter, it is not surprising that the book contains no color and few black-and-white illustrations. The book has a decidedly professional quality and is well supported by current reference citations. The annotated reading list in the back of the book is an added attraction. Like many edited volumes, the book is uneven in terms of the intellectual quality of the presentation. Although a number of the contributors are leaders in their fields and are able to share with the reader a valuable overview, other contributors seem caught up with esoteric points. The book is at its best when discussing theoretical issues, but fails expectations when trying to detail the practical implications of those theories. A good summary chapter is needed to elevate the work from a collection of essays to an integrated statement of a perspective.
Booknews
Social psychologists discuss mainstream topics such as social cognition and interpersonal processes as they manifest in science, and outline a conceptual and research agenda for further study. Among the topics are scientific validity and knowledge, agreement and dissent, thinking by groups, and scientists' response to ethical issues in research. Includes two bibliographic essays and a short but highly annotated reading list. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780898620214
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
11/05/1993
Series:
Conduct of Science Series
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

William R. Shadish, PhD, Memphis State University
Steve Fuller, PhD, University of Pittsburgh.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >