Social Psychology

How Other People Influence Our Thoughts and Actions

by Randal W. Summers, Editor


The focus of social psychology research reflects the times. For example, researchers today are examining how the Internet impacts our social interactions.

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Cover image for Social Psychology

December 2016


Pages 695
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Psychology/Social

This book provides an introduction to social psychology that covers its history, theories, and core concepts. It explains intrapersonal (how others influence our views about ourselves) and interpersonal (how we think about and act toward other people) applications of this discipline in today's society.

Human beings are social by nature. Because of this, the people around us have a profound impact on how we think about ourselves and others—from our sense of self esteem to our opinions and attitudes to our interactions in a group setting. Social Psychology: How Other People Influence Our Thoughts and Actions describes these subtle but powerful effects in our daily lives, offering a complete and balanced view of the topic. Readers will discover the history of social psychology, grasp its theories and core concepts, learn about important issues and debates related to this topic, and see how these ideas are directly applicable to therapy and other real-world situations.

Chapters cover how an individual's self-concept is developed and the various social forces on it, how a social psychology experiment may be conducted, and examples of social psychology in everyday life, such as group dynamics and cultural phenomena. Readers will also see how social psychology plays a role in our criminal justice system, including in the context of the prison system population; in the cultural issues associated with Latino and Native American populations; in our social collective concern about mass shootings, epidemics, and terrorism; and in the dynamics, processes, and tactics of a nationwide presidential election campaign seeking to influence the masses.


  • Presents perspectives on many contemporary issues—such as shooting events, terrorism, autism, post-traumatic effects on veterans, transgender issues, prejudice, and antisocial behavior—that help readers to develop critical thinking abilities
  • Briefly reviews the contributions of famous psychologists and well-known social psychology experiments
  • Examines topics holistically, providing a thorough and accessible overview of the subject
  • Includes a bibliography of print and electronic sources for further study as well as a glossary that defines unfamiliar terms
Author Info

Randal W. Summers has been a clinical psychologist, an adjunct professor, and a human resource consultant in industry. He has contributed to a variety of publications and coedited Greenwood's Teen Violence: A Global View and Domestic Violence: A Global View. Summers is the author of Elder Abuse: A Public Health Perspective.



"Social Psychology is recommended for upper-level or AP high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars and professors."—ARBA

"Beyond explaining the concepts, the authors provide case studies, debate topics, biographies of famous social psychologists, short reviews of classic experiments, and applications to everyday life. For example, many chapters present real-world applications of concepts such as PTSD in the military, mass shootings, false confessions, analysis of prison culture, and social influence in presidential campaigns. The work is best suited for undergraduates interested in social psychology. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice

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