Exploring the most important ideas in social psychology, this collection of classic and contemporary readings includes accounts of specific experimental findings as well as more general summaries of key topics.
Organized to illustrate the major themes of Elliot Aronson's The Social Animal, this collection of classic and contemporary readings explores the most important ideas, issues, and debates in social psychology today.
How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense
Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Social Science
The author of the acclaimed bestseller Bobos in Paradise, which hilariously described the upscale American culture, takes a witty look at how being American shapes us, and how America's suburban civilization will shape the world's future. Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat. You see suburban guys at Home Depot doing that special manly, waddling walk that American men do in the presence of large amounts of lumber; super-efficient ubermoms who chair school auctions, organize the PTA, and weigh less than their children; workaholic corporate types boarding airplanes while talking on their cell phones in a sort of panic because they know that when the door closes they have to turn their precious phone off and it will be like somebody stepped on their trachea. Looking at all this, you might come to the conclusion that we Americans are not the most profound people on earth. Indeed, there are millions around the world who regard us as the great bimbos of the globe: hardworking and fun, but also materialistic and spiritually shallow. They've got a point. As you drive through the sprawling suburbs or eat in the suburban chain restaurants (which if they merged would be called Chili's Olive Garden Hard Rock Outback Cantina), questions do occur. Are we really as shallow as we look? Is there anything that unites us across the divides of politics, race, class, and geography? What does it mean to be American? Well, mentality matters, and sometimes mentality is all that matters. As diverse as we are, as complacent as we sometimes seem, Americans are united by a common mentality, which we have inherited from our ancestors and pass on, sometimes unreflectingly, to our kids. We are united by future-mindedness. We see the present from the vantage point of the future. We are tantalized, at every second of every day, by the awareness of grand possibilities ahead of us, by the bounty we can realize just over the next ridge. This mentality leads us to work feverishly hard, move more than any other people on earth, switch jobs, switch religions. It makes us anxious and optimistic, manic and discombobulating. Even in the superficiality of modern suburban life, there is some deeper impulse still throbbing in the heart of average Americans. That impulse is the subject of this book.
This is the happiest story you will ever read. It’s about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling, successful lives. The odd thing was, they weren’t born geniuses. They had no extraordinary physical or mental gifts. Nobody would have picked them out at a young age and said they were destined for greatness. How did they do it? In the past thirty years we have learnt more about the human brain than in the previous 3000 – a scientific revolution has occurred. The unconscious mind, it turns out, is most of the mind – the place where the majority of the brain’s work gets done, where our most important life decisions are made, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow. In this illuminating and compelling book, David Brooks weaves a vast array of new research into the lives of two fictional characters, Harold and Erica, following them from infancy to old age. In so doing, he reveals a fundamental new understanding of human nature. Most success stories are explained at the surface level of life. They describe academic ability, hard work and learning the right techniques to get ahead. This story – the story of Harold and Erica – is told one level down, at the level of emotions, intuitions, biases, genetic predispositions and deep inner longings. The result is a new definition of success, highlighting what economists call non-cognitive skills – those hidden qualities that can’t be easily counted or measured, but which in real life lead to happiness and fulfilment. The Social Animal is a moving and nuanced intellectual adventure. Impossible to put down, it is an essential book for our time – one that will have a broad social impact and change the way we see ourselves and the world.
New York Times Bestseller From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career. Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere.
How does a boy from a financially and intellectually impoverished background grow up to become a Harvard researcher, win international acclaim for his groundbreaking work, and catch fire as a pioneering psychologist? As the only person in the history of the American Psychological Association to have won all three of its highest honors-for distinguished research, teaching, and writing- Elliot Aronson is living proof that humans are capable of capturing the power of the situation and conquering the prison of personality.A personal and compelling look into Aronson's profound contributions to the field of social psychology, Not by Chance Alone is a lifelong story of human potential and the power of social change.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST • “I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it.”—David Brooks With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “résumé virtues”—achieving wealth, fame, and status—and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed. Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth. “Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.” Praise for The Road to Character “A hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story.”—The New York Times Book Review “David Brooks—the New York Times columnist and PBS commentator whose measured calm gives punditry a good name—offers the building blocks of a meaningful life.”—Washingtonian “This profound and eloquent book is written with moral urgency and philosophical elegance.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon “The voice of the book is calm, fair and humane. The highlight of the material is the quality of the author’s moral and spiritual judgments.”—The Washington Post “A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”—The Guardian (U.K.) “This learned and engaging book brims with pleasures.”—Newsday “Original and eye-opening . . . At his best, Brooks is a normative version of Malcolm Gladwell, culling from a wide array of scientists and thinkers to weave an idea bigger than the sum of its parts.”—USA Today “There is something affecting in the diligence with which Brooks seeks a cure for his self-diagnosed shallowness by plumbing the depths of others.”—Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker From the Hardcover edition.
On April 20, 1999, the halls of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, reverberated with the sound of gunshots as two students, highly armed and consumed with rage, killed thirteen students and seriously injured twenty-three before turning the guns on themselves. It was the worst school massacre in out nation's history. Can we prevent a tragedy like this from happening again? In Elliot Aronson's Nobody Left to Hate, on of our nation's leading social psychologists argues that the negative atmosphere in our schools--the exclusion, taunting, humiliation, and bullying--played a major role in triggering the pathological behavior of the shooters. At the very least, such an atmosphere makes schools an unpleasant experience for most normal students. But it doesn't have to be. Nobody Left to Hate offers concise, practical, and easy-to-apply strategies for creating a more supportive, stimulating, and compassionate environment in our schools. Based on decades of scientific research and classroom testing, these strategies explain how students can be taught to control their own impulses, how to respect others, and how to resolve conflicts amicably. In addition, they show teachers how to structure classes to promote cooperation, rather than competition, without sacrificing academics. On the contrary, education is greatly enhanced. For parents, teachers, or anyone concerned with what is happening in our schools, Nobody Left to Hate provides a simple and effective plan of action that will make their children's school not only a safe place, but a more humane place of learning.
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (2011), explores the role the unconscious mind plays in shaping the course of an individual’s life. Author David Brooks uses a narrative construct borrowed from eighteenth-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau to summarize and analyze humanity’s working understanding of cognitive and social development. Purchase this in-depth summary to learn more.
The Cultural Construction of Human-Animal Relations in Childhood
Author: Matthew Cole,Kate Stewart
Category: Social Science
Focusing on the socialization of the human use of other animals as resources in contemporary Western society, this book explores the cultural reproduction of human-nonhuman animal relations in childhood. With close attention to the dominant practices through which children encounter animals and mainstream representations of animals in children's culture - whether in terms of the selective exposure of children to animals as pets or as food in the home or in school, or the representation of animals in mass media and social media - Our Children and Other Animals reveals the interconnectedness of studies of childhood, culture and human-animal relations. In doing so it establishes the importance of human-animal relations in sociology, by describing the sociological importance of animals in children's lives and children in animals’ lives. Presenting a new typology of the various kinds of human-animal relationship, this conceptually innovative book constitutes a clear demonstration of the relevance of sociology to the interdisciplinary field of human-animal relations and will appeal to readers across the social sciences with interests in sociology, childhood studies, cultural and media studies and human-animal interaction.
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City. They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste... Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon. Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.
Social network analysis is used widely in the social sciences to study interactions among people, groups, and organizations, yet until now there has been no book that shows behavioral biologists how to apply it to their work on animal populations. Exploring Animal Social Networks provides a practical guide for researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students in ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and zoology. Existing methods for studying animal social structure focus either on one animal and its interactions or on the average properties of a whole population. This book enables researchers to probe animal social structure at all levels, from the individual to the population. No prior knowledge of network theory is assumed. The authors give a step-by-step introduction to the different procedures and offer ideas for designing studies, collecting data, and interpreting results. They examine some of today's most sophisticated statistical tools for social network analysis and show how they can be used to study social interactions in animals, including cetaceans, ungulates, primates, insects, and fish. Drawing from an array of techniques, the authors explore how network structures influence individual behavior and how this in turn influences, and is influenced by, behavior at the population level. Throughout, the authors use two software packages--UCINET and NETDRAW--to illustrate how these powerful analytical tools can be applied to different animal social organizations.
Lisa S. Freund,Sandra McCune,Layla Esposito,Nancy R. Gee,Peggy D. McCardle
Author: Lisa S. Freund,Sandra McCune,Layla Esposito,Nancy R. Gee,Peggy D. McCardle
Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
Our relationships with animals, as anyone with a beloved dog or cat knows, can be among the most significant in our lives. But why are we so attached to our pets? What kind of health, developmental, and psychological impacts do animals have on us? And what practical benefits -- for animals and humans alike -- can be gained from a deeper understanding of human-animal interactions? In this volume, a cross-disciplinary group of authors that includes behavioral psychologists, neuroscientists, geneticists, ethicists and veterinarians seek to understand human-animal interactions by applying research in the neurobiology and genetics that underlie human social functioning. Chapters describe the concepts and methodologies that social neuroscientists use to understand human social relationships, functioning, and the social bases of cognition, and apply these to understanding the role of animals in our lives. Authors present evolutionary and developmental perspectives, and weigh the implications of human-animal interactions research for animal welfare. Clinical applications include animal-assisted therapies for people with disabilities, acute or chronic health conditions, and social or emotional difficulties. Clear and accessible, this book is intended for a broad readership that includes clinicians, teachers, and anyone interested in how and why animals affect us the way they do.
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli, national bestselling author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, investigates the environmental and economic impact termites inflict on human societies in this fascinating examination of one of nature’s most misunderstood insects. Are we more like termites than we ever imagined? In Underbug, the award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli introduces us to the enigmatic creatures that collectively outweigh human beings ten to one and consume $40 billion worth of valuable stuff annually—and yet, in Margonelli’s telling, seem weirdly familiar. Over the course of a decade-long obsession with the little bugs, Margonelli pokes around termite mounds and high-tech research facilities, closely watching biologists, roboticists, and geneticists. Her globe-trotting journey veers into uncharted territory, from evolutionary theory to Edwardian science literature to the military industrial complex. What begins as a natural history of the termite becomes a personal exploration of the unnatural future we’re building, with darker observations on power, technology, historical trauma, and the limits of human cognition. Whether in Namibia or Cambridge, Arizona or Australia, Margonelli turns up astounding facts and raises provocative questions. Is a termite an individual or a unit of a superorganism? Can we harness the termite’s properties to change the world? If we build termite-like swarming robots, will they inevitably destroy us? Is it possible to think without having a mind? Underbug burrows into these questions and many others—unearthing disquieting answers about the world’s most underrated insect and what it means to be human.
In the style of Nudge or The Spirit Level - a groundbreaking book that will change the way you look at the world. Tina Rosenberg has spent her career tackling some of the world's hardest problems. The Haunted Land, her searing book on how Eastern Europe faced the crimes of Communism, was awarded both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in the US. In Join the Club, she identifies a brewing social revolution that is changing the way people live, based on harnessing the positive force of peer pressure. Her stories of peer power in action show how it has reduced teen smoking in the United States, made villages in India healthier and more prosperous, helped minority students get top grades in college calculus, and even led to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. She tells how creative social entrepreneurs are starting to use peer pressure to accomplish goals as personal as losing weight and as global as fighting terrorism. Inspiring and engrossing, Join the Club explains how we can better our world through humanity's most powerful and abundant resource: our connections with one another.