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A History of Social Psychology


  • 11 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 254 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.41 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521687867)

The term 'social psychology' was first established in the 1860s but the issues surrounding the subject have evolved over a much longer period. This book follows the history of the discipline over two and a half centuries, demonstrating the links between early and current thought. The first attempts at empirical approaches were made in France during the Enlightenment whilst some modern ideas were also being anticipated in Scotland. The search for laws of mind and society began in nineteenth-century Europe and, by the end of the century, it changed direction. Darwinian theory made a powerful impact on the emerging discipline and the centre of gravity began to move to America where it reached maturity during the inter-war period. A History of Social Psychology is viewed against a background of radical social and political changes and includes sketches of the major figures involved in its rise.

• Features general overviews for each chapter providing easy orientation • Contains frequent citations of classical authors to give students a 'feel' for each period • Includes portraits of prominent figures in the field


Preface; Part I. Eighteenth Century: Enlightenment Precursors: 1. France. A short-lived dawn of empirical social science; 2. Britain. Interpersonal relations and cultural differences; Part II. Nineteenth Century: The Gestation of Social Psychology in Europe: 3. Germany. Herbart's and his followers' societal psychology; 4. France and Belgium. Adventurous blueprints for a new social science; 5. Britain. Logic, evolution, and the social in mind; 6. France. Crowd, public, and collective mentalities; 7. Germany. In the shadow of Wundt; 8. America. Darwinian social psychology crosses the Atlantic; Part III. Twentieth Century: Towards Maturity in America: 9. Was 1908 a crucial date?; 10. Social psychology becomes empirical: groups (social facilitation) and attitudes; 11. The wider panorama of social psychology by the mid-thirties; 12. Highlights of the inter-war years; Concluding reflections.


'This is a deeply original book and a delightful read. Gustav Jahoda is perhaps the most competent scholar in the field at the present time in the World.' Jaan Valsiner, Clark University

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