You are a member of a social world on a planet containing about 7 billion people. This social world is filled with paradox, mystery, suspense, and outright absurdity. Explore how social psychology can help you make sense of your own social world with this engaging and accessible book. Roy F. Baumeister and Brad J. Bushman's SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HUMAN NATURE can help you make sense of the always fascinating and sometimes bizarre and baffling diversity of human behavior-and it's also just plain interesting to learn about how and why people act the way they do.
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Roy F. Baumeister is currently the Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton in 1978 and did a postdoctoral fellowship in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. He spent over two decades at Case Western Reserve University. He has also worked at the University of Texas, the University of Virginia, the Max-Planck-Institute, the VU Free University of Amsterdam, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Russell Sage Foundation, the University of Bamberg (Germany), and Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Baumeister's research spans multiple topics, including self and identity, self-regulation, interpersonal rejection and the need to belong, sexuality and gender, aggression, self-esteem, meaning, and self-presentation. He has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the Templeton Foundation. He has over 500 publications, and his 31 books include EVIL: INSIDE HUMAN VIOLENCE AND CRUELTY, THE CULTURAL ANIMAL, MEANINGS OF LIFE, and the New York Times bestseller WILLPOWER: REDISCOVERING THE GREATEST HUMAN STRENGTH. The Institute for Scientific Information lists him among the handful of most cited (most influential) psychologists in the world. He has received several major awards, including the William James Fellow award (their highest honor) from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Jack Block Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
Brad J. Bushman is a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, where he holds the Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication. He is also a professor of communication science at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands in the summer. For about 30 years he has conducted research on the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He co-chaired the National Science Foundation youth violence advisory committee that was formed in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. He also is a member of President Obama's committee on gun violence. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles. According to Google Scholar, his articles have been cited over 25,000 times. He is ranked #2 in citations among communication scholars. In 2013 he received the 2013 Ig Nobel Psychology Prize (signed by three Nobel Laureates) for research with French colleagues titled "'Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder': People who think they are drunk also think they are attractive." In 2014 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology and Technology, American Psychological Association. His research has challenged several myths (e.g., violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex on TV sell products, warning labels reduce audience size). One colleague calls him the "myth buster." His research has been published in the top scientific journals (e.g., Science, PNAS), and has been featured extensively in the mass media (e.g., BBC, New York Times, NPR).
W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia: "I am very impressed. The writing is terrific, as are the examples and images. More importantly, however, many books seem to suck the life right out of social psychology-they almost make it seem as if we are studying something other than ourselves. This book makes it clear that social psychology is directly engaged in the study of our shared human nature, with all its trade-offs and complexities but also with its underlying rationality. This is the first book I will be able to assign to my class and not feel a tad guilty."
Nelse Ostlund, University of Nevada, Las Vegas: "SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HUMAN NATURE marks a path that others would be wise to follow. Baumeister and Bushman manage to synthesize principles of evolutionary psychology into social psychology while seamlessly accenting the role of society and culture."
James Previte, Victor Valley College: I was struck by the wonderful job of integration accomplished by the authors. By integration, I mean both the goal of culture with nature and the integration of earlier material with later material as one read the different chapters. Many authors attempt to build upon earlier work with later chapters but this [book] shows an unusual degree of success at this."
Gretchen Sechrist, Statue University of New York at Buffalo: "There is a nice balance of classic and contemporary research. Studies are described thoroughly and the overall point of the experiments and how they relate to the topic at hand are discussed and repeated well enough to be easily understood, while at the same time remaining interesting, which I think is very important for an undergraduate textbook."
Jarret T. Crawford, Rutgers University: "I especially liked the sections addressing current issues or events, particularly those regarding 'Food for Thought' and 'The Social Side of Sex.' Those vignettes would appeal to students more so than the . . . boxes in my [current] text, and also provide a deeper coverage of stigmatized groups."
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