Information Without Inspiration

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(10), 750–751. Reviews the books, Social Psychology edited by Kurt W. Back (1977); and Social Psychology. 2nd ed. and 2nd Brief ed by Lawrence S. Wrightsman (1977). The second edition is a formidable text for college sophomores. A demanding introduction to social psychology would probably cover all 20 chapters. However, a lecturer might alternatively wish to sample selectively from the smorgasbord of offerings. I have used Wrightsman in teaching social psychology, and many students comment favorably on its readability but complain about its detailed and exhaustive treatment of experimental research. While the scheme underlying the selection of chapter topics is not altogether clear, the book's organization suffers from the same lack of clarity The editor states, “the book is composed of twelve chapters organized roughly from the individual to the group, to communication and movement within groups.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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