Social Influence Is Given Another Chance

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(10), 759–760. Reviews the book, L'influence sociale: Phénomènes, facteurs et théories by Germaine de Montmollin (1977). The book is an important contribution to the understanding of the field for French-speaking students of social psychology who have no direct access to publications in the English language. The volume consists of three parts, according to the usual French format first, a general historical overview of the questions raised about the whys and hows of social influence, then a systematic analysis of the different variables that enhance or reduce the bearing of influence, and finally a thorough assessment of a number of contemporary theories, some of which (like Brunswick's intuitive treatment of probabilities) are rarely covered Montmollin's own research, some of it reported here for the first time, gives her the credentials to survey the field both in depth and breadth. Her style, typical of French academies, is somewhat austere and carries the presentation of data and theories at very high levels of abstraction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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