Marking Time in Experimental Social Psychology

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 52–54. Reviews the book, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 10 edited by Leonard Berkowitz (1977). This series is a disappointment. In the reviewer's view, only two of the eight chapters are strong contributions. The first three chapters in the volume are essentially literature reviews that describe a few original experiments by their authors and summarize current theory, but none of them develops dramatic new theoretical perspectives. The experiments are provocative and challenge the reader's personal and professional self-confidence as a social judge. The reviewer often disagreeed with Ross's interpretations of his experimental demonstrations. The reviewer is personally dissatisfied with loose statements of the heuristic mechanisms, but it is research such as Ross's that will extend the theory to specify the conditions that elicit particular heuristics and the activation and ordering of perception, memory, and decision processes when a heuristic is applied. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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