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Applied Social Psychology

Applied Social Psychology
Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems

Third Edition
Edited by:

November 2016 | 616 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This student-friendly introduction to the field focuses on understanding social and practical problems and developing intervention strategies to address them. Offering a balance of theory, research, and application, the updated Third Edition includes the latest research, as well as new, detailed examples of qualitative research throughout. The book begins with separate chapters that define the field, examine social psychological theory, review research methods, and consider the design and evaluation of interventions. Subsequent content chapters focus on the application of social psychological theory and knowledge to such areas as counseling, sports, media, health, education, organizations, criminal justice, community, environment, and diversity.
Frank W. Schneider, Jamie A. Gruman, and Larry M. Coutts
1. Defining the Field of Applied Social Psychology
Social Psychology

Defining Social Psychology

Social Psychology as a Science

Applied Social Psychology

Applied Social Psychology as a Science

The Role of Personal Values

Historical Context of Applied Social Psychology

A Problem Focus

Approaches to Applied Social Psychology

Social Influences on Behavior: The Power of the Situation

Levels of Analysis

The Need for a Broad Approach

Various Roles of Applied Social Psychologists

Overview of Book


Michelle A. Krieger, Greg A. Chung-Yan, and Shelagh M. J. Towson
2. Social Psychological Theory
The Scientific Process

Theory in Social Psychology

Functions of Social Psychological Theories

Characteristics of Social Psychological Theories

Cognitive Dissonance Theory





Summing Up Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Theory of Planned Behavior





Summing Up the Theory of Planned Behavior


Kenneth M. Cramer and Louise R. Alexitch
3. Research Methods in Applied Social Psychology
Methods of Data Collection

Variables and Their Measurement

Self-Report Methods: The Special Case of Surveys

Observational Methods

Research Designs

True Experiments


Correlational Studies

Descriptive Studies

Research Settings

Qualitative Research Methods

Research Ethics



Adam Lodzinski, Michiko S. Motomura, and Frank W. Schneider
4. Intervention and Evaluation
Design of Interventions

Nature of Interventions

Key Tasks in Intervention Design and Delivery

Evaluation of Interventions

Reasons for Evaluating Interventions

Ineffective Interventions

Types of Evaluation

Importance of Research Design in Evaluating Interventions

Evidence-Based Interventions

An Intervention Example: Reducing Alcohol Problems on Campus

Identifying the Problem

Developing a Solution: Forming the Intervention Hypothesis

Goal Setting and Designing the Intervention

Implementing the Intervention

Evaluating the Intervention

Incorporating Qualitative Methods to Design and Evaluate Interventions

Further Applications of Social Norm Theory

Other Interventions

Examples of Other Interventions

Complex Problems Require Complex Solutions

Influencing Social Policy

Intervention Issues

Process Issues

Ethical Issues


Kenneth E. Hart and Phillip A. Ianni
5. Applying Social Psychology to Clinical and Counseling Psychology
The Origins of Psychological Disorders

The Social Psychological Roots of Social Anxiety

A Social Psychological Model of Depression

The Treatment and Prevention of Psychological Disorders

Self-Presentation Theory: An Approach to Treating Social Anxiety

Hopelessness Theory Approach to Treating Depression

The Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders

Biases in Clinical Decision Making

Final Thoughts


Philip Sullivan, Deborah L. Feltz, and Lori Dithurbide
6. Applying Social Psychology to Sports Teams
Team Dynamics

Team Cohesion

Team Confidence

Effective Communication

Team Goal Setting

Team Building

Family Psychology Intervention

Communication Training Intervention


David R. Ewoldsen and Beverly Roskos
7. Applying Social Psychology to the Media
How Does Media Violence Affect Us?

The Consequences of Viewing Media Violence

Imitation of Violence

Media Violence and Aggressive Thoughts

Media Violence and Fear

What Happens When We Watch Pornography?

Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Nonviolent Pornography

Effects of Exposure to Embedded Violent Sexual Material

Reducing the Harmful Effects of Exposure to Violent Sexual Material

Does Political News Coverage Affect Us?

How the Media Influence Our Thoughts

Effects of Negative Media Coverage of the Government


Kathryn D. Lafreniere and Kenneth M. Cramer
8. Applying Social Psychology to Health
Health Psychology Defined

The Biopsychosocial Model

Social Variables and Health

Promoting Health and Preventing Illness

Persuasion and Social Influence in Media Health Coverage

Health Literacy: Evaluating Health-Related Information on the Internet

Family, Peer, and School Influences

Changing Health Behavior

Health Belief Model

Theory of Planned Behavior

Transtheoretical Model

Stress, Coping, and Social Support

Stress and Coping

Social Support


Louise R. Alexitch
9. Applying Social Psychology to Education
Intrapersonal Processes: Increasing Success, Reducing Failure

What Factors Affect Student Performance?

How Can Student Performance Be Improved?

Interpersonal Processes: Teachers and Students Interacting

Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement

Students Interacting With Other Students

When Interactions Turn Ugly: Aggression in School


Larry M. Coutts and Jamie A. Gruman
10. Applying Social Psychology to Organizations
The Individual in an Organizational Context

Making Sense of Others in the Work Environment

Job Satisfaction: Antecedents and Consequences

Interpersonal Processes in Organizations


Group Decision Making


David M. Day and Stéphanie B. Marion
11. Applying Social Psychology to the Criminal Justice System
The Crime and the Criminal

The Social Psychology of a Crime

The Origins of Criminal Behavior

The Response of the Criminal Justice System

The Police Investigation

The Courtroom

The Prison Setting


Kathryn D. Lafreniere, Stewart Page, and Charlene Y. Senn
12. Applying Social Psychology to the Community
What Is Community Psychology?

Defining Community Psychology

Origins of Community Psychology

Community Psychology Values and Approaches

Sense of Community

Life in the City

The Internet as a Community and Source of Help

Diversity Versus Prejudice and Stigmatization

The Importance of Diversity

Research on Stigmatization

The Media and Stigmatization

Bringing About Social Change

Social Action and Activism

Using Research to Influence Social Change

Activism in Research

Influencing Policy

Changing Structural or Social Barriers


Robert Gifford
13. Applying Social Psychology to the Environment
Resource Dilemmas

A Family of Dilemmas

What Is a Resource Dilemma?

Studying Resource Dilemmas

Strategies for Inducing Pro-Environment Behavior

The Built Environment

Social Design

Defensible Space



Catherine T. Kwantes and Sherry Bergeron
14. Applying Social Psychology to Diversity
Societies: Cultural Diversity

Hofstede’s Cultural Taxonomy

Schwartz’s Values Framework

Social Axioms Approach

Demographics: Personal Diversity


Ethnic Background

Social Class

Consequences of Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges

Creativity and Innovation

Problem Solving

Prejudice and Discrimination


Theories of Conflict

Conflict Management and Resolution


Ann L. Weber and Jennifer Dobson
15. Applying Social Psychology to Personal Relationships
The Need to Be Close


Proximity and Familiarity

Physical Attractiveness


Infant Attachment

Adult Attachment Styles

Assess Your Attachment Style

Applying Attachment Lessons

The Selection Process

The T-Shirt Study

Selection Process Lessons and Applications

Conclusion: The Science of Closeness


Randolph A. Smith
16. Applying Social Psychology to the Classroom
Cognitive Errors and Student–Teacher Relations

Fundamental Attribution Error

Belief Perseverance

Social Categorization

Self-Perceptions and Their Academic Consequences


Self-Serving Bias

Overjustification Effect

Conclusion: Social Psychology in the Classroom


Jamie A. Gruman, Kenneth E. Hart, and Phillip A. Ianni
17. Applying Social Psychology to the Good Life: Balancing Optimism and Pessimism
Introduction to Positive Social Psychology


Introduction to Optimism–Pessimism

Self-Assessment of Optimism–Pessimism

The Social Psychology of Optimism

The Benefits of Optimism

Positive Coaching Exercises


A Balanced View of Optimism and Pessimism

Broadening the Perspective on Well-Being


Author Index
Subject Index
About the Editors


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