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An Introduction to Social Psychology

An Introduction to Social Psychology

First Edition
  • Suhas Shetgovekar - Associate Professor, Discipline of Psychology, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi
Additional resources:

November 2017 | 344 pages | SAGE Texts

This textbook will help students of psychology and related disciplines to understand the fundamentals of social psychology and its application in the Indian context

An Introduction to Social Psychology offers a thorough understanding of all basic concepts and methods of social psychology in a lucid and interactive manner. It enables readers to grasp the idea of the self or the individual in the social context and understand the recent developments in the area of applied social psychology. 

The book is written for undergraduate and postgraduate students of social psychology, sociology, social works and other related disciplines. Every chapter begins with a well-defined set of learning objectives and includes review exercises and project-based activities. Readers would be introduced to the fundamentals and the emerging perspectives in the subject through numerous illustrations, exercises, activities, research data, case studies and links to further reading.  

Key Features 

· The language used emphasises clarity and avoids technical jargons to aid ease of understanding

· Covers current perspective, trends and research in social psychology, with a special focus on the Indian context

· Text supported by tables, figures and boxed-examples to aid in understanding and retention of concepts learned

· Inclusion of chapter-wise review questions and multiple choice questions to test learner’s progress and comprehension of the subject
Foreword by Vimala Veeraraghavan
Chapter 1. Introduction to Social Psychology
What is Social Psychology?

Social Psychology as Science

Theories of Social Psychology

Historical Developments in Social Psychology

Social Psychology in India

Current Trends and Challenges in Social Psychology

Chapter 2. Research Methods in Social Psychology
Research in Social Psychology

Key Concepts in Research

Components of Research Process

Types of Research in Social Psychology

Qualitative Research in Social Psychology

Ethical Issues in Research

Deception in Social Psychology Research

Challenges and Problems while Conducting Research in Social Psychology

Trends and Prospects in Social Psychology Research

Chapter 3. The Self
The Concept of ‘Self’


Self-esteem and Self-efficacy

Introspection and Self-perception

Other Concepts Related to Self

Self in Cyberspace

Gender Identity

Chapter 4. Social Cognition
The Concept of Social Cognition

Automatic and Controlled Processing

Aspects of Social Thought

Schemas: The Mental Representation

Cognitive Heuristics: The Mental Shortcuts

Social Categorisation

Cognition and Emotions

Chapter 5. Social Perception
Person Perception

Impression and Impression Formation


Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 6. Interpersonal Attraction

What is Interpersonal Attraction?

Theories of Attraction

Determinants of Attraction

Similarity and Proximity in Attraction

Online Attraction

Friendship and Close Relationships

Homosexual Couples and Relationships

Troubled Relationships and Breakups

Chapter 7. Attitude
What is Attitude?

Measurement of Attitude

Attitude Formation

How Attitudes Guide Behaviour

Attitude Change

Stereotype, Prejudice and Discrimination

Ways to Overcome Stereotype Prejudice and Discrimination

Chapter 8. Social Influence
What is Social Influence?


Normative Social Influence and Informational Social Influence

Minority Influence



Social Influence and Social Reality

Social Norms

Chapter 9. Prosocial Behaviour
What is Prosocial Behaviour?

Approaches and Perspectives to Prosocial Behaviour

Situational Factors that Determine Prosocial Behaviour

Who is more Likely to Receive Help?

Bystander’s Apathy

Outcome of Receiving Help

Social Support

Chapter 10. Aggression
What is Aggression?

Theories of Aggression

Determinants of Aggression

The Concept of Anger

Prevention and Control of Aggression

Chapter 11. Group Dynamics
Nature of Group

Roles and Norms

Group Cohesiveness

Performance of Individuals in Groups


Decision Making Process in Groups


Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Chapter 12. Culture

Concept of Culture

Culture and Individual


Psychological Perspective on Influence of Culture on Behaviour

Cross-cultural Research

Chapter 13. Introduction to Applied Social Psychology
The Concept of Applied Social Psychology

Historical Developments in Applied Social Psychology

Social Psychology Theories

Role of Applied Social Psychologists

Social Issues and Problems

Social Change



Chapter 14. Application of Social Psychology
Application of Social Psychology to Health Psychology

Application of Social Psychology to Industrial and Organisational Psychology

Application of Social Psychology to Sports

Application of Social Psychology to Clinical and Counselling Psychology

Application of Social Psychology to other Areas

Appendix—Exercise: Multiple Choice Questions


Answers to Multiple Choice Questions



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ISBN: 9789386446831