By Antti Eskola (Eds.)
Genuine advances aren't made in blind alleys (or culs-de-sac). In Social Psychology, as in each department of technology, the trails which seem to provide growth don't regularly lead to theoretical attractiveness. sure simple difficulties over and over defy ultimate resolution. This quantity surveys the rules and strategies of Social Psychology with the purpose of opting for methods out of the study maze. It examines the background and traditions of the sphere, seems to be at technique and conceptual schemes, and discusses the particular examine tools used.
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Extra info for Blind Alleys in Social Psychology
His aim is to develop a script all continuations of which describe obedient subjects; and on the other hand, a script where none of the stories have obedient subjects. Mixon succeeded. The critical factor distinguishing ‘all’ from ‘none’ scripts is whether the subjects believe the electric shocks only cause pain 36 A. Eskola to the ‘victim’ or that they may actually damage his health. In the former case all the stories have subjects who obey the experimenter’s order to administer shocks; in the latter case all the subjects refuse to go on with the experiment.
25 in the study of social influence, it is by no means the only one possible. Social influence can also be observed in ‘natural’ everyday situations; or it can be traced in various documents, such as the detailed minutes of a meeting. There is however one methodological feature that this research tradition apparently cannot escape. When socizl influence is regarded as the object of social psychology, attention is focused on the individual, whose feelings, behaviour or opinions are influenced by the mere presence of other people or by their action.
Society’ is present in the experiment through one of its institutions science - but the scientist fails to gain conceptual control of this fact and remains at the mercy of its influence. In this sense those research traditions within social psychology whose assumptions do not refer to individuals’ reactions only are much better equipped. In the two sections that follow we shall deal with these traditions, first with one that does not concern itself with social influence, but with social interaction.