Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

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Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#1  Postby ogger » Sep 02, 2019 3:28 pm

Hello everyone. I want to start studying social psychology, and it will be a self study since I don't have enough hours left to take a psychology course. Still I want to learn. I'm trying to decide on what textbook to use, or what online course to follow. I found MIT's course here: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/brain-and-c ... /index.htm . The book they use, and recommended at "Psychology Resources" topic is "The Social Animal" by David Brooks. Also there is a website that lists textbooks: https://www.socialpsychology.org/texts.htm

I wanted to take your opinions first. Should I continue with MIT's course and the book they recommended? Or would you have any other recommendations?
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#2  Postby tuco » Sep 02, 2019 4:02 pm

Dont know any textbooks sorry. As far as I can tell The Social Animal is not a textbook. The title got me suspicious. If you want to go pop-sci route you might also check Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene and Nonzero by Robert Wright. Those come at social psychology from an evolutionary biology perspective.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#3  Postby ogger » Sep 02, 2019 4:30 pm

tuco wrote:Dont know any textbooks sorry. As far as I can tell The Social Animal is not a textbook. The title got me suspicious. If you want to go pop-sci route you might also check Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene and Nonzero by Robert Wright. Those come at social psychology from an evolutionary biology perspective.


It seemed to me like a self-help book at first. But after I see that they use it at MIT I couldn't be sure.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#4  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 02, 2019 6:42 pm

ogger wrote:The book they use, and recommended at "Psychology Resources" topic is "The Social Animal" by David Brooks.


No, that's not the book they use in the MIT course. There is a book with the same title by journalist David Brooks, but that is not being used in the MIT OCW course you linked to. The book used in that course is The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson, edition published in 2011. A course offered at MIT would not rely on a popular account written by a journalist as its main textbook.

If you're trying to obtain advice, and you want people to take you seriously, don't carelessly litter your posts with misinformation and misdirection. If you really are interested in social psychology, you could do much worse than following an MIT OCW course.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#5  Postby tuco » Sep 02, 2019 7:12 pm

Oh, its an introduction for lay audience.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#6  Postby ogger » Sep 02, 2019 11:54 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
ogger wrote:The book they use, and recommended at "Psychology Resources" topic is "The Social Animal" by David Brooks.


No, that's not the book they use in the MIT course. There is a book with the same title by journalist David Brooks, but that is not being used in the MIT OCW course you linked to. The book used in that course is The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson, edition published in 2011. A course offered at MIT would not rely on a popular account written by a journalist as its main textbook.

If you're trying to obtain advice, and you want people to take you seriously, don't carelessly litter your posts with misinformation and misdirection. If you really are interested in social psychology, you could do much worse than following an MIT OCW course.


Hello, thank you for your answer. Yes the book that used at MIT is by Elliot Aronson, I thought there is just one of them and by David Brooks. I couldn't understand why would they use a popular science psychology book at first. I was careful when writing my post, like every one of them. I do research beforehand, I read articles. Part of it is to learn new things and correct what I know wrong(which I didn't know its wrong before, there was an information from textbook with 10 editions. I couldn't think it may be wrong, I even read the articles that supported that claim before posting). I tried to give as much as detail as possible in this post. I gave every link that I searched, checked my post several times, but I happened to miss that there are two books with same name on same topic :( Sorry again. But I wouldn't call it littering.

Shouldn't I follow MIT OCW course? Would you have any recommendations? And sorry again for confusing the author.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#7  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 03, 2019 5:43 am

ogger wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
ogger wrote:The book they use, and recommended at "Psychology Resources" topic is "The Social Animal" by David Brooks.


No, that's not the book they use in the MIT course. There is a book with the same title by journalist David Brooks, but that is not being used in the MIT OCW course you linked to. The book used in that course is The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson, edition published in 2011. A course offered at MIT would not rely on a popular account written by a journalist as its main textbook.

If you're trying to obtain advice, and you want people to take you seriously, don't carelessly litter your posts with misinformation and misdirection. If you really are interested in social psychology, you could do much worse than following an MIT OCW course.


Hello, thank you for your answer. Yes the book that used at MIT is by Elliot Aronson, I thought there is just one of them and by David Brooks. I couldn't understand why would they use a popular science psychology book at first. I was careful when writing my post, like every one of them. I do research beforehand, I read articles. Part of it is to learn new things and correct what I know wrong(which I didn't know its wrong before, there was an information from textbook with 10 editions. I couldn't think it may be wrong, I even read the articles that supported that claim before posting). I tried to give as much as detail as possible in this post. I gave every link that I searched, checked my post several times, but I happened to miss that there are two books with same name on same topic :( Sorry again. But I wouldn't call it littering.


I don't much care what you would call it. Information about the textbook was plainly given at the top of the course description page at the link to ocw.mit.edu you gave us. Your communication skills in English are evidently weak, both in reading and in writing, and this is an English language forum. I think studying social psychology, full of controversial arguments and conclusions as it is, may be difficult for you if you choose to read about it in English. You're even wasting a lot of time, yours and ours, simply trying to obtain or share basic information. If you just want to practice your English, simply admit it, and stick to simpler topics.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#8  Postby Hermit » Sep 03, 2019 6:10 am

Don't worry too much about Cito's abrasive communication style, ogger. It's how he gets his kicks, and his impulse control is substandard. ;)

Rather than dive straight into social psychology, I suggest you have a look, at least briefly, at the field of sociology first. A book I can thoroughly recommend is Invitation to Sociology by Peter Berger. Though rather old now, (it was published in 1963) it really is a good introduction, at least to western style societies. It also possesses two properties I value highly: 1) It is a slim book. That means it is not particularly technical. 2) It is written in a fluent style, which makes it an easy read.

Another book I can recommend is The Social Construction of Reality. It is written by the same author, this time along with Thomas Luckmann. It is also a slim volume. Unfortunately it is a bit stodgy and repetitive. Still worth persevering with.

I think once you have gained a bit of a sociological overview you'll have an easier time digesting tomes on psychology. You'll probably be better equipped to decide which approaches to psychology to leave aside and which ones to focus on.
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Re: Any Textbook Recommendations for Social Psychology? Review!

#9  Postby ogger » Sep 04, 2019 1:16 am

Hermit wrote:Don't worry too much about Cito's abrasive communication style, ogger. It's how he gets his kicks, and his impulse control is substandard. ;)

Rather than dive straight into social psychology, I suggest you have a look, at least briefly, at the field of sociology first. A book I can thoroughly recommend is Invitation to Sociology by Peter Berger. Though rather old now, (it was published in 1963) it really is a good introduction, at least to western style societies. It also possesses two properties I value highly: 1) It is a slim book. That means it is not particularly technical. 2) It is written in a fluent style, which makes it an easy read.

Another book I can recommend is The Social Construction of Reality. It is written by the same author, this time along with Thomas Luckmann. It is also a slim volume. Unfortunately it is a bit stodgy and repetitive. Still worth persevering with.

I think once you have gained a bit of a sociological overview you'll have an easier time digesting tomes on psychology. You'll probably be better equipped to decide which approaches to psychology to leave aside and which ones to focus on.


Hello Hermit, first of all thank you for your answer. I don't mind Cito, it seems to me that he just seeks an output for his anger. Its better if he does it to random people on internet instead of someone he may hurt. But from a research I remember that aggressive behavior is likely to cause more aggressive behavior, bad news :roll: .

And thank you a lot for your suggestion. I think so that having a knowledge on sociology would be better before diving into social psychology. I will go through with your recommendations, and hopefully would be able to discuss some ideas with you guys.
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