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The Social Animal


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Table of Contents

Intro: Why I Wrote This Book.- 1. What Is Social Psychology?.- 2. Social Cognition and Emotion.- 3. Conformity.- 4. Mass Communication, Propaganda, and Persuasion.- 5. Self-Justification.- 6. Aggression.- 7. Prejudice.- 8. Liking, Loving, and Interpersonal Sensitivity.- 9. Social Psychology as a Science.

About the Author

Elliot Aronson is one of the most eminent and versatile psychologists of our time.  He is the only person in the 120 year history of the American Psychological Association to have won all three of its major awards: Distinguished Researcher (1999), Distinguished Teaching (1980), and Distinguished Writing (1975).  In addition, among his many honors are the Gordon Allport Prize for his contributions to the betterment of intergroup relations, and the Donald Campbell Award for distinguished research in social psychology.  

Joshua Aronson is associate professor of developmental, social, and educational psychology, at New York University. He has won awards for both research and teaching, including most recently, the Scientific Impact Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He is best known for his pioneering research on stereotype threat, research that has been cited in three Supreme Court cases and has been among the most widely cited research programs in psychology and education.


“A classic work has been brought into the modern age, and the result is both timely and timeless. Expertly weaving sage wisdom and contemporary science, personal stories and hard-won facts, The Social Animal remains the single best book ever written about the field of social psychology.”
 – Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, Author of the international best-seller, Stumbling on Happiness
“This is my favorite book on the subject (and I'm the son of a social psychology professor!)
Aronson manages to speak to the layman (me) and the scholar (my father) with equal effectiveness. Though rooted in academia, The Social Animal feels as contemporary and entertaining as anything by Malcolm Gladwell and Chuck Klosterman.”
– Jesse Eisenberg, actor and author
  “When I read the initial edition of The Social Animal, I was struck by its wealth of deep insights.  Count me double struck by the newest edition and the acute relevance of those insights to modern phenomena that didn’t even exist then.”
– Robert B. Cialdini, Author of Influence and Pre-Suasion

“This is one of the most important social science books ever written, by two of the great thinkers of our time—and it’s a big part of why I became a psychologist.”
– Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of GIVE AND TAKE, ORIGINALS, and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg

"This is the book that inspired many of today’s eminent social psychologists... and helped thousands of students to think critically about their own minds and the minds of others. With its brilliant writing, this new edition has all the grace and wisdom of the earlier ones, but the social problems it addresses are the problems of today. ---“Phoebe Ellsworth, Frank Murphy Distinguished Professor of Law and Psychology, University of Michigan
“The Social Animal is one of social psychology’s most venerable institutions. It has served as a vivacious host to generations of young scholars who are just arriving to the discipline, immersing them in gripping tales about the weird, wild, wonderful world of human sociality. In this newest edition, The Social Animal has perfected its unique ability to convey the power and importance of the scientific method with a narrative style that make the pages turn themselves. “
– Eli J. Finkel, PhD, professor in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and the author of  The All-or-Nothing Marriage
“If you want to see social psychology come alive, The Social Animal is the book for you.    Two eminent social psychologists, father and son, have produced the most engrossing, delightful book on the subject.  A superb way to learn about who we are and why!”    
– Elizabeth Loftus, PhD, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine.

"Every science needs a book that so ignites the imagination as to bring its readers fully into the excitement of doing that science. For social psychology, The Social Animal is that book--conveying as it does, the essence of this science in a way that has invited generations of students right into the midst of the field--where they remain as life-long appreciators or, in many cases, as scientists themselves. Aronson père has developed the remarkable voice behind this institution of a book, and Aronson fils has sustained that voice and expanded its reach with the latest research. This 12th edition is a remarkable achievement. The Social Animal is stronger than ever!" 
–  Claude Steele 
“The ideas [Aronson] so eloquently presents are timeless in the field of social psychology…The Social Animal is a masterpiece.”
– Contemporary Psychology
“The Aronsons write with an astonishing combination of passion, wisdom, and humor.  The Social Animal is a great book. “
–  Grażyna Wieczorkowska , Robert Zajonc Institute of Social Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland
“The bible of American Social Psychology” 
–  Revue des Questions Scientifiques

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