Social Psychology and Human Nature

Social Psychology and Human Nature / Roy F. Baumeister, Brad J. Bushman –  Third Edition

Some social events make you wonder. For example, why does the man usually pay for the date even when the woman also earns money and could pay her own way? Why do so many people fail to vote in elections (yet still complain about the government)?

Why are actors and celebrities so admired in America, when their success depends mainly on saying words that other people write for them and pretending to have emotions they do not really have? Why did the president of Kenya tell everyone in his country to abstain from sex for two years (and do you think people obeyed him)?

Why do the French live longer than people in just about any other country but also report much lower average happiness in life? Why do many people spend more than they earn? We think curiosity about people is still an excellent reason for studying social psychology.

Social psychology can teach you a great deal about how to understand people. If this book does not help you to understand people significantly better, then either you or we (or both) have failed. If this book (and this course) helps you understand people significantly better, then that is worth quite a lot as an end in itself.


1 The Mission and the Method
2 Culture and Nature
3 The Self
4 Choices and Actions: The Self in Control
5 Social Cognition
6 Emotion and Affect
7 Attitudes, Beliefs, and Consistency
8 Social Influence and Persuasion
9 Prosocial Behavior: Doing What’s Best for Others
10 Aggression and Antisocial Behavior
11 Attraction and Exclusion
12 Close Relationships: Passion, Intimacy, and Sexuality
13 Prejudice and Intergroup Relations
14 Groups