Authors:  Robert A. Baron, PhD; and Nyla R. Branscombe, PhD
: Pearson – 509 pages
Book Review by
: Sonu Chandiram

This book on the science of relationships with and among others is a definitive work on social psychology. It seeks to relate research findings to everyday real-world behavior and occurrences. The authors have made the book as relevant and useful as possible to students and readers in general.

Its coverage is broad and its approach is user-friendly.  Here is the material you will learn:

  1. Social Psychology: The Science of the Social Side of Life
  2. Social Cognition: How We Think About the Social World
  3. Social Perception: Perceiving and Understanding Others
  4. The Self: Answering the Question “Who Am I?”
  5. Attitudes: Evaluating and Responding to the Social World
  6. The Causes, Effects, and Cures of Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
  7. Interpersonal Attraction, Close Relationships, and Love
  8. Social Influence: Changing Others’ Behavior
  9. Prosocial Behavior: Helping Others
  10. Aggression: Its Nature, Causes, and Control
  11. Groups and Individuals: The Consequences of Belonging
  12. Social Psychology: A Guide to Dealing with Adversity and Achieving a Happy Life

This book provides many features to help you in the discovery and material-absorption process.

Two special features are:

  • Emotions and…..
  • Social Life in a Connected World

It offers these features to help you learn more effectively about social psychology:

  1. Chapter Openings Linked to Important Trends and Events in Society. Examples:
  • Facebook as a means of presenting ourselves to others (chapter 4)
  • Proposing marriage over the Internet ( chapter 7)
  • Persuasion and scams on the Internet (chapter 8)
  • Aggression via the Web, e.g. sending damaging information to others (chapter 10)
  • The role of decision-making groups in recent disasters, e.g. the oil spill of 2010  in the Gulf of Mexico (chapter 11)
  1. Chapter Outline – each chapter begins with a list of topics and subtopics to be discussed
  2. Key Points – every major section ends with a brief review of the key points covered
  3. Summary and Review – each chapter ends with a summary that recaps the important points discussed
  4. Special Labels on All Graphs and Charts – to make these easy to understand, special labels are used as a unique feature of this book.

To get the most benefit from the use of this book, some supplementary materials are available:

  • My PsychLab
  • Instructor’s Manual
  • Test Item File
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Classroom Response System  

Robert A. Baron is the Spears Professor of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University. He received his PhD in social psychology from the University of Iowa in 1968. Professor Baron has held faculty appointments at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Purdue, the Universities of Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Oxford University, and Princeton University. From 1979 to 1981 he was the Program Director for Social and Development Psychology at NSF. In 2001 he was appointed as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow by the French Ministry of Research (Universite de Toulouse& LIRHE). Professor is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Charter Fellow of the American Psychological Society. He has published more than 120 articles and 45 chapters, and is the author or coauthor of 49 books in psychology and management.

Nyla R. Branscombe is Professor of Psychology at University of Kansas. She received her BA from York University in Toronto, MA from University of Western Ontario, and PhD from Purdue University. She has served as Associate Editor for Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, British Journal of Social Psychology, and Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Professor Branscombe has published more than 120 articles and chapters, has been co-recipient of the Otto Kleinberg prize for research in Intercultural and International Relations, and the 1996 and 2001 Society of Personality and Social Psychology Publication Award. She co-edited the 2004 volume Collective Guilt: International Perspectives published by Cambridge University Press, the 2007 volume Commemorating Brown: The Social Psychology of Racism and Discrimination, published by the American Psychological Association, and the 2010 volume Rediscovering Social Identity, published by Psychology Press.