Higher Education


Social Psychology and Human Nature, 5E

Author(s): Roy F. Baumeister | Brad J. Bushman

ISBN: 9789355739049

Edition: 5th

© Year : 2021


Binding: Paperback

Pages: 832

Trim Size : 279 x 216 mm

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Explore how social psychology can help you make sense of your own social world with this engaging and accessible book. Roy F. Baumeister and Brad J. Bushman's SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HUMAN NATURE, 5th Edition, can help you understand one of the most interesting topics of all -- the sometimes bizarre and baffling but always fascinating diversity of human behavior, and how and why people act the way they do. After reading this book, you will have a much better understanding of people. Thoroughly updated with the latest research and thinking, the new edition includes expanded coverage of social media use and loneliness, findings on mimicry, nonbinary gender theory, anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice and more.

  • "Food for Thought" boxes tie chapter material to an intriguing social psychology issue as it relates to food -- a central theme in the lives of today's students given that college presents a novel set of challenges and opportunities for eating, drinking, dieting and related concerns. Box topics include It's the Thought that Counts (or Doesn't Count) the Calories; Mood and Food; Virtuous Vegetarians; and Restaurants, Rules and the Bad Taste of Nonconformity.
  • In real life, many decisions and dilemmas involve tradeoffs, meaning that often there is no single right answer that will suit everyone. "Tradeoffs" boxes help students develop a greater capacity to see both sides of many problems or behaviors and realize that solving one issue will sometimes create another. Topics include Now Versus Tomorrow: Delay of Gratification; Self-Handicapping; Affect Intensity or the Joys of Feeling Nothing; and Lower Expectations to Increase Happiness. These features help students truly understand tradeoffs -- which is a valuable and powerful way to improve critical thinking.
  • "Money Matters" boxes illuminate social psychology concepts by applying them to concerns students recognize from everyday life. These entertaining, pragmatically useful extensions of each chapter's basic research themes include such topics as the price some football teams pay for racial prejudice; would you sell your soul for $1; and money, men and mating.
  • Drs. Baumeister and Bushman succeed at their goal of putting the person back in the situation. Rather than focusing on humans as blank slates who just respond to situations and treating the subject as unrelated lists of findings and phenomena, the authors use running themes throughout the book to emphasize the role of human nature and tie the material together. Themes include the duplex mind; putting people first; the long road to social acceptance; and nature says go, culture says stop.
  • Focusing on key findings that have shaped theoretical thought -- including the best of both classic and current research -- the text helps students develop an integrative yet broad and informed understanding of the field. Graphs and images, such as a multi-country scatterplot graph in Chapter 10 "Aggression and Antisocial Behavior", illustrate decreased violence levels worldwide in the 20th century -- engaging students and enhancing their learning and understanding.
  • The text's popular self-quizzes include one relatively challenging item, which increases variety so that students of all ability levels can find questions that are helpful and appropriate for checking their progress and maximizing their study time.
  • In Chapter 2, new research on human brain evolution in response to different kinds of challenges finds competition among individuals to be a minor factor and cooperation to master the environment a more central factor. Further evidence notes why humans live so much longer than chimpanzees: When someone is unable to hunt or forage because of injury or illness, humans provide food -- enabling the person to survive and recover. Other primates do not. This fits with the book's emphasis that humans evolved to create culture and that cooperation is vital to the evolution of humans as cultural animals.
  • Putting chapter concepts into real-world context, Chapter 8 "Social Influence and Persuasion" opens with a new vignette about fake news, which can even influence election results. The World Economic Forum lists "the rapid spread of misinformation online" as one of the 10 most pressing issues facing the world today.
  • Chapter 6 "Emotion and Affect" opens with a new vignette on road rage, which is the leading cause of traffic fatalities -- even ahead of texting and alcohol consumption. It also discusses how movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo are fueled by anger, which motivates people to take action.
  • New coverage in Chapter 13 "Prejudice and Intergroup Relations" include discussions on anti-gay and anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice as well as prejudice against "greedy" big corporations. The chapter also highlights new findings showing electronic contact with outgroup members can reduce prejudice.
  • Every chapter has been thoroughly updated with the latest research and developments. Chapter 1 "The Mission and the Method" offers insightful discussions of the "replication crisis" -- in science generally and in psychology specifically -- along with possible solutions. The authors also talk about the recent "Open Science" movement to make results from scientific studies openly accessible to all people.
  • Chapter 12 "Close Relationships: Passion, Intimacy, and Sexuality" includes new findings on high divorce rates among the most attractive people, how sexual desire changes during the early years of marriage and what role sex plays in marital satisfaction. It expands coverage of non-heterosexual sexuality and introduces a new theory about the continuing existence of homosexuality despite minimal help from either nature or culture. In addition, a new section addresses nonbinary gender theory, focusing on people who refuse to identify as either male or female.
  • Packed with examples, Chapter 11 "Interpersonal Attraction and Exclusion" adds several recent lines of work relevant to college student life. It includes expanded coverage of social media use, including its relationship to belongingness and loneliness. In addition, findings on mimicry are extended to eating, indicating that people (especially young women) eat more when they see others eating more. Another study shows young male skateboarders taking more risks when observed by an attractive woman.
  • The authors updated the book's popular endnote reference style, which reflects what is used in top scientific journals such as SCIENCE, NATURE and PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.
  • Chapter 5 "Social Cognition" adds new research showing that the unconscious mind can process much more than previously thought, such as effortful arithmetic computations, multiple-word expressions and more.

1. The Mission and the Method.

2. Culture and Nature.

3. The Self.

4. Choices and Actions: The Self in Action.

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. Interpersonal Attraction and Exclusion.

12. Close Relationships: Passion, Intimacy, and Sexuality.

13. Prejudice and Intergroup Relations.

14. Groups.


Roy F. Baumeister

Roy F. Baumeister holds the Eppes Eminent Professorship in Psychology at Florida State University, where he is the head of the social psychology graduate programme and teaches social psychology to students at all levels. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1978.


Brad J. Bushman

Brad J. Bushman is a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, where he holds the Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication. He is also a professor of communication science at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the summer..