The Social Psychology of Science
William R. Shadish, Steve Fuller
Guilford Press, 1994 - Psychology - 432 pages
The social psychology of science is a compelling new area of study whose shape is still emerging. This erudite and innovative book outlines a theoretical and methodological agenda for this new field, and bridges the gap between the individually focused aspects of psychology and the sociological elements of science studies. Presenting a side of social psychology that, until now, has received almost no attention in the social sciences literature, this volume offers the first detailed and comprehensive study of the social psychology of science, complete with a large number of empirical and theoretical examples.
The volume's introductory section provides a detailed analysis of how modern social psychology might apply to the study of science. Chapters show how to analyze science in terms of social cognition, attribution theory, attitudes and attitude change, social motivation, social influence and social conformity, and intergroup relations, weaving extensive illustrations from the science studies literature into the theoretical analysis. The nature and role of experimentation are discussed, as are metaanalytic methods for summarizing the results of multiple studies. Ways to facilitate the generalization of causal inferences from experimental work are also examined.
The book focuses on such topics as interactions among small groups of scientists, and the impact of social motivation, influence, and conformity on scientific work. Also covered are scientists' responses to ethical issues in research, differences in cognitive style distribution, creativity in research and development, and the sociologists's view of the social psychology of science and technology. In addition, the book provides two annotated bibliographies, one on the philosophy of science and the other on social psychology, to guide readers in both disciplines to salient recent works.
Valuable to the entire science studies community, this text will be of special interest to philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, and historians of science interested in the nature of knowledge development in science. Because of its novel application of social psychological theories and methods, this book will be useful as a primary text or a secondary text in courses on science studies in psychology, sociology, or philosophy departments.
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