Social Psychology Book Nuggets


image“One can’t live mindfully without being enmeshed in psychological processes that are around us.”  — Philip G. Zimbardo

Social pyschology is your friend.

What you don’t know can hurt you.  And what you do know, especially in terms of what’s going on around you, can help you.

According to Wikipedia, social psychology is “the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.”

Understand the World Around You 10 Times Better

This is a roundup of my Book Nuggets from Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications, by Robert S. Feldman.  In Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications, Feldman teaches you how to use social psychology to understand the world around you in a much better way.  Feldman presents social psychology as a dynamic, evolving scientific discipline with substantial relevance to people’s lives.

The result is a balanced integration of theory, research, and applications that you can use to get better results in work and life.

Social Psychology Book Nuggets at a Glance

Here are my nuggets from Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications so far …

  • 6 Types of Social Power – The six types of social power are: 1) Reward Power, 2) Coercive Power, 3) Referent Power, 4) Legitimate Power, 5) Expert Power, 6) Informational Power.  Information Power is the most transient form of power.
  • Create Cooperative Controversy Over Competitive Controversy – Beating up an idea is good. Resistance makes it stronger.  The trick is how to beat up an idea together versus promoting individual ideas.  The other trick is how to keep it from being personal where people will get defensive of their ideas.  When people get defensive, their fight-or-flight response kicks in and instead of more effective thinking, you get emotional responses.
  • Job Satisfaction Exposed: 5 Keys to Improving Work Happiness – Empower people with meaningful tasks where they can feel their impact, while growing their skills.   This is how people find their flow and improve, while enjoying the job they’re in.  The 5 keys are: 1) Skill variety, 2) Task identity, 3) Task significance, 4) Autonomy, 5) Feedback
  • Personal Space: How It Protects Us, Reduces Stress, and Improves Our Focus – Your personal bubble can help reduce your stress. When people are in our immediate space, the threat of potential aggression has more impact. Our bodies go into red alert. If you’ve ever had your brother or sister intently hold their finger a couple inches from your body while they say, “I’m not touching you … I’m not touching you …. I’m not touching you” you know the feeling.
  • Social Loafing: More is Less When It Comes to Work – Is there really strength in numbers? Not according to social loafing.  The more people there are, the less hard they work.
  • The Power of Superordinate Goals: How To Reduce Conflict Between Groups – Establishing common goals are a higher level way to bring conflicting or even hostile groups together. When that’s not possible, it’s important to take away the threat, to reduce cross-group hostility. One way to do this, if the space is large enough, is to carve out a niche, to reduce the turf wars. Everybody gets a place to play and they respect each other’s boundaries.
  • The Reciprocity of Liking Rule: I Like You Because You Like Me – t’s the reciprocity-of-liking rule.  Sure, there are exceptions, but for the most part, we like people that like us.  Once exception to the rule is, if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t like people that like you.

If you wan to improve your effectiveness, use social psychology to provide insight into what’s going on in the world around you.