Towards a balanced social psychology: Causes, consequences, and cures for the problem-seeking approach to social behavior and cognition

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (3):313-327 (2004)
Abstract
Mainstream social psychology focuses on how people characteristically violate norms of action through social misbehaviors such as conformity with false majority judgments, destructive obedience, and failures to help those in need. Likewise, they are seen to violate norms of reasoning through cognitive errors such as misuse of social information, self-enhancement, and an over-readiness to attribute dispositional characteristics. The causes of this negative research emphasis include the apparent informativeness of norm violation, the status of good behavior and judgment as unconfirmable null hypotheses, and the allure of counter-intuitive findings. The shortcomings of this orientation include frequently erroneous imputations of error, findings of mutually contradictory errors, incoherent interpretations of error, an inability to explain the sources of behavioral or cognitive achievement, and the inhibition of generalized theory. Possible remedies include increased attention to the complete range of behavior and judgmental accomplishment, analytic reforms emphasizing effect sizes and Bayesian inference, and a theoretical paradigm able to account for both the sources of accomplishment and of error. A more balanced social psychology would yield not only a more positive view of human nature, but also an improved understanding of the bases of good behavior and accurate judgment, coherent explanations of occasional lapses, and theoretically grounded suggestions for improvement. Key Words: Bayesian inference; biases; normative models; personality; positive psychology; rationality; reasoning; social behavior; social judgment; social psychology.
Keywords Bayesian inference   biases   normative models   personality   positive psychology   rationality   reasoning   social behavior   social judgment   social psychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Craig R. M. McKenzie (2009). Bayes Plus Environment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (1):93-94.
    Eric Luis Uhlmann (2011). Post Hoc Rationalism in Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (4):214-214.
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    5 ( #178,775 of 1,088,854 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    0

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.