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Social Psychology in Crisis: A Study of the References in the Handbook of Social Psychology (2nd Edition)1

Carnot E. Nelson, Peter H. Kannenberg

Abstract: References in the Handbook of Social Psychology (2nd Edition) were used to examine the field of social psychology during the period of 1953 to 1967. Measures were developed to indicate the "hotness" and "hardness" of material in the five volumes and in each chapter. The extent to which chapters referenced articles published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology was ascertained. There was no relationship between the "hotness" and "hardness" of an area indicating that social psychology had not become more basic research experimentally oriented. During the period studied, more emphasis was being placed on theory and methodology and less on groups. Data also indicated a variety of changes in more specialized areas. The content of JPSP as reflected in the Handbook emphasized the "harder" areas of social psychology and neglected the applied areas. The views of commentators on the field were discussed.
Keywords: social psychology / measures were developed / 2nd Edition / Handbook of Social / hardness

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