Constructing Social Psychology: Creative and Critical Aspects

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This collection of papers by William J. McGuire reports research on the phenomenal self, revealing how we selectively perceive ourselves and other complex stimuli in terms of distinctive or atypical features, often noticing what is missing rather than what is there. The content, structure, and processing of thought systems surrounding the self and other complex stimuli are shown to function by balancing logical consistency, realistic coping, and hedonic gratification. Attitude change and social influence processes are described, with particular attention given to the personality correlates of persuasability, how beliefs can be immunized against persuasion, how persuasive communications affect beliefs, and how people can be persuaded by Socratic questioning that does not give them new information but rather directs their attention to information they already have. Also reported are findings on language and thought, psychology and history, and techniques of creative thinking in psychology and other fields.