About this book
Whatever your reasons, kind reader, for reading these words,-what ever your premises about forewords, whatever the epistemic motivation with which you approach them-Iet me urge you to turn immediately to Kruglanski's first chapter and skim it. If any enthusiasm for sodal psy chology flows in your veins, you will certainly proceed then to read further in this important book. It represents some dozen years of Arie's thought and of his and his colleagues' research. Its intellectual scope covers 50 years of sodal psychology-from attitudes and attitude change, to balance, disso nance, and the various other cognitive consistency theories, to causal attribution, and to current cognitive sodal psychology. Sodal psycholo gists have recently begun to leave the fireside coziness of scribbling textbook catalogues of our field and to venture out into the cold, outdoor adventure of detecting (or creating?) its underlying structure. Of these attempts at providing scope plus order, Kruglanski's must surely be the most ambitious. For his is no mere overarching theory, which, like a circus tent over a diverse set of sideshows, covers everything but does little to provide thematic structure. Rather, Kruglanski tries to produce a basic reorganization of our thinking about sodal psychology. To use his LEGO blocks metaphor for the modification of knowledge structures, he attempts to dismantle the current assembly of elements of our field and reassemble them into a simpler and more coherent configuration.
Perception attribution cognition knowledge psychology social psychology