© 2019

Social Psychology in Action

Evidence-Based Interventions from Theory to Practice

  • Kai Sassenberg
  • Michael L.W.  Vliek

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Applying Social Psychological Theory: A Single Theory Approach

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Lucas Keller, Maik Bieleke, Peter M. Gollwitzer
      Pages 23-37
    3. Kai Sassenberg, Michael L. W. Vliek
      Pages 51-64
    4. Bas Verplanken, Sheina Orbell
      Pages 65-78
    5. Christina Mühlberger, Eva Jonas
      Pages 79-94
    6. F. Marijn Stok, Denise T. D. de Ridder
      Pages 95-110
    7. Fabrizio Butera, Céline Buchs
      Pages 111-127
    8. Daan Scheepers, Naomi Ellemers
      Pages 129-143
    9. Oliver Christ, Mathias Kauff
      Pages 145-161
    10. Bernd Wittenbrink, Joshua Correll, Debbie S. Ma
      Pages 163-177
    11. Katharina Bernecker, Veronika Job
      Pages 179-191
  3. Combining Theoretical Insights: Addressing Complex Human Behavior

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 193-193
    2. Minou M. B. van der Werf, Wilco W. van Dijk, Tom F. Wilderjans, Lotte F. van Dillen
      Pages 195-204
    3. Sonja Utz
      Pages 205-219
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 239-242

About this book


This timely and applied textbook brings together leading scientists to illustrate how key theories and concepts in social psychology help to predict and explain behavior, and can be successfully applied to benefit social and practical problems. It focuses on robust theories and models known for their successful applications and covers a diverse range of settings—spanning classroom interventions, health behavior, financial decision making, climate change and much more. Each chapter comprises of a theoretical section to define the key concepts and summarize the theory, providing evidence for its reliability and limitations from basic research, as well as an application section that summarizes research in an applied context and provides details about a particular study including the respective application setting. The textbook expertly shows how theory can make meaningful predictions for real world contexts, and isn’t afraid to explain the potential hurdles and pitfalls when applying a theory and its underlying set of concepts in a certain context. Crucially, this format moves towards theory testing in applied contexts, enabling a closer examination of why and under what circumstances interventions may be successful in obtaining a desired behavioral or psychological end-state.

Among the topics explored:

  • Mindset theory of action phases and if-then planning
  • Quality of motivation in self-determination theory
  • The focus theory of normative conduct
  • Social identity theory and intergroup contact theory
  • Intergroup forgiveness

Social Psychology in Action is a critical resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in social and cultural psychology, as well as students of behavioral economics seeking to develop a deeper understanding of major theories and applications of the fields. Practitioners working in the areas of organizational behavior and management, health communication, social work, and educational science and pedagogy will also find the volume pertinent to their work.


Applied Social Psychology Cultural Psychology Evidence-Based Interventions Linking theory to practice Reflective-impulsive model Implicit prejudice Rubicon model and implementation intentions Self-determination theory Social identity theory Theory of normative conduct Theory of planned behavior Attitude behavior gap Intergroup contact theory Theory on interpersonal reconcilitation Emotion theory Mindset theory Self-affirmation & change Interdependence theory Social comparison social psychology textbook

Editors and affiliations

  • Kai Sassenberg
    • 1
  • Michael L.W.  Vliek
    • 2
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien/Knowledge Research Center and University of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Social Psychology program groupUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

About the editors

Kai Sassenberg is a professor at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and head of the Social Processes Lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien – a research institute dedicated to excellent research with high applied relevance in the domain of digital media. Based on social psychological theorizing he has studied leadership, health behavior, and learning in higher education. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. His research was covered by international (e.g., NBC, New York Times) and national media (e.g., ZDF_neo, Wirtschaftswoche, FAZ). Sassenberg was an associate editor for the European Journal of Social Psychology and is member of the editorial board of four social psychology journals. He is currently president of the European Association of Social Psychology (2017-2020).

Michael L. W. Vliek was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam between 2006 and 2016, chaired the teaching committee for the Department of Psychology, and taught at all different levels of the bachelor and research master curriculum in Psychology. He has written several well-received psychology textbooks, such as a first year introduction to psychology textbook with McGraw & Hill, as well as a textbook on the psychology of influence and persuasion with Routledge. He currently works as a scientific consultant for non-profit and governmental organizations.

Bibliographic information