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The Social Animal

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  1,784 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Newly revised and up-to-date, this edition of The Social Animal is a brief, compelling introduction to modern social psychology. Through vivid narrative, lively presentations of important research, and intriguing examples, Elliot Aronson probes the patterns and motives of human behavior, covering such diverse topics as terrorism, conformity, obedience, politics, race relat ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published July 25th 2003 by Worth Publishers (first published 1972)
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May 12, 2014 Evan rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best and most illuminating books I have ever read.

This book is what every self-help book dreams of being; instead of anecdotes or feel-good advice, there's 400 pages of meticulously referenced (sadly just endnotes, not sidenotes or footnotes) peer-reviewed articles. Aronson's life work is, as he concludes the book, understanding "how we think, how we behave, what makes us aggressive, and what makes us loving." So many books peck around the edges of that topic; this book, now i
Zachary Zhao
May 12, 2010 Zachary Zhao rated it really liked it
For every subject, there is a Bible textbook. This has to be the one for Social Psychology.
Mohammed Al Hajji
Dec 16, 2014 Mohammed Al Hajji rated it really liked it
A great reference for avid social psychology readers. It goes through all main concepts in the field in a simple yet enriching content.
Jul 14, 2009 Jenn rated it did not like it
The author states that he purposely left this book brief so that it could serve as an introduction to social psychology. As valid a goal as that might be, Elliot Aronson's approach leaves the reader with a book that only provides examples and defines barely any terms or theories. Aronson must have known that his book may be used as primary text for a social psychology class (as it was in mine), which makes the inadequacies of this book inexcusable.

The author bolds key terms but a review of the d
عبدالرحمن عقاب
Aug 07, 2013 عبدالرحمن عقاب rated it really liked it
هذا الكتاب يعتبر بحق مقدمة نافعة و متقنة في مجال علم النفس الاجتماعي.
فصوله الثلاث الأولى أهم في موضوعاتها وأكثر إتقانا في عرضها من الأخيرة.
يمتاز الكتاب بسلاسة الأسلوب، وترتيب الأفكار. ويعيبه طول فصوله وإسهابه في مواطن لا تحتاج إلى الإسهاب والإطالة ويمكن فيها الاستغناء بذكر تجربة أو اثنتين والتركيز على النتائج. وينقصه الجداول والملخصات في الهوامش فهي لو أضيفت ستعطيه إفادة وتميزا وفائدة أكبر.
Sep 04, 2014 Sid rated it it was amazing
Social Psychology is a really captivating topic, and as a primer this book was great. The author sure seems to know what he is writing about, giving examples and case studies from findings. But along with that his writing is captivating and drew me to read more and become more curious on the matter he was writing. I am keen on knowing more about the subject and applications of it.

Strongly recommend this book, can't think of a reason how it cannot impact anybody and everybody. We all are social
Ahmed Abdelrazek
Oct 03, 2013 Ahmed Abdelrazek rated it it was amazing
لو تقييم الكتاب دا من 100 هاديله 100 ... الكتاب دا احسن كتاب قريته في حياتي ... اولا هو أحد الأسباب في أني أقرر اتخصصص سيكولوجي ... فهمني حاجات كتير جدا عن نفسي وعن المجتمع اللي انا عايش فيه ... من خلاله قدرت أفسر تصرفات ناس كتير وليه بيعملوها ... أنا بقرأ في الكتاب من خمس شهور مش عشان مش عارف اخلصه لكن عشان كل ما اقرأ جزء لازم أقف وأفكر فيه وأهضمه من روعته وفايدته ...انا واخد أجزاء من الكتاب عامله 46 صفحة ... قررت أشتر يالكتاب دا هدية لنفسي في عيدميلادي الجاي
Sadhbh Warren
Mar 01, 2016 Sadhbh Warren rated it really liked it
It's a bit dated now, but this is the book that pretty much taught me everything I wanted to know about people and social psychology when I signed up to do my BA. The discussion of Bystander Syndrome absolutely blew my mind at the time. Well worth a read.
Jan 04, 2009 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in psychology
I had to read this book for my Social Psychology class and it was (quite possibly) the only "text" book I ever actually read. It was a fascinating merging of psychology in a social context. The subject is immediately applicable to real life.
Sep 14, 2012 Ernest rated it really liked it
This insightful social psychology book for the curious layperson provoked and challenged the way I think about influences that people have and are subjected to. In an increasingly intellectual apathetic world, it was really interesting to read about research into humans as an influencing and influential being on others, especially in ways that surprised or were counterintuitive.

As a book written to be brief, I can understand the author not going into some concepts in more scholarly detail. Howe
Mar 19, 2016 Kalyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
An incredible analysis of the social psychology we all fall into. I would highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to better understand why we are the way we are.
This book covers so much, and it's a huge wake up to the human nature and how we are inclined to do good and awful things. I love the emphasis on eliminating prejudice. There is also a great chapter, 'Liking, loving, and interpersonal sensitivity', that is applicable to anyone in a relationship. I guess this is my inspiration to study sociology and psychology in university :)
Excellent. It's an encyclopedia for modern psychology. Covering a very wide range of experiences. I really really enjoy it. When I finished the book, I felt like I don't need to read anything anymore about Social Psychology!
I was also amazed by the scientific approach to do experiments in social psychology.
May 10, 2007 Julie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anthropologist
An entertaining peek into the age old social aspects of human beings. I also love Aronson's language. He makes scientific non-fiction just as amusing and easy to read as Judy Blume.
Seyhun Akyürek
May 17, 2016 Seyhun Akyürek rated it really liked it
Shelves: mind
Social Animal is an insightful book about social psychology, human nature topics explained deeply. Loved it!
Abner Rosenweig
Reading Social Animal is like trying to drink raw maple syrup. It's that dense. After a good conversational introduction, Social Animal becomes dry and textbooky and often reads like a military report. Essentially it's a catalogue of experiment results in prose. The content could have been framed much better. As-is, it's a better reference book than reading material.

Yet, Social Animal is enjoyable for its thorough accounts of the major topics and experiments in social psychology, and it frequen
Jurij Fedorov
Apr 30, 2016 Jurij Fedorov rated it it was ok
Well, I really wanted to like it. I love psychology and I love social psychology. This seemed like a book written by a knowledgeable person on the topic... but in the end this is too much pseudoscience for my liking. I read everything I can about psychology and even I thought this was boring. So, I really don't know who will enjoy this book. So it really baffles me that so many people give it high ratings. Who the hell reads this book? If you actually know a bit about psychology you will discove ...more
Kenny Bell
Mar 19, 2014 Kenny Bell rated it liked it
This book has truly effected the way I deal with every day situations. Although this book was very dense, Elliot Aronson writes simplistically.

The most revolutionary thing I take from this book that I always seem to have my brain meddle in is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is when you have two conflicting beliefs.

For example, when you have to clean your room and its filthy but you don't feel like it. You feel like a dirty person but you try to stay clean outwardly in front of peopl
Stefano Finazzo
Nov 02, 2013 Stefano Finazzo rated it really liked it
Pois o bicho humano é uma caixinha de surpresas.

Elliot Aronson escreveu um livro-texto para ajudar a entender a falácia da racionalidade humana. Pois quando o bicho humano está próximo de outro bicho humano, a coisa muda de figura.

Esse é o tipo de coisa que todos, principalmente os que se acham completamente racionais, precisam entender um pouco. O bicho humano age por outros mecanismos além da razão que podem, insidiosamente, se fazerem valer por razão. O poder da conformidade, da dissonância c
Meleah Allard
Jun 13, 2016 Meleah Allard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Since I am a Christian and this book was clearly written from a secular perspective, I disagreed with a good deal of it. However, I still learned and found some of it really helpful. So it is worth the effort but will need to read with a discerning eye if you are a person of Christian faith.
Liz Wright
Dec 21, 2015 Liz Wright added it
Shelves: psychology
A very well-written introduction to social psychology. My students and I enjoyed it because it was both an interesting read and written on a level that introductory students can understand. I highly suggest it for introductory social psychology courses.
Saurav Das
Dec 10, 2015 Saurav Das rated it it was amazing
At the beginning, asks, what does it mean to be a 'social animal'? And throughout the book, describes almost every effect society can have on individual persons. But at the end, inspires to understand more than that.
Apr 22, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good basic social psychology textbook. Accessible to those who are completely new to the discipline. Intermediate readers might want more information.
Nov 07, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am convinced this is one of the greatest books ever written--amazing content, amazingly clear, and perfectly interesting from beginning to end.
Sep 03, 2014 Dinesh rated it it was amazing
This has made me rethink many things which I thought were obvious. Now I can better understand a may situations, thanks to this book.
Behrouz Derakhshan
Oct 09, 2015 Behrouz Derakhshan rated it it was ok
Shelves: left-unfinished
(I did not finish reading the book, and I am not planning to)
It is a well crafted book, and I found it quite interesting in the beginning. But while reading it, it started to feel repetitive and uninteresting and frankly I got bored after a while, so I stopped. I have to mention, I was not interested in the pure scientific aspects of the book, I was looking for an easy read that also help me understand why people are the way they are, and I feel this book is not written for this purpose. While a
Jun 16, 2015 LIN rated it really liked it
Human/social psychology is so complicated that staying brutally honest to ourselves is utmost important and difficult
Andy Sterkowitz
Jul 26, 2014 Andy Sterkowitz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: speed-read
Self-justification, prejudice, mass communication, conformity, attraction & how we think are interwoven deeply in us by social conditioning
Erin Sweet
Feb 28, 2015 Erin Sweet rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. It had information from a textbook that was as easy to read as a novel.
Ahmed Qanadeely
Jan 23, 2016 Ahmed Qanadeely rated it really liked it
Great book, very recommended to whoever is interested in social psychology.
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Elliot Aronson (Born January 1932) is listed among the 100 most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century, best known for his Jigsaw Classroom experiments, cognitive dissonance research, and bestselling Social Psychology textbooks. He is the only person in the 120-year history of the American Psychological Association to have won all three of its major awards: For distinguished writing (1973), for ...more
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“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally
and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human.
Society is something in nature that precedes the individual. Anyone who
either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need
to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
Politics, c. 328 BC”
More quotes…