American Sociological Association

Research Opportunities

Social psychology offers abundant opportunities for developing new understandings through research. In my career, many people and circumstances have brought opportunities that initiated, supported, and improved investigations. I illustrate that process with selected instances from my research on interpersonal behavior, theory development, and applications of theoretical work. Our field demonstrates many ways that explicit theory is preferable to common sense, and it also shows the importance of caution and discipline in applying theoretical knowledge for practical ends. Among current opportunities to extend social psychological understanding are developing ways to reduce the status value of certain characteristics and tracking the natural growth and decay of other status characteristics. I hope that social psychologists will become less reticent about sharing our skills, particularly in consulting to businesses and to government on policy formation.


Webster, M.





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