Social psychologists have always been concerned with two-person
interactions and the factors enabling one person to gain dominance.
Although social psychology has devised a revolutionary set of
techniques to investigate the phenomenon of power, hypotheses are
too often ambiguously stated, research programs end in cul-de-sacs,
and experiments take on the character of one-shot studies. In an
attempt to stimulate new directions in research and to provide
cumulative emphasis on the development of scientific theory in the
area of power relations, Tedeschi has assembled original and path
breaking essays from a dozen outstanding scholars and researchers
in the behavioral sciences.
More tightly integrated than leading books in the field of power
relations, The Social Influence Processes focuses on two-person
interactions. A full explanation of the terms "power" and
"influence" is followed by an analysis of the major variables in
connections between two persons that must be taken into account in
a scientific theory of social influence. The subsequent chapters
respond to the categories established, attempting a comprehensive
construction of social reality and offering suggestions and
techniques for measuring and ordering its complexity. Particular
areas of research and theory are isolated for consideration in
depth--such topics as personality as a power construct (Power and
Personality by Henry L. Minton), influence in exchange theory (The
Tactical Use of Social Power by Andrew Michener and Robert W.
Suchner), and leadership through charisma (Interpersonal Attraction
and Social Influence by Elaine Walster and Darcy Abrahams). In the
final chapter, Tedeschi, Thomas Bonoma, and Barry R. Schlenker
attempt to provide a general theory of social influence processes
as they affect the target individual by reviewing the research
literature in their own theoretical terms.
This remarkable volume will be of interest to students as well
as scholars in sociology, education, political science, criminal
justice, and social psychology and those interested in the study of
power and influence.
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