Social Psychology and Human Nature, 3rd Edition (with B.J. Bushman)

Social Psychology and Human Nature, 3rd Edition, offers a remarkably fresh and compelling exploration of the fascinating field of social psychology. Respected researchers, teachers, and authors Roy Baumeister and Brad Bushman give students integrated and accessible insight into the ways that nature, the social environment, and culture interact to influence social behavior. While giving essential insight to the power of situations, the text's contemporary approach also emphasizes the role of human nature—viewing people as highly complex, exquisitely designed, and variously inclined cultural animals who respond to myriad situations.

With strong visual appeal, an engaging writing style, and the best of classic and current research, Social Psychology and Human Nature, 3rd Edition helps students make sense of the sometimes baffling—but always interesting—diversity of human behavior.

The Self and Identity, Volumes 1-4 (Editor, with K.D. Vohs)

Although the study of the ‘Self’ has been a major theme throughout the history of psychology, it has really come into its own during the last half century. Because the nature of human selfhood remains both fascinating and elusive, many different approaches and contributions have been scattered through the journals over the years. This four-volume collection brings together a diverse assortment of the most important contributions in this area.

The collection includes classic, groundbreaking articles and recent, cutting-edge advances in articles that range from original, empirical investigations to conceptual pieces that build theory based on integrative reviews of the research literature.

The intention is to provide a broad resource that can be used by both beginners and experts worldwide who wish to have strong, useful access to the classic contributions to this area of study in one place. The field of ‘Self’ is particularly difficult to gain entry to, particularly because it has such a rich and varied history. The two editors are both well-versed in the study of ‘Self’ and thus well-qualified to provide a map of articles that have lasting importance and influence.

New Directions in Social Psychology, Volume I-V (Editor, with K.D. Vohs)

Social psychology is the study of how normal people think, feel, and behave as influenced by (real or imagined) others. This collection picks up from Michael Hogg’s influential set, Social Psychology, published in 2002 to set out and explain the several changes the field has gone through since the mid-90s. Social psychology now places more emphasis on studying the brain, cognitive-to-bodily effects, and goal pursuit. To be sure, classic topics such as prejudice, motivation, emotion, and interpersonal relationships are prominent still as this collection also illustrates.

The articles selected include influential theories and conceptual reviews, feature empirical articles on edgy new theories, showcase state-of-the-art methodological advances, and cover topics of perennial interest in the field.

Volume 1: General Principles covers major theories that advanced the field’s thinking, including some that sparked much debate.

Volume 2: Cognition includes the latest advances in the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that pertain to the social world and cover topics such as person perception, social cognition, and attitudes.

Volume 3: Emotion and Motivation provides a much-needed collection of the surge in recent years in theory and debate related to emotion. This volume also includes articles on self-regulatory resource depletion, the regulation of eating, law, monitoring progress toward goals and implementation intentions.

Interpersonal relations are at the heart of the field so Volume 4: Interpersonal Processes is rich with the latest work on topics such as forgiveness, liking, rejection, aggression, prejudice, intergroup relations, sex, and morality.

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (with J. Tierney)

In Willpower, the pioneering researcher Roy Baumeister collaborates with renowned New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control.

In what became one of the most cited papers in social science literature, Roy discovered that willpower actually operates like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse. Willpower is fueled by glucose, and it can be bolstered simply by replenishing the brain's store of fuel. That's why eating and sleeping—and especially failing to do either of those—have such dramatic effects on self-control (and why dieters have such a hard time resisting temptation).

Roy's latest research shows that we typically spend four hours every day resisting temptation. No wonder people around the world rank a lack of self-control as their biggest weakness. Willpower looks to the lives of entrepreneurs, parents, entertainers, and artists—including David Blaine, Eric Clapton, and others—who have flourished by improving their self-control.

The lessons from their stories and psychologists' experiments can help anyone. You learn not only how to build willpower but also how to conserve it for crucial moments by setting the right goals and using the best new techniques for monitoring your progress. Once you master these techniques and establish the right habits, willpower gets easier: you'll need less conscious mental energy to avoid temptation. That's neither magic nor empty self-help sloganeering, but rather a solid path to a better life.

Combining the best of modern social science with practical wisdom, Roy and John here share the definitive compendium of modern lessons in willpower. As our society has moved away from the virtues of thrift and self-denial, it often feels helpless because we face more temptations than ever. But we also have more knowledge and better tools for taking control of our lives. However we define happiness—a close-knit family, a satisfying career, financial security—we won't reach it without mastering self-control.

Handbook of Self-Regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications, 2nd Edition (Editor, with K.D. Vohs)

This authoritative handbook comprehensively examines the conscious and nonconscious processes by which people regulate their thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses. Individual differences in self-regulatory capacities are explored, as are developmental pathways. The volume reviews how self-regulation shapes, and is shaped by, social relationships. Failures of self-regulation are also addressed, in chapters on addictions, overeating, compulsive spending, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Wherever possible, contributors identify implications of the research for helping people enhance their self-regulatory capacities and pursue desired goals.

Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men

Have men really been engaged in a centuries-old conspiracy to exploit and oppress women? Have the essential differences between men and women really been erased? Have men now become unnecessary? Are they good for anything at all?

In Is There Anything Good About Men?, Roy Baumeister offers provocative answers to these and many other questions about the current state of manhood in America. Roy argues that relations between men and women are now and have always been more cooperative than antagonistic, that men and women are different in basic ways, and that successful cultures capitalize on these differences to outperform rival cultures. Amongst our ancestors—as with many other species—only the alpha males were able to reproduce, leading them to take more risks and to exhibit more aggressive and protective behaviors than women, whose evolutionary strategies required a different set of behaviors. Whereas women favor and excel at one-to-one intimate relationships, men compete with one another and build larger organizations and social networks from which culture grows. But cultures in turn exploit men by insisting that their role is to achieve and produce, to provide for others, and if necessary to sacrifice themselves. Roy shows that while men have greatly benefited from the culture they have created, they have also suffered because of it. Men may dominate the upper echelons of business and politics, but far more men than women die in work-related accidents, are incarcerated, or are killed in battle—facts nearly always left out of current gender debates.

Engagingly written, brilliantly argued, and based on evidence from a wide range of disciplines, Is There Anything Good About Men? offers a new and far more balanced view of gender relations.


Advanced Social Psychology: The State of the Science (Editor, with E.J. Finkel)

Social psychology is a flourishing discipline. It explores the most essential questions of the human psyche (e.g., Why do people help or harm others? How do influence professionals get us to do what they want, and how can we inoculate ourselves against their sometimes-insidious persuasion tactics? Why do social relationships exert such powerful effects on people's physical health?), and it does so with clever, ingenuitive research methods.

This edited volume is a textbook for advanced social psychology courses. Its primary target audience is first-year graduate students (M.A. or Ph.D.) in social psychology, although it is also appropriate for upper-level undergraduate courses in social psychology and for doctoral students in disciplines connecting to social psychology (e.g., marketing, organizational behavior). The authors of the chapters are world-renowned leaders on their topic, and they have written these chapters to be engaging and accessible to students who are just learning the discipline.

After reading this book, you will be able to understand almost any journal article or conference presentation in any field of social psychology. You will be able to converse competently with most social psychologists in their primary research domain, a skill that is relevant not only in daily life but also when interviewing for a faculty position. And, most importantly, you will be equipped with the background knowledge to forge ahead more confidently with your own research.

Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? (Editor, with A.R. Mele and K.D. Vohs)

This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating how free will and consciousness might operate. It draws from philosophy and psychology, the two fields that have grappled most fundamentally with these issues. In this wide-ranging volume, the contributors explore such issues as how free will is connected to rational choice, planning, and self-control; roles for consciousness in decision making; the nature and power of conscious deciding; connections among free will, consciousness, and quantum mechanics; why free will and consciousness might have evolved; how consciousness develops in individuals; the experience of free will; effects on behavior of the belief that free will is an illusion; and connections between free will and moral responsibility in lay thinking. Collectively, these state-of-the-art chapters by accomplished psychologists and philosophers provide a glimpse into the future of research on free will and consciousness.

Psychology of Self-Regulation: Cognitive, Affective, and Motivational Processes (with J.P. Forgas and D.M. Tice)

The ability to regulate and control our behaviors is a key accomplishment of the human species, yet the psychological mechanisms involved in self-regulation remain incompletely understood. This book presents contributions from leading international researchers who survey the most recent developments in this fascinating area. The chapters shed new light on the subtle and often subconscious ways that the people seek to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in everyday social life. The contributions seek answers to such intriguing questions as: How can we improve our ability to control our actions? How do people make decisions about which goals to pursue? How do we maintain and manage goal-oriented behavior? What happens when we run out of self-regulation resources? Can we match people and the regulatory demands of to specific tasks so as to optimize performance? What role does self-regulation play in sports performance, in maintaining successful relationships, and in managing work situations?

The book offers a highly integrated and representative coverage of this important field, and is suitable as a core textbook in advanced courses dealing with social behavior and the applications of psychology to real-life problems.

Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will (Editor, with J. Baer and J. Kaufmann)

Do people have free will, or this universal belief an illusion? If free will is more than an illusion, what kind of free will do people have? How can free will influence behavior? Can free will be studied, verified, and understood scientifically? How and why might a sense of free will have evolved? These are a few of the questions this book attempts to answer.

People generally act as though they believe in their own free will: they don't feel like automatons, and they don't treat one another as they might treat robots. While acknowledging many constraints and influences on behavior, people nonetheless act as if they (and their neighbors) are largely in control of many if not most of the decisions they make. Belief in free will also underpins the sense that people are responsible for their actions. Psychological explanations of behavior rarely mention free will as a factor, however. Can psychological science find room for free will? How do leading psychologists conceptualize free will, and what role do they believe free will plays in shaping behavior?

In recent years a number of psychologists have tried to solve one or more of the puzzles surrounding free will. This book looks both at recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to free will and at ways leading psychologists from all branches of psychology deal with the philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will, such as the relationship between determinism and free will and the importance of consciousness in free will. It also includes commentaries by leading philosophers on what psychologists can contribute to long-running philosophical struggles with this most distinctly human belief. These essays should be of interest not only to social scientists, but to intelligent and thoughtful readers everywhere.

Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making?: A Hedgefoxian Perspective (Editor, with K.D. Vohs and G.F. Loewenstein)

Philosophers have long tussled over whether moral judgments are the products of logical reasoning or simply emotional reactions. From Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility to the debates of modern psychologists, the question of whether feeling or sober rationality is the better guide to decision making has been a source of controversy. In Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? Kathleen Vohs, Roy Baumeister, and George Loewenstein lead a group of prominent psychologists and economists in exploring the empirical evidence on how emotions shape judgments and choices.

Researchers on emotion and cognition have staked out many extreme positions: viewing emotions as either the driving force behind cognition or its side effect, either an impediment to sound judgment or a guide to wise decisions. The contributors to Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? provide a richer perspective, exploring the circumstances that shape whether emotions play a harmful or helpful role in decisions. Roy Baumeister, C. Nathan DeWall, and Liqing Zhang show that while an individual’s current emotional state can lead to hasty decisions and self-destructive behavior, anticipating future emotional outcomes can be a helpful guide to making sensible decisions. Eduardo Andrade and Joel Cohen find that a positive mood can negatively affect people’s willingness to act altruistically. Happy people, when made aware of risks associated with altruistic acts, become wary of jeopardizing their own well-being. Benoît Monin, David Pizarro, and Jennifer Beer find that whether emotion or reason matters more in moral evaluation depends on the specific issue in question. Individual characteristics often mediate the effect of emotions on decisions. Catherine Rawn, Nicole Mead, Peter Kerkhof, and Kathleen Vohs find that whether an individual makes a decision based on emotion depends both on the type of decision in question and the individual’s level of self-esteem. And Quinn Kennedy and Mara Mather show that the elderly are better able to regulate their emotions, having learned from experience to anticipate the emotional consequences of their behavior.

Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? represents a significant advance toward a comprehensive theory of emotions and cognition that accounts for the nuances of the mental processes involved. This landmark book will be a stimulus to scholarly debates as well as an informative guide to everyday decisions.

Encyclopedia of Social Psychology (Editor, with K.D. Vohs)

Not long ago, social psychology was a small field consisting of creative, energetic researchers bent on trying to study a few vexing problems in normal adult human behavior with rigorous scientific methods. In a few short decades, the field has blossomed into a major intellectual force, with thousands of researchers worldwide exploring a stunningly diverse set of fascinating phenomena with an impressive arsenal of research methods and ever more carefully honed theories.

The Encyclopedia of Social Psychology is designed as a road map to this rapidly growing and important field and provides individuals with a simple, clear, jargon-free introduction. These two volumes include more than 600 entries chosen by a diverse team of experts to comprise an exhaustive list of the most important concepts. Entries provide brief, clear, and readable explanations to the vast number of ideas and concepts that make up the intellectual and scientific content in the area of social psychology.

The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life

What makes us human? Why do people think, feel, and act as they do? What is the essence of human nature? What is the basic relationship between the individual and society? These questions have fascinated both great thinkers and ordinary humans for centuries. Now, at last, there is a solid basis for answering them, in the form of accumulated efforts and studies by thousands of psychology researchers. We no longer have to rely on navel-gazing and speculation to understand why people are the way they are—we can instead turn to solid, objective findings.

This book, by an eminent social psychologist at the peak of his career, not only summarizes what we know about people—it also offers a coherent, easy-to-understand, though radical, explanation. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, the author argues that culture shaped human evolution. Contrary to theories that depict the individual's relation to society as one of victimization, endless malleability, or just a square peg in a round hole, he proposes that the individual human being is designed by nature to be part of society. Moreover, he argues that we need to briefly set aside the endless study of cultural differences to look at what most cultures have in common—because that holds the key to human nature. Culture is in our genes, although cultural differences may not be.

This core theme is further developed by a powerful tour through the main dimension of human psychology. What do people want? How do people think? How do emotions operate? How do people behave? And how do they interact with each other? The answers are often surprising, and along the way the author explains how human desire, thought, feeling, and action are connected.

Time and Decision: Economic and Psychological Perspectives on Intertemporal Choice (Editor, G. Loewenstein and D. Read)

How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time.

Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved.

Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that 4-year-olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse.

Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy.

All of us make important decisions every day—many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.

Human Sexuality: Meeting Your Basic Needs (with A. Miracle and T. Miracle)

This text provides an accessible, comprehensive introduction to human sexuality as it relates to basic human needs in five different categories: Physical Needs, Social Needs, Emotional Needs, Spiritual Needs, and Cognitive Needs. Major concepts discussed are neither over simplified, nor overly technical—allowing instructors the flexibility to stimulate student curiosity and imagination. In addition, a variety of visually appealing, pedagogical aids reinforce the major points of the text.

Social Psychology and Human Sexuality (Editor)

In spite of its central importance in human relationships, the study of sexuality has been somewhat neglected by social psychologists. This reader brings together a fascinating selection of articles which examine sex as a social phenomenon: as a group of behavior patterns that people engage in together, under the influence of social pressures, and indeed as ways that people relate to each other.

The Social Dimension of Sex (with D.M. Tice)

Much of the scientific writing about sex has focused on the inner, biological processes and clinical problems and treatments, neglecting the important social dimension of sexuality. This unique volume merges research in social psychology and human sexuality, using themes from social psychology to shed light on sexual behavior and demonstrate how sexual behavior is shaped by social surroundings.

The Self in Social Psychology (Editor)

The study of self has been one of the most exciting and important areas of social psychology over the past several decades. This reader presents an elite collection of the most important and influential articles on the topic. The selection was based on a lengthy poll of the entire membership of the International Society for Self and Identity, in which hundreds of articles were rated for possible inclusion and the highest rated ones were chosen for inclusion, along with some of the field's most recent work to balance the coverage.

The volume begins with an original introduction by Roy Baumeister which provides an overview of the study of the self. The readings themselves are then organized into 10 thematic sections covering core topics such as self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-regulation, self-presentation, and the self and culture. Each section has an introduction that describes other relevant work, in order to place the selection in its full intellectual context. Sections also include annotated suggestions for further reading to guide further study, and discussion questions.

Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty

Why is there evil, and what can scientific research tell us about the origins and persistence of evil behavior? Considering evil from the unusual perspective of the perpetrator, Roy Baumeister asks, How do ordinary people find themselves beating their wives? Murdering rival gang members? Torturing political prisoners? Betraying their colleagues to the secret police? Why do cycles of revenge so often escalate?

Roy casts new light on these issues as he examines the gap between the victim's viewpoint and that of the perpetrator, and also the roots of evil behavior, from egotism and revenge to idealism and sadism. A fascinating study of one of humankind's oldest problems, Evil has profound implications for the way we conduct our lives and govern our society.

Losing Control: How and Why People Fail at Self-Regulation (with T.F. Heatherton and D.M. Tice)

Self-regulation refers to the self's ability to control its own thoughts, emotions, and actions. Through self-regulation, we consciously control how much we eat, whether we give in to impulse, task performance, obsessive thoughts, and even the extent to which we allow ourselves recognition of our emotions. This work provides a synthesis and overview of recent and long-standing research findings of what is known of the successes and failures of self-regulation.

People the world over suffer from the inability to control their finances, their weight, their emotions, their craving for drugs, their sexual impulses, and more. The United States in particular is regarded by some observers as a society addicted to addiction. Therapy and support groups have proliferated not only for alcoholics and drug abusers but for all kinds of impulse control, from gambling to eating chocolate. Common to all of these disorders is a failure of self-regulation, otherwise known as "self-control."

The consequences of these self-control problems go beyond individuals to affect family members and society at large. In Losing Control, the authors provide a single reference source with comprehensive information on general patterns of self-regulation failure across contexts, research findings on specific self-control disorders, and commentary on the clinical and social aspects of self-regulation failure. Self-control is discussed in relation to what the "self" is, and the cognitive, motivational, and emotional factors that impinge on one's ability to control one's "self."