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Case Studies in Social Psychology

Case Studies in Social Psychology
Critical Thinking and Application

April 2018 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

In Case Studies in Social Psychology: Critical Thinking and Application, Thomas Heinzen and Wind Goodfriend use brief, entertaining case stories to illustrate the historical context and evolution of major theories within the field of social psychology. By employing a unique mix of contemporary research and hallmark studies, Heinzen and Goodfriend encourage students to explore new, meaningful ways of thinking about and connecting with foundational course concepts. In turn, this approach facilitates engaged conversation and deeper critical thinking both in and out of the classroom.

INSTRUCTORS: Bundle Case Studies in Social Psychology with the core text also by Heinzen and Goodfriend, Social Psychology, for only $5 more! Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-3032-7

Preface: To Students and Their Teachers
Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology
1.1 Does Corruption Corrupt?

1.2 An Error of Intuition: Bloodletting and Purging

1.3 Decision Making: Sex and the Power of the Situation

Chapter 2 Research Methods
2.1 Gang Leader for a Day: There’s More Than One Way to Know

2.2 The Pump Handle Affair: Correlations Can Be Clues

2.3 The Experimental Impulse During the Salem Witch Trials: Why Procedures Matter

Chapter 3 The Social Self
3.1 Who’s Talking Now? Facilitated Communication and the Ouija Board Self

3.2 Personhood Versus Malignant Social Psychology

3.3 Does My Bump Look Big in This? The Pregnant Self

3.4 The Disappearing Self: Phineas Gage’s Horse-Drawn Stagecoach

Chapter 4 Social Cognition
4.1 Intuition in the NICU

4.2 Strange Symptoms and Dual Processing

4.3 Schema Mode Therapy: The Case of Defenseless Jimmy

Chapter 5 Person Perception
5.1 Tell Me the Truth—Am I Too Pretty? Marilyn Monroe and the Halo Effect

5.2 From Street Kid to Magician to Scholar: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Robert Merton

5.3 Pygmalion in the Classroom: The Slow Creation of a Classic Study

5.4 The Rock in the Coffin: Managing Fear of Death

Chapter 6 Attitudes and Persuasion
6.1 When Prophecy Fails: Prelude to the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

6.2 When Prophecy Fails: Alien Apocalypse

6.3 Where Have All the Addicts Gone? Three Predictors Are Better Than One

Chapter 7 Social Influence
7.1 Mods and Rockers: A Moral Panic

7.2 More Than Obedience: Disturbing New Data From the Shock Experiments

7.3 Big Fish Eat Small Fish: Social Coordination in a Violent World

Chapter 8 Group Processes
8.1 More Than a Game: The Prisoner’s Dilemma

8.2 Social Rejection: A Case Study of 13 School Shootings

8.3 On the Shoulders of Giant Women: The First Computer Programmers

Chapter 9 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination
9.1 Economic Anxiety and the Forced Deportation of U.S. Citizens

9.2 Institutional Discrimination: The Accidental Conspiracy at Erasmus High

9.3 Footnote 11: After the Doll Studies

Chapter 10 Helping and Prosocial Behavior
10.1 Insects, Vampire Bats, Prairie Dogs, and Fish: Altruism in Animals

10.2 The Bacon Truce: Zig-Zags and the Development of Cooperation

10.3 The Subway Samaritan: The Mathematics of Relative Altruism

Chapter 11 Aggression
11.1 Doloreisa’s Story: Aggression, Prostitution, and Sex Trafficking

11.2 The Great Train Robbery: Violence as Entertainment

11.3 “I Could Just Kill Them!” Fantasies About Murder

11.4 The Cinderella Effect

Chapter 12 Intimate Relationships
12.1 Religion and Marriage Counseling

12.2 Male Victims of Relationship Abuse

12.3 Happily Ever After: Ingredients to a Long, Happy Marriage


I like that the book is an e text that students have options to either purchase or rent. I would say since the semester is a little over 90 days, another option of 100 days would help that time difference. I like the resources attached to the e book, the classroom activities, the discussions, and the videos embedded in the text and the suggested videos for instructors.

Dr Lynn Rosenthal
Psychology Dept, Temple University
August 31, 2020
Key features


  • A storytelling approach engages students with insights from the history of social psychology.
  • Discussion questions that can be assigned as homework encourage critical thinking.
  • Lists of key terms provide explicit vocabulary terms connected to other books or lectures.
  • The core text Social Psychology, also by Heinzen and Goodfriend, is available as part of the complete teaching and learning package.  

For instructors

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