You are here

Essential Social Psychology

Essential Social Psychology

Third Edition
Additional resources:

October 2014 | 568 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

From aggression to altruism, prejudice to persuasion, Essential Social Psychology 3e introduces students to the discoveries and debates that define social psychology today. It covers both classic and cutting edge research studies and provides plenty of real life examples and illustrations to help students to develop a good understanding of the subject whilst building the confidence to apply this knowledge successfully in assignments and exams. An extensive range of learning aids including a glossary, summary sections and memory maps – combined with an array of features on the student section of the companion website – will help reinforce this learning and check retention at specific milestones throughout the course.

New to the third edition:

  • A new full-colour design
  • Two brand new chapters on Applied Social Psychology and Social Psychological Methods
  • Coverage of some developing research perspectives including social neuroscience and evolutionary psychology
  • New ‘Back to the Real World’ textboxes which situate academic findings in the context of the world around you
  • An enhanced SAGE edge™ companion website ( with a suite of features to enhance your learning experience.
Chapter 1: History, Methods and Approaches
A History

Research Methods

Research Ethics

Chapter 2: Attribution
The Naive Scientist

Attribution Theory

Making Attributions

Attributional Biases

Attribution and Social Processes

Social Representations

Chapter 3: Social Cognition
The Cognitive Miser Versus the Naive Scientist


The Motivated Tactician

Social Categorization

Dual Process Theories

Chapter 4: Attitudes
Attitude Formation

Attitudes and Behaviour

Attitude Change

Chapter 5: Social Influence
Social Norms


Minority Influence


Social Impact Theory

Chapter 6: Group Processes


Chapter 7: Self and Identity

Organization of Self-knowledge

Theories of Self-concept Maintenance



Cultural Differences in Self and Identity

Chapter 8: Prejudice
Prejudice: Old and New

Individual Differences in Prejudice

Reducing Prejudice

Chapter 9: Intergroup Relations
Theories of Intergroup Relations

Improving Intergroup Relations

Chapter 10: Aggression
Theories of Aggression

Person-Centred Determinants of Aggression

Situation-Centred Determinants of Aggression


Forms of Agression in Society

Chapter 11: Prosocial Behaviour
What is Prosocial Behaviour?

Origins of Prosocial Behaviour

Situation-Centred Determinants of Helping

Perceiver-Centred Determinants of Helping

Recipient-Centred Determinants of Helping

Receiving Help

Chapter 12: Affiliation and Attraction

Interpersonal Attraction

Chapter 13: Friendship and Love

Romantic Relationships

Relationship Satisfaction and Commitment

Chapter 14: Applications
A History of Applying Social Psychology






Click for online resources

Be sure to visit the SAGE edge website at to find a range of
teaching and learning material for both lecturers and students.

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment and features elements such as:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • An online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and
    materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Exclusive access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected
    to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter
  • Memory maps to accompany each chapter

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content
and create a rich learning environment for students. SAGE edge instructor sites include tools
and elements such as:

  • Test banks that provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity
    to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’
    progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating
    a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Exclusive access to full-text SAGE journal articles which have been carefully selected
    to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students
    to think critically
  • Multimedia content that includes original SAGE videos that appeal to students with
    different learning styles
  • Memory maps to assist teaching

Having endorsed this text book previously, and used it for the last three years, I still get asked by students if it’s still one of those books I wish I had written. This updated edition still manages to convey complicated information to students in a clear and easy to comprehend manner – so yes, it’s still one of those books I wish I’d written.

Gareth Hall
Aberystwyth University

This highly accessible and very readable text offers an applied and critical focus to some of the essential social psychological theories and research making it a must for anyone interested in finding out more about social psychology.


Lucy Betts
Nottingham Trent University

In their newest edition of Essential Social Psychology, Crisp and Turner present the classic research in Social Psychology and show its relevance to current, real world events. This clear and easy to read integration of the past and the present makes Essential Social Psychology the perfect textbook for both students and teachers alike. I expect that my students will give me the same feedback on the newest edition as they have for past editions: 'Finally a psychology text that doesn't cure insomnia!'



Debra F. Glaser, PhD, ABPP
Alliant International University

This book covers the key topics of social psychology and provides a clear overview of the theory and associated research. The key terms and classic studies are covered with some good examples used.

Dr Sean Figgins
Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Chichester University
October 9, 2019

An easy to use book - ideal for students! I adopted it as additional reading but will recommend this as textbook if anyone works within social psychology.

Miss Engela van der klashorst
biokinetics, sport and recreation, University of Pretoria
December 10, 2016

Nice and interesting book describing social psychology in an appealing and a bit different way than usual.

Dr Silvia Mari
Psychology , University of Milan - Bicocca
September 17, 2016

Very good indeed for those students whose focus is on applying Psychology to a vocational area. It is not too heavy on theory and is written in an accessible style.

Professor Yvonne Millman
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
July 1, 2016

This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to Social Psychology. It is written at an appropriate level for degree students and is a useful resource to dip into.

Mrs Liz Hall
Psychology , Petroc
June 20, 2016

Very easy to read and each section is clear with enough information.

Miss Abigail Clarke
Early Years, Health and Social care, South Essex College
December 8, 2015

Chosen by full time faculty

Ms Karen Carter-Harvey
Psychology, Bluefield State College
August 22, 2015

Purchasing options

Please select a format: