Student comments on “Social Psychology”

The required textbook is “Social Psychology”, 7th edition by D G. Myers, on McGraw-Hill edition.

The author advocates a political ideology,  uses rhetoric. In the chapter on group influence, the author adds the parenthetical comment : “by neatly dressed White people”.

The comment was irrelevant to the point, and it is unlikely that the ethnicity or race would have been mentioned if they had been other than standard “Whites” (page 296). In fact, on at least three occasions, the author failed to place the context of an event he used as an illustration —

Instead, he said “crowds of young men in New York City” (pg. 376); “the mob” at an “NYC parade” (pg. 381, photo caption); and merely “parade” and alcohol-fueled young men (pg. 482).

On page 379, Myers states, “How would a shared human instinct for aggression explain the difference between the peaceful Iroquois before White invaders come and the hostile Iroquois after the invasion (Hornstein, 1976)?”

Not only does such a statement reflect an ignorance of Iroquois history, but it also demonstrates bias.

On page 397, Myers talks about the “powerful rich and the powerless poor.”

On pages 238 and 552-553, Myers advocates communitarianism and limiting personal freedoms in his personal comments (which he places at the end of each chapter.) He does not advocate any other political ideology in the book. He uses dated studies to support his agenda, and fails to include studies that contradict it.

For example, a 15-year-old study to support his gun ban agenda (pg. 395). Switzerland is more heavily armed than the US yet has a lower crime rate, and there are cities in the US that showed crime drops after enacting more liberal gun laws. Myers says that “we will consider” historical and psychological evidence that does

NOT support the idea that the security measures a country takes deters war. So he’s only presenting evidence that supports his ideology, while there is other evidence that nuclear arms prevent attack (pg. 514).

Myers claims that “global warming stems from widespread deforestation and…carbon dioxide emitted by” cars, oil furnaces and power plants. But global warming is a phenomenon which doesn’t claim a definitive cause. The glacier covering North America melted before the specific causes that Myers claims caused its melting! (pg. 515)