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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Menzies, I.E. (1953). Social Psychology: By Theodore M. Newcomb. (London: Tavistock Publications. Pp. 690. 30 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 34:338.

(1953). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34:338

Social Psychology: By Theodore M. Newcomb. (London: Tavistock Publications. Pp. 690. 30 s.)

Review by:
Isabel E.P. Menzies

This book is the outcome of many years of thoughtful and creative work and makes a significant contribution to the growing body of theory in social psychology. This is seen as a field of study which lies between individual psychology and sociology and cultural anthropology, its subject-matter comprising the interaction of human individuals with one another. Following from this, Professor Newcomb sets himself the considerable task of outlining and integrating the major contributions of individual psychology, of sociology and cultural anthropology, and of social psychology itself. In doing this, he perhaps puts the main emphasis on individual behaviour, but as seen against the background of social norms and social roles.

The book achieves a great measure of success in carrying out its task. It provides a comprehensive and judiciously selected survey of the fields of social psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology which gives the reader a useful insight into the work going on there. One feels, however, that Professor Newcomb is less at home in individual psychology, particularly psycho-analysis, and one cannot help wishing that he had not confined himself almost completely to the work of Freud and Karen Horney. Thus he has excluded more recent work which throws considerable new light on the social psychological phenomena which are his primary interest. Nor would one necessarily agree with his interpretation of Freud's theoretical position on various topics.

Professor Newcomb shows, however, that he has thought through very carefully and seriously his own position in relation to the various bodies of theory outlined, and has, as a result, produced a clear, consistent, and well-integrated statement of social psychological theory which carries a great deal of conviction to the reader. The book is designed especially for the student of social psychology, but contains much that should prove stimulating to workers in allied fields.

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