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Most Underappreciated50 Prominent Social Psychologists Describe Their Most Unloved Work$
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Robert Arkin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.001.0001

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Adventures in Rejectionland

Adventures in Rejectionland

Chapter:
(p.63) Adventures in Rejectionland
Source:
Most Underappreciated
Author(s):

John Darley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.003.0012

John Darley describes his most underappreciated work: a paper on fear and social comparison as determinants of conformity behavior. Darley's work asserted that there is a remarkable contradiction in the ways sociologists and psychologists view two sets of conceptually similar actors. In sociology, it is the deviants who carry the stigma, in this case of deviance from social normality, the rest are normal citizens. In psychology, the conformers are the ones who carry the stigma of lack of moral courage to maintain independent attitudes and opinions, while it is the sturdy independents that we admire. This fundamental contribution could have contributed to the thinking that led to one of the major convergences of sociological and psychological social psychology.

Keywords:   John Darley, fear, social comparison, conformity behavior, social psychologist, sociology, deviance, social normality, social psychology

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