ERIC Number: ED119075
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
Social Psychology and Social Evaluation.
Bonoma, Thomas V.
Recent contentions that the settings and problems of social evaluation research renders this new "subdiscipline" substantively distinct from the remainder of social psychology are critically examined. It is argued that the demonstrable existence of meta-conflicts about the conduct of social evaluation efforts, political sensitivities in the research arena, and the adaptive instability of evaluated programs do not functionally segregate social evaluation from traditional social psychology. Rather, these problems occur homomorphically in both arenas, although they are more often articulated in the former rather than the latter settings. The conclusion of radical social evaluation authors that the scientific method is inapplicable to their research settings in unwarranted: experimental tactics are often degraded by the presence of complex system constraints, but other standard investigatory tactics may be reliably applied toward replicable knowledge. Any segregation of social evaluation from social psychology is dysfunctional, since a relevant social psychological science can be approached only with the development of overarching theory capable of explaining interactive behavior in both settings. Correspondingly, social psychological relevance varies neither with a researcher's investigatory strategy nor problem setting, but directly with the goodness of evolved theory. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (83rd, Chicago, Illinois, August 30 to September 2, 1975); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document