papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


Allocentrics with high self-esteem see themselves as high in their ability to have good social relations, while idiocentrics with high self-esteem see themselves as high in their competence in sports, creativity, and academics.

The antecedents of allocentrism include limited resources, ingroups that are perceived as a means of survival, and stability of residence in a homogeneous cultural environment. The antecedents of idiocentrism include affluence, exposure to a culturally heterogeneous environment, migration, social mobility, and large exposure to U.S. television programs.


The significance of Social Psychology lies in its focus, methodological orientation, and theoretical rationale. In the book, Allport broke with the prevailing norms of social psychology by emphasizing the individual over the group. He dismissed previous work on the group mind and suggested that everything of psychological importance was to be found within the individual. “There is no psychology of groups,” Allport maintained “which is not essentially and entirely a psychology of individuals” (p. 4).

He abandoned earlier techniques of historical, cultural, and philosophical analysis in favor of the experimental method. Finally, Allport provided a behavioristic framework for social psychology. The result was a social psychology defined largely in terms of stimuli and reactions; the former consisting of the behavior of other individuals while the latter consisted of the adjustments of the individual under study.


Allport was also a major figure in social psychology during the first half of the twentieth century. He proposed attitude as the central organizing concept of the field. He defined attitude as a “mental and neural state of readiness. . . exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related” (1935, p. 810).

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