Social Psychology and Evaluation (Paperback)

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This compelling work brings together leading social psychologists and evaluators to explore the intersection of these two fields and how their theory, practices, and research findings can enhance each other. An ideal professional reference or student text, the book examines how social psychological knowledge can serve as the basis for theory-driven evaluation; facilitate more effective partnerships with stakeholders and policymakers; and help evaluators ask more effective questions about behavior. Also identified are ways in which real-world evaluation findings can identify gaps in social psychological theory and test and improve the validity of social psychological findings--for example, in the areas of cooperation, competition, and intergroup relations. The volume includes a useful glossary of both fields' terms and offers practical suggestions for fostering cross-fertilization in research, graduate training, and employment opportunities. Each chapter features introductory and concluding comments from the editors.


About the Author

Melvin M. Mark, PhD, is Professor and Head of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. He has served as President of the American Evaluation Association and as Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation (for which he is now Editor Emeritus). Dr. Mark’s interests include the theory, methodology, and practice of program and policy evaluation, as well as the application of social psychology.

Stewart I. Donaldson, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Psychology, Director of the Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research, and Dean of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He currently serves on the board of the American Evaluation Association. Dr. Donaldson has been honored with Early Career Achievement Awards from the Western Psychological Association and the American Evaluation Association.

Bernadette Campbell, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her research applies social psychological theories of negotiation, persuasion, and attitude change to achieve a better practical and theoretical understanding of evaluation activities and concepts such as stakeholder dialogue and evaluation influence.

Praise For…

"A defining primer on the interaction of evaluation and social psychology. The book provides an overall assessment of the promise and problems, including many examples of hits and misses, and advances several ideas for better integration. Lots of enlightening commentary from the editors is a big plus."--Ernest House, EdD, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder

"The study of social processes, the design of social interventions, and the assessment of effectiveness of programs and policies are important endeavors. However, scholars in these areas have become increasingly isolated. Social Psychology and Evaluation brings together leading scholars to identify issues of shared interest and to reintegrate these areas empirically and conceptually. Bridging theory and practice, intervention and evaluation, and social psychology and social policy, the book is well written and accessible to a broad audience. At a time of increasing specialization, each chapter reminds us that theory, application, and evaluation are complementary and that understanding how these areas relate produces better science and greater benefit to society. This volume is timely, informative, and important; it sets a valuable agenda for the field for many years to come."--John F. Dovidio, PhD, Department of Psychology, Yale University

"This is an excellent book for introducing social and other psychologists to program evaluation, and for helping evaluators to anchor their practice in theories, concepts, and methods developed by social psychologists. These theories, concepts, and methods can shed light on the social and interpersonal phenomena and dynamics of settings in which evaluations are embedded, and can help ensure that data gathered in social settings are reliable and valid. The book creates a strong case for the importance of theory-driven program evaluation. It demonstrates a range of ways that social psychology can conceptually and practically guide program evaluations, make programs more effective, and, most important, make apparent the reasons why particular programs work. This book would be valuable as part of an applied social psychology course or a course preparing researchers to do program evaluation."--Geoffrey Maruyama, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

"The book has contributions by two giants in the field of social psychology, Albert Bandura and Icek Ajzen. Each author demonstrates how specific social psychology theories can be applied to the design and evaluation of programs....This book should be required reading for students in program evaluation graduate programs. There is much in the book that explains social psychology, and a great deal that shows how social psychology can be useful in evaluation. Most practicing evaluators should read the book."
— Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation

"Through the discussion of a wide range of theories, methods, and perspectives around the relationship between social psychology and evaluation, the authors successfully convey how this relationship can be enhanced for the mutual benefit of both fields. Moreover, the contributors comprise several prominent researchers from the field of psychology and, as a result, the chapters convey considerable credibility. The chapter sections, including the editors' sections, are relatable and enjoyable to read. They are often written with subtle humor, illustrative examples, and informative figures. The book seems appropriate for use in academic settings or by social psychology minded practitioners, as those who have expertise in both of these areas may find this text informative and useful. Indeed, the book's organization lends itself well to use as a learning tool....This book was both educational as well as instructive as it addresses the historical, theoretical, and practical facets of our field. Therefore, we highly recommend it to researchers and practitioners with experience in social psychology and evaluation."
— British Journal of Psychology

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609182120
ISBN-10: 160918212X
Publisher: The Guilford Press
Publication Date: May 4th, 2011
Pages: 420
Language: English