A Social Psychological Perspective on "The Futures We Want"

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 18:15
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Jan STETS, University of California, Riverside, USA
I discuss future directions in social psychology that have the potential for advancing our understanding of social actors, their interaction, and the structure and culture within which they reside. These directions are divided along theoretical, methodological, and substantive lines. Theoretically, researchers are beginning to work across theoretical lines, borrowing concepts and processes from different research programs to provide a comprehensive understanding of self and society. When this is done in a systematic and cumulative manner, it can yield new and powerful insights into the human condition. Methodologically, new measures on the physiology and neurology of social actors can aid in supporting or disconfirming processes that have been theorized and tested primarily through self-reports. If the biology of individuals works inconsistent with our theory of individuals, this provides the opportunity for theoretical revision and growth. Substantively, we are living in a global economy in which individuals interact with others from different cultures in a way not seen before. Additionally, rather than interaction being face to face, communication often occurs using social media. Greater heterogeneous interaction that is technologically-mediated may require new theories that provide insight into how actors adapt (or abandon) to these new ways of communicating.