The shaping of human minds through social context
Social stimuli are important proximate determinants of human thought, action, and behaviour. But does the social environment also have deeper, profounder, and possibly more distal impact on more lasting psychological structures and forms, generalizing across time and domains, such as traits, self-consciousness, abilities, and talents? This volume takes an interdisciplinary approach to the question of if, how, and how far the mind is socially fabricated: Philosophical contributions address conceptual tools for analyses of how person perceivers shape the psychological structures of the person perceived. Social psychologists consider some of the more local mechanisms of “mind making”, including self fulfilling prophecies, attributions, and self-verification. Moreover, they address the dramatic consequences of being ostracised. From a clinical perspective it is investigated how patients’ immediate social environment (e.g., the family) impacts on schizophrenic relapse. In addition, developmental psychologists report on investigations of the role of social factors, e.g., imitative learning, for the development of the social self. Finally an ethological perspective demonstrates the susceptibility of animals to social stimuli. These papers were previously published as <i>Interaction Studies</i> 6:1 and 6:3 (2005).