The Crisis of Confidence in Social Psychology

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many social psychologists appeared to have lost not only their enthusiasm but also their sense of direction and their faith in the discipline’s future. Whether they were experiencing an identity crisis, a paradigmatic crisis, or a crisis of confidence, most seemed to be agreed that a crisis was at hand. This paper, widely cited and discussed at the time, analyzed the sources of the crisis and proposed some remedies.

Starting The Elmsblog

Blog vs website — what’s the difference?

I’ve been working to set up (with Knox Bronson’s help) mainly as a website with stable categories and content that won’t change much over time. The WordPress format does that nicely. But I may also do occasional blogging, with brief comments that are not intended to stay online for long. For now, however, the Elmsblog will be used mainly to display temporarily here the essays, poems, recipes, etc., that wll also be assigned to particular categories and kept there indefinitely. 

Social Primatology (Social Psychology and Social Relevance, Chapter 2)

The howling monkeys of Barro Colorado Island are especially attractive to social psychologists because their natural social life is protected from the destruction that hunters have delivered to their mainland brothers and sisters. Since being made wards of the Smithsonian Institution early in the 20th Century, the BCI howlers have been protected from the whims of fortune and the attacks of human Panamanians. This chapter is partly a report of my observations of howlers in the summer of 1959, when I was part of a field research expedition headed by Professor C. Ray Carpenter of Penn State University, and partly a broad review of the research literature on the social life of howlers and other nonhuman primates up to the early 1970s.