Basic Books/Perseus, 1999

Co-edited by: Aroldo Rodrigues and Robert Levine


Book Cover: Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology




In the Spring of 1997, a remarkable group of social psychologists came together in Yosemite National Park to reflect upon the field which they have been so instrumental in creating. This edited collection brings together the reflections of the nine scholars who spoke that day at the Yosemite conference and marks the 100th anniversary of Tripplet's seminal study of bicycle racers—an experiment which has often been cited as the beginning of modern experimental social psychology. The contributors: Elliot Aronson, Leonard Berkowitz, Morton Deutsch, Harold Gerard, Harold Kelley, Albert Pepitone, Bertram Raven, Robert Zajonc, and Philip Zimbardo have not only observed the development of this burgeoning discipline, collectively, they have played an essential role in crafting its young legacy. The book begins with personal histories of the researchers. Being that these personal histories are, in fact, closely connected to the most significant people, laboratories and conceptual trends of the field, these reminiscences are much more than simply histories of the course of particular individuals' lives; they are at the same time histories of the discipline itself. Subsequent chapters turn to the field's historical roots: its origins, course of theories, methods, and approaches. But all chapters share a common theme: an examination of the ways that the lives and experiences of social psychology's most prominent living scholars have helped to shape the history of the field itself.



Photo of the Book/Conference contributors:


Yosemite National Park, 1997. From left to right: Robert Levine, Elliot Aronson, Hal Gerard, Aroldo Rodrigues, Robert Zajonc, Albert Pepitone, Leonard Berkowitz, Phil Zimbardo, Harold Kelley, Morton Deutsch and Bert Raven




“How fitting, as we enter social psychology's second century, to have this all-star line-up of senior social psychology-makers reminisce on its first century and their part in it. Their reflections and back-stage story telling make for a landmark volume in the history of social psychology—one to be read and enjoyed by any serious student of the discipline.”

—David Myers

Hope College, author of Social Psychology, sixth edition


“This book, with chapters by some very prominent social psychologists, provides an interesting history of a century of social psychology and an intriguing set of personal and intellectual autobiographies covering the last half century. The book will be of interest to all who wish to know where social psychology has been and how it got there.”

—Richard E. Nisbett

Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan


“With Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology, Rodrigues and Levine have done something both difficult and wise: collecting the observations of a set of acknowledged legends in our field who are still contributing to it. The result is not just an extraordinarily enlightening history but an invaluable future guide.”

—Robert Cialdini

Arizona State University


Contains ten essays in which some of the most remarkable social psychologists of the century reflect on the field which they were instrumental in creating. Drawn from a conference held at Yosemite National Park in 1997, some of these essays provide personal histories of the researchers, with reminiscences of the people and institutions involved, while others focus on critical analysis of the discipline. Contributors include Morton Deutsch, Harold Kelley, Harold Gerard, Bertram Raven, Philip Zimbardo, Leonard Berkowitz, Elliot Aronson, Albert Pepitone and Robert Zajonc.

—Book News


Table of Contents


Preface by Aroldo Rodrigues and Robert Levine


A Personal Perspective on the Development of Social Psychology in the 20th Century by Morton Deutsch

Fifty Years in Social Psychology: Some Reflections on the Individual-Group Problem, Harold H. Kelley

A Social-Psychologist Examines His Past and Looks to the Future, Harold B. Gerard

Adventures in Experimental Social Psychology: Roots, Branches, and Sticky New Leaves, Elliot Aronson

Reflections on Interpersonal Influence and Social Power in Experimental Social Psychology, Bertram H. Raven

Experimental Social Psychology: Behaviorism with Minds and Matters, Philip G. Zimbardo

On the Changes in U.S. Social Psychology: Some Speculations, Leonard Berkowitz

Historical Sketches and Critical Commentary about Social Psychology in the Golden Age, Albert Pepitone

One Hundred Years of Rationality Assumptions in Social Psychology, Robert B. Zajonc

Afterword: Reflecting on Reflections, Robert V. Levine and Aroldo Rodrigues


More Information About the Book


Feel free to contact either of the co-editors:


Aroldo Rodrigues:

Robert Levine:




JoAnn Miller at Basic Books:




A 90 minute video of excerpts from the talks of each of the nine Yosemite Conference presenters was created under the directorship/editorship of John Boyd. This video may be purchased for $25 from:


Department of Psychology

California State University, Fresno

Fresno, CA 93740-0011


Checks should be made out to “CSUF Department of Psychology.”

Or contact the Department of Psychology (559-278-2691) or either Aroldo Rodrigues or me at the e-mail addresses above.


Robert V. Levine, Professor of Psychology. E-mail:

Robert V. Levine

Professor of Psychology

Social Psychology writer, speaker, consultant