PREFACE Classic and Contemporary Readings in Social Psychologyis a unique set of 30 paired selections from articles and books encompassing the breadth of the field of social psychology. Each reading represents either a classic, seminal article or a contemporary work that addresses a topic relevant to social psychology. The classic articles are written by a "who's who" in the field, including such figures as Leon Festinger, Stanley Milgram, and Edward Jones. In addition, we have included more recent articles that have risen to classic status because of their impact on the field and the frequency with which they are cited. The contemporary articles are written by a variety of individuals, most of whom are active scholars in the field of social psychology. Each is a recent and provocative report on some fundamental social psychological topic or issue. By pairing classic and contemporary articles, readers can plainly see the contrast between the old and the new, illustrating the progress and advances of the discipline. In choosing these readings, we have cast our net widely. In addition to traditional journal articles, we examined book chapters, magazine articles, and even presentations at meetings and conventions. Our goal was not just to find articles that were technically sound or ones that revolutionized the field. Rather, we also sought to identify articles that helped to provide a picture of the development of the field, the concerns of its practitioners at a given moment in history, and a sense of the dynamic qualities of a constantly evolving discipline. In editing the articles, we tried to provide sufficient detail to convey the depth, subtleties, and importance of the work being described. Furthermore, we tried to keep intact the original voice of the researcher who wrote the piece. At the same time, we avoid including so much technical material that the readers would get mired in detail and miss the forest for the trees. To meet these editing requirements, we were careful to choose sources that were accessible to students. In some articles, for purposes of clarity, we abridged and condensed the original text. In such cases, we have made clear where material has been dropped by inserting ellipses. Each article begins with an introduction that provides a broad conceptual orientation to the piece. When appropriate, we have included a historical framework, discussing the import of the article and giving a sense of what social psychology was like at the time the article was written. These introductions not only show how the field has progressed and changed but also point out how the various parts of the field form a cohesive whole. Each article is followed by a series of questions designed to promote recall of the information that is presented and to consolidate the material. These questions are also meant to raise intriguing issues and challenge assumptions that readers may have developed. Most important, they are designed to make readers think critically about the articles' content. READING ABOUT EXPERIMENTS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Each year researchers conduct thousands of empirical studies on topics related to social psychology. One of the challenges that face students who are just beginning to learn about the field is how to locate articles, chapters, and other reports of studies that are relevant to their interests. The goal of this section is to introduce you to the many outlets that social psychologists use to present their research findings. We begin by briefly describing five sources of psychological information -- textbooks, professional conferences, empirical articles, academic books and review articles, and the popular press -- and then focus on the most important source: the empirical article. As you will see, each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Undergraduate textbooks.You are probably reRobert S. Feldman is the author of 'Classic and Contemporary Readings in Social Psychology (3rd Edition)', published 2000 under ISBN 9780130873668 and ISBN 0130873667.