Social Psychology and Evaluation

Edited by Melvin M. Mark, Stewart I. Donaldson, and Bernadette Campbell

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
May 4, 2011
ISBN 9781609182120
Price: $50.00 $37.50
420 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
June 24, 2011
Price: $50.00 $37.50
420 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $100.00 $55.00
420 Pages

This compelling work brings together leading social psychologists and evaluators to explore the intersection of these two fields and how their theory, practices, and research findings can enhance each other. An ideal professional reference or student text, the book examines how social psychological knowledge can serve as the basis for theory-driven evaluation; facilitate more effective partnerships with stakeholders and policymakers; and help evaluators ask more effective questions about behavior. Also identified are ways in which real-world evaluation findings can identify gaps in social psychological theory and test and improve the validity of social psychological findings—for example, in the areas of cooperation, competition, and intergroup relations. The volume includes a useful glossary of both fields' terms and offers practical suggestions for fostering cross-fertilization in research, graduate training, and employment opportunities. Each chapter features introductory and concluding comments from the editors.

“The book has contributions by two giants in the field of social psychology, Albert Bandura and Icek Ajzen. Each author demonstrates how specific social psychology theories can be applied to the design and evaluation of programs....This book should be required reading for students in program evaluation graduate programs. There is much in the book that explains social psychology, and a great deal that shows how social psychology can be useful in evaluation. Most practicing evaluators should read the book.”

Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation

“Through the discussion of a wide range of theories, methods, and perspectives around the relationship between social psychology and evaluation, the authors successfully convey how this relationship can be enhanced for the mutual benefit of both fields. Moreover, the contributors comprise several prominent researchers from the field of psychology and, as a result, the chapters convey considerable credibility. The chapter sections, including the editors' sections, are relatable and enjoyable to read. They are often written with subtle humor, illustrative examples, and informative figures. The book seems appropriate for use in academic settings or by social psychology minded practitioners, as those who have expertise in both of these areas may find this text informative and useful. Indeed, the book's organization lends itself well to use as a learning tool....This book was both educational as well as instructive as it addresses the historical, theoretical, and practical facets of our field. Therefore, we highly recommend it to researchers and practitioners with experience in social psychology and evaluation.”

British Journal of Psychology

“A defining primer on the interaction of evaluation and social psychology. The book provides an overall assessment of the promise and problems, including many examples of hits and misses, and advances several ideas for better integration. Lots of enlightening commentary from the editors is a big plus.”

—Ernest House, EdD, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder

“The study of social processes, the design of social interventions, and the assessment of effectiveness of programs and policies are important endeavors. However, scholars in these areas have become increasingly isolated. Social Psychology and Evaluation brings together leading scholars to identify issues of shared interest and to reintegrate these areas empirically and conceptually. Bridging theory and practice, intervention and evaluation, and social psychology and social policy, the book is well written and accessible to a broad audience. At a time of increasing specialization, each chapter reminds us that theory, application, and evaluation are complementary and that understanding how these areas relate produces better science and greater benefit to society. This volume is timely, informative, and important; it sets a valuable agenda for the field for many years to come.”

—John F. Dovidio, PhD, Department of Psychology, Yale University

“This is an excellent book for introducing social and other psychologists to program evaluation, and for helping evaluators to anchor their practice in theories, concepts, and methods developed by social psychologists. These theories, concepts, and methods can shed light on the social and interpersonal phenomena and dynamics of settings in which evaluations are embedded, and can help ensure that data gathered in social settings are reliable and valid. The book creates a strong case for the importance of theory-driven program evaluation. It demonstrates a range of ways that social psychology can conceptually and practically guide program evaluations, make programs more effective, and, most important, make apparent the reasons why particular programs work. This book would be valuable as part of an applied social psychology course or a course preparing researchers to do program evaluation.”

—Geoffrey Maruyama, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

Table of Contents

Note: Each chapter is preceded by Introductory Comments and followed by Concluding Comments from the Editors.

I. Background, History, and Overview

1. The Past, the Present, and Possible Futures of Social Psychology and Evaluation, Melvin M. Mark, Stewart I. Donaldson, and Bernadette Campbell

II. Social Psychological Theories as Global Guides to Program Design and Program Evaluation

2. The Social and Policy Impact of Social Cognitive Theory, Albert Bandura

3. Behavioral Interventions:Design and Evaluation Guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior, Icek Ajzen

4. Using Program Theory to Link Social Psychology and Program Evaluation, Manuel Riemer and Leonard Bickman

5. Theory-Driven Evaluation Science and Applied Social Psychology: Exploring the Intersection, Stewart I. Donaldson and William D. Crano

III. Implications of Social Psychological Theory and Research for Meeting the Challenges of Evaluation Practice

6. Planning the Future and Assessing the Past: Temporal Biases and Debiasing in Program Evaluation, Lawrence J. Sanna, A. T. Panter, Taya R. Cohen, and Lindsay A. Kennedy

7. The Social Psychology of Stakeholder Processes: Group Processes and Interpersonal Relations, R. Scott Tindale and Emil J. Posavac

8: Attitudes, Persuasion, and Social Influence: Applying Social Psychology to Increase Evaluation Use, Monique A. Fleming

9. Asking Questions about Behavior: Self-Reports in Evaluation Research, Norbert Schwarz and Daphna Oyserman

IV. Evaluation–Social Psychology Links in Important Areas of Practice: The Present and Promise of Evaluation Contributing to Social Psychology

10. What Social Psychologists Can Learn from Evaluations of Environmental Interventions, Robert B. Cialdini, Noah J. Goldstein, and Vladas Griskevicius

11. Social Interdependence and Program Evaluation, David W. Johnson, Roger T. Johnson, and Laurie Stevahn

12. On Being Basic and Applied at the Same Time: Intersections between Social and Health Psychology, Blair T. Johnson, Natalie L. Dove, and Marcella H. Boynton

V. Expanding the Intersection between Social Psychology and Evaluation

13. Where the Rubber Hits the Road: The Development of Usable Middle-Range Evaluation Theory, Bernadette Campbell and April L. McGrath

14. Building a Better Future, Melvin M. Mark, Stewart I. Donaldson, and Bernadette Campbell

About the Editors

Melvin M. Mark, PhD, is Professor and Head of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. He has served as President of the American Evaluation Association and as Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation (for which he is now Editor Emeritus). Dr. Mark’s interests include the theory, methodology, and practice of program and policy evaluation, as well as the application of social psychology.

Stewart I. Donaldson, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Psychology, Director of the Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research, and Dean of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He currently serves on the board of the American Evaluation Association. Dr. Donaldson has been honored with Early Career Achievement Awards from the Western Psychological Association and the American Evaluation Association.

Bernadette Campbell, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her research applies social psychological theories of negotiation, persuasion, and attitude change to achieve a better practical and theoretical understanding of evaluation activities and concepts such as stakeholder dialogue and evaluation influence.


Icek Ajzen, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Albert Bandura, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Leonard Bickman, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

Marcella H. Boynton, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Bernadette Campbell, Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Robert B. Cialdini, Department of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Taya R. Cohen, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

William D. Crano, Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California

Stewart I. Donaldson, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California

Natalie L. Dove, Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Monique A. Fleming, Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Noah J. Goldstein, Department of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior, Anderson School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Vladas Griskevicius, Department of Marketing, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Blair T. Johnson, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

David W. Johnson, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Roger T. Johnson, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lindsay A. Kennedy, Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Melvin M. Mark, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

April L. McGrath, Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Daphna Oyserman, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

A. T. Panter, Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Emil J. Posavac, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Manuel Riemer, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Lawrence J. Sanna, Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Norbert Schwarz, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Laurie Stevahn, College of Education, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington

R. Scott Tindale, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois


Graduate students, instructors, and researchers in social psychology; evaluators.

Course Use

Will serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate-and graduate-level courses such as Applied Social Psychology and Evaluation/Social Research Methods, as well as capstone courses that apply psychology to real-world problems.