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Written principally for students at the intermediate level, this text provides a broad critical review of the various empirical and theoretical traditions from which contemporary social psychology derives and, as the subtitle implies, offers balanced (though necessarily selective) insights into the perspectives which different researchers have adopted. It derives from J. Richard Eiser's previous textbook, Cognitive social psychology, which has been thoroughly revised and reorganized, incorporating much new material that reflects the changes that have been taking place in the field since the beginning of the decade. The approach is broadly cognitive, though by means narrowly so, the three main parts - 'Attitudes', 'Judgement and Interference' and 'Identity and Interaction' - indicating the principal emphases. Although it is North American research that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of social behaviour, significant European work is t neglected in Richard Eiser's exposition. It is this awareness of the dynamism of the field and of the cross-fertilization taking place between different disciplines that gives this text its distinctive flavour and attraction for students and professionals alike.