Sample chapters


FOR MORE THAN A DECADE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, Greg Mortenson was a regular guy stumbling around looking for a career, not apparently bound for glory. But through a series of accidental events, beginning with a failed mountain-climbing expedition, he ended up building 55 schools for poor students in remote villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  His life was threatened both by Muslim fundamentalists, who objected to his teaching girls to read, and by patriotic fellow Americans, who accused him of helping America's enemies. Yet he persists despite the many obstacles.  What motivates this kind of dedication to helping other people?  Why are the cultural rules for appropriate social behavior so different in different parts of the world, such as the U.S. and Afghanistan? 

Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Psychology


Chapter 6:

Social Influence

(chap 6)*

Which social influence tactics could quickly convince an intelligent college student to join a cult, to devote himself entirely to the group for years, and then—just as quickly and just as entirely—to abandon any commitment to the group?  Hint: They’re the same influence tactics that convince the rest of us to purchase a product, donate to a cause, or vote for a candidate.

IT WAS 1971.  Ann Atwater, an African American community activist, was fighting to desegregate the Durham, NC schools; C. P. Ellis, the Exalted Cyclops of the local Ku Klux Klan, was fighting to keep black and white students separate.  Yet, in the midst of their intense battle, they befriended each other--a friendship that would last the rest of their lives.  Why at one time were their lives so utterly consumed by powerful racial prejudices and stereotypes? And what changed their longstanding hatred into true respect and friendship?  

Chapter 11:

Prejudice, Stereotyping,

and Discrimination


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