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The Psychology of Survivor: Leading Psychologists Take an Unauthorized Look at the Most Elaborate Psychological Experiment Ever Conducted . . . Survivor! (Psychology of Popular Culture series) [Paperback]

By Richard J. Gerrig (Editor)
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Item description for The Psychology of Survivor: Leading Psychologists Take an Unauthorized Look at the Most Elaborate Psychological Experiment Ever Conducted . . . Survivor! (Psychology of Popular Culture series) by Richard J. Gerrig...

The Psychology of Survivor is a collection of essays on the popular reality show, Survivor, and is not authorized by CBS, writers, creators, or producers of Survivor, or anyone associated with the show.
From situational ethics and tribal loyalties to stress and body image, this collection of essays employs cutting-edge psychology to delve into the dynamics of the hit television show Survivor. Containing new thoughts and theories on the past 13 seasons of the show—which many consider the mother of reality television—this analysis looks at the root behaviors and emotions that come to light while people are being filmed competing for a large sum of money while stranded on a deserted island. Insight into the program's psychodynamics explores why macho alpha males rarely win, what makes fellow survivors like one another, and why the behavior of certain players, such as Rob Cesternino, became infamous.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   227
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2007
Publisher   Benbella Books
ISBN  1933771054  
ISBN13  9781933771052  

Availability  0 units.

More About Richard J. Gerrig

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard J. Gerrig is a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University. Before joining the Stony Brook faculty, Gerrig taught at Yale University, where he was awarded the Lex Hixon Prize for teaching excellence in the social sciences. Gerrig's research on cognitive psychological aspects of language use has been widely published. One line of work examines the mental processes that underlie efficient communication. A second research program considers the cognitive and emotional changes readers experience when they are transported to the worlds of stories. His book "Experiencing Narrative Worlds "was published by Yale University Press. Gerrig is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.He is also an associate editor of "Psychonomic Bulletin & Review," Gerrig is the proud father of Alexandra, who at age 16 provides substantial and valuable advice about many aspects of psychology and life in the 21st century. Life on Long Island is greatly enhanced by the guidance and support of Timothy Peterson. Philip G. Zimbardo is an emeritus professor of psychology at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1968, after earlier teaching at Yale University, New York University, and Columbia University. He also continues to teach atthe Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. Zimbardo is internationally recognized as the "voice and face of contemporary psychology" through his widely seen PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology, his media appearances, best-selling trade books on shyness, and his classic research, The Stanford Prison Experiment. His current research interests are in the domain of experimental social psychology, with ascattered emphasis on everything interesting to study from shyness to time perspective, persuasion, cults, madness, violence, vandalism, political psychology, and terrorism. Zimbardo has been a prolific, innovative researcher across a number of fields in social and general psychology, with more than 300 professional articles and chapters and 50 books to his credit. To recognize the breadth of his research achievements, the American Psychological Association presented Zimbardo with the Ernest Hilgard Award for lifetime contributions to general psychology. He has also won the Vaclav Havel Foundation Award for his body of research on the human condition. Zimbardo has been President of the Western Psychological Association (twice), President of the American Psychological Association, Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), and now Chair of the Western Psychological Foundation and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Policy, Education, and Research on Terrorism. He is most excited about the publication of his new trade book in March 2007 (Random House), which he has been working on intensely for the past several years. Its domain is the psychology of evil; its provocative title: "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil."

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Psychology of Survivor: Leading Psychologists Take an Unauthorized Look at the Most Elaborate Psychological Experiment Ever Conducted . . . Survivor! (Psychology of Popular Culture series)?

Surviving better with psychology  Apr 19, 2008
"The Psychology of Survivor" by Richard Gerrig (Editor) brings the innovative reality TV program, 'Survivor' to Ben Bella Book's excellent Psychology of Popular Culture series. Providing a popular forum for PhD-level psychologists, the series aims to make the sciences more accessible to the average person. Discussing how the contestant's actions on Survivor have supported various theories pertaining to cognition, sociopathy, arousal, deprivation, social comparison, identification and many other social psychology concepts, the sixteen thoughtful articles in this book serve to not only increase our appreciation for the TV series but also help us gain insight into how we might be able to better survive (and perhaps thrive) in our own daily environments.

Many of the authors wax nostalgic about the first series, 'Borneo' in which an air of suspense hung around what the outcome of this bold, new experiment in group behavior might be. (In fact, readers should be advised that 'Borneo' contestants are frequently referenced, which probably makes one's knowledge of the classic first season requisite to gaining full benefit from the book.) Richard Hatch serves as a particularly important topic: Kevin Apple and Melissa Beers contending that Mr. Hatch's allied voting strategy befuddled the director's intent to produce a Darwinist struggle of the fittest; P.A. Hancock drills into Mr. Hatch's personality to find that he used an extraordinary mix of rational and intuitive thinking processes to persevere; and Vivian Hayas highlights the situational contexts that played to Mr. Hatch's advantage and led him to victory. Reflecting upon these and a number of other astute analyses, we can ponder the meaning of the Survivor contestants' struggles and relate the lessons learned to our own life experiences.

Several authors go on to assess how contestant interpersonal dynamics have changed as the series has evolved. Brad Wolgast and Mario Lanza suggest that Brian Heidik's victory in 'Thailand' and Rob Cesternino's win in 'this site' served to validate a sociopathic style of play that has subsequently deprived the game of its original charm, with much less ethics and much more rational, cold-blooded calculation in evidence in later episodes than before; in another article, these same two authors propose that social role theory explains why non-threatening females have tended to fare better competitively than alpha males. But if one is still interested in competing, Stephanie deLuse offers tips on how an understanding of psychology can help you get the best result possible on the show, if not in one's own daily life.

Interestingly, we learn that an experiment like Survivor would not be permitted in a laboratory setting due to the psychological community's ethical standards; nonetheless, many of the contributors clearly value the rare opportunity that the series provides to study the subject's behaviors. For example, Renee Engeln-Maddox is fascinated by the reversals in female body image on Survivor where the thin ideal becomes a sign of physical weakness and objectification becomes just another strategy to gain competitive advantage. Amanda Dykema-Engblade contends that Survivor's contrived situations can induce heightened states of arousal whose intensity is sometimes transferred between contestants, citing numerous instances of emotional bonding on the show. Ashley Hunt and Richard Heyman discuss how the fundamental attribution error is in ample evidence as contestants condemn others for behaviors that they themselves deploy as a means to advance in the competition.

On the other hand, Anne Moyer believes that the stress induced by the promise of a $1 million prize and extreme competitiveness amounts to an unethical and unacceptable exploitation of Survivor contestants by its producers. And, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Robert Batsell proposes an outrageous reality TV program that should give us pause as to how far the public might be willing to allow the entertainment industry to go in attempting to justify highly-questionable scripts in pursuit of mass ratings.

I highly recommend this entertaining and insightful book to everyone.
Pop Psychology Examination of Reality Television's Granddaddy.  Dec 7, 2007
This installment of BenBella Books "Psychology of Popular Culture" series takes a look at the granddaddy of reality shows, SURVIVOR. I've been a fan of SURVIVOR since the first season and was eager to see what various psychologists would have to say about how the show reflects psychology. The different aspects of the show examined are quite varied. Even though the book is written for the laymen, it covers some rather deep psychological issues. Possible explanations about why the show is popular; the changes in how people have played the game over time and how those changes mirror life outside of the game; the effect that neuroscience has on those playing the game; tips for viewers based upon social psychological research; the importance of manipulating impressions while playing the game; how stress psychologically effects and changes the people playing the game; the intense aroused feelings that contestants feel; an analysis of how Richard Hatch won the first season of SURVIVOR; the importance of SURVIVOR and shows like it for vicarious psychological experiments; the ways that SURVIVOR plays upon viewers' emotions; how SURVIVOR contradicts the social stereotypes about women in current American culture; what has been learned about social isolation from contestants on the show; what the typical SURVIVOR winner looks like; the rational and naturalistic models of decision-making that contestants use; and even some tips about what one should do in order to win the game are all examined in THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SURVIVOR.

I've never enjoyed studying psychology. I've never seen much use for it. I gained a better appreciation for the field after reading THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SURVIVOR. I think I learned more about psychology through reading this book and how it is actually useful in real life than I did in all of my college psychology courses combined.

Anyone who has an interest in popular culture and psychology, will probably enjoy looking at this book. Fans of SURVIVOR might enjoy it, too and if nothing else they will at least want to read the last chapter that offers some concrete tips about how to win the game if they're ever chosen to be on the show.

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