Rethinking the Golden Age of Social Psychology
It is tragic yet curious to realize that a historical period of great human misery can motivate great scientific endeavour. This paper argues that the "golden age" of social psychology was driven by the traumas of fascism. We first trace the roots of the World War II to modernism. We then compare the social psychological studies conducted before and after the World War II in relation to this historical background and the rationality-irrationality debate. Overall, we present a series of examples which purport to show that the "golden age" of social psychology emerged as a response to humans' violation of different rationality norms. We conclude with a set of proposals for the amelioration of irrationality derived again from social psychological studies.