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Delta Theory and Psychosocial Systems
The Practice of Influence and Change

$34.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139211659

$ 34.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Delta Theory establishes the foundation for a true scientific applied psychology, a theory of how human influence induces change in others. Delta Theory is unified and universal, applying to all cultures, historical periods, and goals for change. It integrates concepts and research from psychology, sociology, anthropology, evolution theory, philosophy, psychoneurology, cognitive science, and cultural-historical-activity theory. Yet Delta Theory is clear, economical, and elegant, with a full exposition of tactics for its practices. Rich examples are drawn from professional practices, but also from the creation and operations of criminals, healing ceremonies of indigenous peoples, and cross-species comparisons. This book ultimately seeks to describe how influence works, how it could be improved, and how it can be resisted.

    • Audacious in its ambition, Delta Theory is a first step toward a unified human science
    • A rigorous integration of cross-disciplinary theory and research, it is written by a research scientist who is also a poet, bringing the subject alive
    • Rich, lively examples of influence-and-change, historical and contemporary, professional and parental, cross-cultural and cross-species, benign and malign
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “A psychologist by training and a poet in spirit, Tharp reaches across multiple disciplines and applications to weave a compelling theory of behavior influence and change. Delta Theory answers critics who dismiss modern behavioral and social science as a bundle of facts in search of conceptualization. Tharp has delivered what many have called for: a grand and testable theory. A generation of researchers and graduate students will find hypotheses aplenty to quarrel over and put to the test. Let the disputation and testing begin!”
    –Ronald Gallimore, University of California, Los Angeles

    "...overall, the book is written in a stylized scientific manner.... offers helpful illustrations of how delta theory can be used; examples range from how schools operate to effectively teach cohorts of children to how pimps recruit new young prostitutes.... Recommended..."
    --C. J. Jones, California State University, Fresno, CHOICE

    "...One learns a lot by reading [his] book.... This relatively brief book has range, and the author knows many things, most of which he cites and uses to explain his universal theory."
    –Dr. Kurt Salzinger, Senior Scholar in Residence, Hofstra University, PsycCRITIQUES

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139211659
    • contains: 11 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Theory of Influence and Change:
    1. Introduction and overview
    2. Psychosocial systems and the exercise of influence
    3. The zone of proximal development, activity, and semiotics
    4. The means of influence
    5. The organization of activity
    6. Unifying the study of culture and psychology: philosophical and scientific Issues
    Part II. The Practice of Influence and Change:
    7. Influencing and change: delta theory of practice
    8. A natural history museum of influence and change: dioramas
    9. Who influences? The triadic model of influence and change
    10. Basic tactics and strategy in designing influence
    11. Cultural patterns in the practice of influence
    12. Challenges, research, and future development.

  • Author

    Roland G. Tharp, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Roland Tharp is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Universities of Hawaii, Manoa and California, Santa Cruz. He has also taught at the University of Arizona, Stanford University and the University of Greenland. Tharp is the director of the national Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous people, including Mayan, Polynesian, Navajo, Zuni and Inuit. Tharp is the author or co-author of the books Behavior Modification in the Natural Environment, Rousing Minds to Life, Teaching Transformed and Self-Directed Behavior. His articles have appeared in such journals as American Psychologist, American Anthropologist and Psychological Bulletin, among others. He is the laureate of the Grawemeyer Prize in Education, the Hopwood Award (Major, in Poetry), the University of Michigan and has held the Frost Fellowship of the Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College.

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