Special Issue Article
Toward a radically embodied, embedded social psychology
Article first published online: 13 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Special Issue: Modalities of Social Life: Roadmaps for an Embodied Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 7, pages 1217–1225, December 2009
How to Cite
Marsh, K. L., Johnston, L., Richardson, M. J. and Schmidt, R. C. (2009), Toward a radically embodied, embedded social psychology. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 39: 1217–1225. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.666
- Issue published online: 13 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 13 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Received: 31 JAN 2008
A roadmap toward a more radically embodied social psychology is offered. The perspective embeds embodied minds in a niche: A physical and social environment with action possibilities (“affordances”) that humans are equipped to utilize. At the heart of this embedded perspective is the suggestion that the methods and conceptualizations of integrating the body into social psychology must be inherently more relational, approaching meaning as emerging from the relation of the individual to its environment, as instantiated in the affordance construct (Gibson, 1977, 1979). Moreover, a more radical embodiment also demands that scientists reexamine the environment, in a way that goes beyond the truism that the environment influences the individual, to understand how meaning's emergence from individual-environment interactions obeys universal dynamical principles. In addition, the perspective illustrates that embedding an individual within an emergent social unit of action, a dyadic relationship or a group, provides new possibilities for perceiving and acting that both constrain and extend an individual's way of interacting with the environment. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.