Three aspects of the development of social psychology were examined by studying changes in the British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. An analysis of the use of ‘justificatory statements’ indicated some decrease in consensus among social psychologists. Data suggested that social psychologists made more use of theories in the 1970s and the significance of this change is discussed. An analysis of methodology indicated that laboratory experimentation increasingly predominates, with little sign of any increase in methodological pluralism. On a more general level, the poor integration of theory and data in the literature concerning the development of social psychology is commented upon.