Title

Embodiment in Social Psychology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Psychologists are increasingly interested in embodiment based on the assumption that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are grounded in bodily interaction with the environment. We examine how embodiment is used in social psychology, and we explore the ways in which embodied approaches enrich traditional theories. Although research in this area is burgeoning, much of it has been more descriptive than explanatory. We provide a critical discussion of the trajectory of embodiment research in social psychology. We contend that future researchers should engage in a phenomenon-based approach, highlight the theoretical boundary conditions and mediators involved, explore novel action-relevant outcome measures, and address the role of individual differences broadly defined. Such research will likely provide a more explanatory account of the role of embodiment in general terms as well as how it expands the knowledge base in social psychology.

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