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Transcript
Psychology 4002: Social Psychology
University of Louisiana at Monroe
I.
Course Description
This course addresses psychological processes and environmental factors that influence social
behaviors. A currently popular definition of social psychology, as stated by the authors of our
text and others, is: “the scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of others” (pg. 6).
II.
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III.
Rationale
The ULM Interactive Model to Prepare Learning Facilitators provides the framework
supporting the College of Education and Human Development professional programs.
This content course interacts with and extends knowledge, skills, and experiences from
courses like Psychology 2001, 3025, 4027/4006, 3039, 4039 as well as courses from
related disciples such as sociology, anthropology, political science, communication and
marketing (e.g., consumer behavior). Hence, a major intent of this class is to encourage
and prepare you to be more interdisciplinary in your studies.
In terms of graduate school, this course helps to build the foundation for courses like
Psychology 5002 (i.e., social cognition) and could be useful to anyone considering a
career in related fields such as education, marketing research, political science, mass
communication, criminal justice, law, or health sciences. It also has the potential to
increase your marketability to Ph.D. programs at, for example, Colorado State University
and, perhaps, community psychology programs in general.
Course Objectives and Outcomes
This course should enable students to
1. Consider the potential personal and social benefits were you to be (stronger) advocates for
the best of what humans offer, and get involved in your community.
2. Describe, explain, and critique various research methodologies (i.e., “experimental and nonexperimental designs in social psychology”).
3. Outline major developments in social psychology (based on, at least, recent articles from
JPSP, JESP, or equivalent).
4. Observe social events from the perspective of group influence and social identity theory.
5. Define social psychology and differentiate between dispositional and situational factors that
can influence social behavior.
6. Consider social psychology from the perspective of dual-process theorists (e.g., ELM,
CEST).
7. Compare and contrast social perception and social cognition.
8. Understand the relationship between attitudes and behavior, as well as influences on attitude
change up-to-and-including persuasion.
9. Consider the role that attraction and intimacy play in social behavior.
10. Increase sensitivity to, and understanding of, aggression and altruism relative to conflict and
peace-making.
11. Differentiate between prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry.
IV.
Primary Empirical Base
Social Psychology, as defined by psychologists, typically is considered part of experimental
psychology. However, unlike prototypical experimental psychologists, and more consistent with
the tenets of Functionalism, social psychology has an applied orientation. (See, for example,
Colorado State’s research orientation, as well as community-based social science research.)
The three journals that are particularly influential for this course are: The Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and The Journal
Experimental Social Psychology. However, monthly publications from The American
Psychological Society also are relevant.
(Let me know if you want a more advanced bibliography.)
V.
Resources and Materials
The textbook is by Aronson, E., Wilson, T., and Akert, R. (2007), and is entitled Social
Psychology (Sixth Edition). NJ: Prentice Hall.
VI.
Course Topics (i.e., chapter titles as arranged in the textbook; be sure to see the schedule
section of this document)
1. Methodology
1. Social Cognition
2. Social Perception
3. Self-Knowledge
4. Self-Justification (AKA dissonance reduction)
5. Attitudes and Attitude Change
6. Conformity
7. Group Processes
8. Interpersonal Attraction
9. Prosocial Behavior
10. Aggression
11. Prejudice
12. Making a Difference with Social Psychology
13. Social Psychology and Health
14. Social Psychology and the Law (optional)
VII. Instructional Methods and Activities
Methods and activities for instruction include lecture and discussion, research assignments,
excerpts from literature and history, samples from music and film, as well as naturalistic
observation.
Lecture and discussion are based on readings from the textbook and related sources.
VIII. Evaluation and Grade Assignment:
Grade assignment is based on:
 Attendance @ 19 percent
 Assignments @ 30 percent (this means each assignment is worth 10 pts; however, the
number of points you obtain per assignment could be as much as 15 points if the quality of
your assignment was deemed outstanding. Consider the following categories: …)
 Outstanding: 15 pts
 Good: 12.5 pts.
 OK: 10 pts.
 Weak: 7.5 pts.
 Half-hearted: 5 pts.
 Virtually nothing: 2.5 pts.
 Nothing: 0
 Mid-term examination @ 15 percent
 Examination #2 @ 15 percent
 Comprehensive final examination @ 21 percent
Based on a 100-point percentage score derived from the above stated criteria,
 If X > 90, then A;
 If 78 < X < 89, then B;
 If 65 < X < 77, then C;
 If 55 < X < 64, then D;
 else if not, then F.
The Assignments:
1. Outline, discuss, and critique a journal article from a recent issue (i.e., since 2007)
from either The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, The Journal of Experimental
Social Psychology, or Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. (Note: Nothing else is
acceptable unless you personally cleared it with me.)
As an addendum to this assignment, simply include a copy of the table of contents for
that issue (i.e., the titles of the other articles in the issue containing the article you selected), as
well as the actual abstract.
2. Conduct, at least, two naturalistic observations at (high school or collegiate) sporting (or
other cultural) events from the perspective of Social Identity Theory. The report should include
relevant information (could be thought of as sections for your paper) regarding:
 A 2-3 paragraph overview of Social Identity Theory (SIT) based on your review of, at
least, one classic study and one recent study (i.e., post 2005).
 A detailed description of your methodology based on your understanding of naturalistic
observation after reading, at least, two textbook sources (i.e., research and design
textbooks).
 Your actual observations (reported as data in an appendix).
 Your conclusions (based on the data given your understanding of SIT).
 Directions for future observational or experimental research for researchers interested in
SIT
3. In 3-4 pages, explain the relevance of social psychology for either: (a) legal, or (b) health
studies, or write an essay that addresses the potential effect of one person on a social unit (or, if
you prefer, system) from the perspectives of, at least, Asch and Steiner.