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PSY 321: Social Psychology

Course Description

This course will focus on presenting the fundamental principles underlying social influences upon human behavior, such as: attitudes and attitude change, socialization, communication, group dynamics, inter-group relations as influenced by social structure and individual personality, cognition, and emotional factors. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • PSY 101: Psychology (Recommended)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Discuss experiments and other empirical research in the field of social psychology.
  2. Examine the role of seminal research studies in social psychology; citing basic methodology, results, and impact. (Milgram's study, Asch's study, Festinger's study, etc.).
  3. Explain how the notion of the "self" contributes to cognitive processes in social interaction.
  4. Discuss the main research findings in the area of social persuasion.
  5. Define the term "attitude" and identify the mechanisms behind attitude change.
  6. Examine group processes and social facilitation.
  7. Analyze the cognitive and affective theories/components linked to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
  8. Identify the basic properties and factors involved in interpersonal attraction and the formation and maintenance of relationships.
  9. Compare and contrast different types of aggression and discuss research techniques for studying aggressive behaviors.
  10. Identify factors that affect a person's decision to help or not help other people.
  11. Apply social psychology to health, law, business, and environmental issues.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussion Postings (Weeks 1-8 @ 2 pts each)

30%

Critical Thinking Exercises (Weeks 1-8 @ 2 pts each)

30%

Annotated Bibliography (Week 2)

10%

Final Paper Outline (Week 3)

10%

Final Paper (Week 7)

20%

Total Points

100

Required Textbooks

Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478
  • Bordens and Horowitz, Social Psychology. 5th ed. Academic Media Solutions, 2017. ISBN-13: 9781942041313

Course Schedule

Note: This accelerated 8-week course will cover 12 chapters of the textbook; therefore, this course will be very demanding at times.  Each week, students will need to contribute to the discussion board and post a minimum of 3 substantive posts for each discussion board forum/chapter. 

For each chapter:

  • The first post to three questions is due by Wednesday, 11:59pm  
  • The second post to one peer is due by Friday, 11:59pm
  • The third post to a second peer is due by Sunday, 11:59pm.

In addition, for each chapter students will also complete a 300-500-word critical thinking assignment.  

Critical thinking assignments for each week to be completed by Sunday,11:59pm. 

 

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,2,3

Topic: Introducing Social Psychology and Methodology

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1: Research Methods in Social Psychology (pg. 1-24)
    • Chapter 2: The Social Self – Self Concept, Self-Esteem and Self-Control (pg. 29-50)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays

2

3

Topic: Social Cognition and Social Perception

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 2: The Social Self – Thinking of Ourselves, Self-Awareness, and Self-Presentation (pg. 51-60)

    • Chapter 3: Social Perception – Impression, Attributions Biases, Schemas and Positive Psychology (pg. 65-99)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays
  • Submit Annotated Bibliography for Final Paper

3

4,5,7

Topics: The Self and the Need to Justify Our Actions

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 4: Prejudice and Discrimination – Social and Cognitive Roots of Prejudice and Stereotypes (pg. 107-155)
    • Chapter 5: Attitude Formation – Attitudes and Behavior, Feelings about Ideology (pg. 165-181)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays
  • Submit Final Paper Outline

4

4,5

Topic: Attitudes and Conformity

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 6: Persuasion and Attitude Change (pg. 196-236)
    • Chapter 7: Conformity and Obedience (pg. 245-285)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays

5

6,8

Topic: Group Processes and Interpersonal Attraction

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 8: Group Processes (pg. 297-324)
    • Chapter 9: Interpersonal Attraction and Relationships (pg. 333-370)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays

6

9,10

Topic: Prosocial Behavior and Aggression

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10: Interpersonal Aggression – Types of Aggression, Gender Differences in Aggression, Reducing Aggression (pg. 376-413)
    • Chapter 11: Prosocial Behavior and Altruism – Why do People Help? (pg. 421-462)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays

7

11

Topics: Prejudicial Behavior

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 12: Applying Social Psychology – Social Psychology and the Law, Health, the Work Place and Environment (pg. 469-492)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Essays
  • Submit Final Paper

8

11

Topics: Self Assessment and Social Psychology in Action

  • Readings:
    • none
  • Discuss your personal insights as it relates to any of the chapters 1-12.
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.