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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. Outline the basic methodology, results, and impact of seminal research studies in social psychology (e.g., 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. Discuss the cognitive and affective theories/components linked to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
  7. Identify the basic properties and factors involved in interpersonal attraction and the formation and maintenance of relationships.
  8. Compare and contrast different types of aggression and discuss research techniques for studying aggressive behaviors.
  9. Identify factors that affect a person's decision to help or not help other people.
  10. Describe how social psychology can be applied 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

Points

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 Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Aronson, A., T. Wilson and R. Akert. (2016). Social Psychology (9th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. ISBN-10: 0-13-393654-6 or ISBN-13: 978-0-13-393654-4

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1

Topic: Introducing Social Psychology and Methodology

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1 & 2
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises

2

1,2

Topic: Social Cognition and Social Perception

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 3 & 4
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises
  • Submit Annotated Bibliography

3

3,4

Topic: Self-Knowledge: Understanding Ourselves and the Need to Justofy Our Actions

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 5 & 6
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises
  • Submit Final Paper Outline

4

2,4,5

Topic: Attitudes, Attitude Change and Conformity

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 7 & 8
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises

5

7

Topic: Group Processes and Interpersonal Attraction

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 9 & 10
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises

6

8,9

Topic: Prosocial Behavior and Aggression

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 11 & 12
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises

7

6,10

Topics: Prejudice: Causes, Consequences and Cures 

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 13
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Final Paper Due

8

10

Topics: Self Assessment and Social Psychology in Action

  • Readings:
    • Social Psychology in Action 1: Psychology in Health
    • Social Psychology in Action 2: Psychology and the Environment
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Critical Thinking Exercises

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.