Course: PSY 2300Division: Social and Behavioral Science
Department: Behavioral Science
Title: Introduction to Social Psychology
Semester Approved: Spring 2018
Five-Year Review Semester: Spring 2023
End Semester: Spring 2024
Catalog Description: Social psychology is a valuable course not matter what a person is looking at doing with their lives. It informs us about how other people influence our thoughts, actions, and emotions. This course is a survey of the effects of social influences on the basic psychological processes of individuals. The course considers individuals in the context of their culture and society, the development of attitudes, and the impact of the group on individual behavior. Social Psychology has broad applications to education, business, law, and just being in groups.
Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Justification: Social psychology is a valuable course no matter what a person is looking at doing with their lives. It informs us about how other people influence our thoughts, actions, and emotions.
This course is similar to many social psychology courses at other institutions but is more of an introductory version. It may be used to fulfill lower division credit requirements for psychology, sociology, and social work majors.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Explain social institutions, structures, and processes across a broad range of historical periods and cultures from a social and behavioral science perspective. By participating in class discussions, lectures, and tests or quizzes, students will become more conversant in the discipline of social psychology. They will explore the history of the discipline, and the process of conducting social psychological research.
Draw on the social and behavioral sciences to evaluate contemporary problems using social science research methodology. Upon being provided media based examples or academic readings, students will use social psychological principles to research underlying causes of social behaviors and the implications thereof. Students will examine social psychosocial influences in the legal and advertising fields as well. Opportunities for such examinations will be provided through application papers, discussions, and tests.
Develop and communicate hypothetical explanations for individual human behavior within the large-scale historical or social context. Because social psychology deals with everything from daily behaviors to larger institutional issues, the use of disciplinary principles for the development of research studies is a vital part of the class. As part of this process, students will cultivate theories for the behaviors they observe/target, means of assessment, and implications on personal and social levels. Students will conduct these research projects on smaller scale assignments, larger scale assignment, tests, and papers
Explain and use the social-scientific method to test research questions and draw conclusions. Because social psychology deals with everything from daily behaviors to larger institutional issues, the use of disciplinary principles for the development of research studies is a vital part of the class. As part of this process, students will cultivate theories for the behaviors they observe/target, means of assessment, and implications on personal and social levels. Students will conduct these research projects on smaller scale assignments, larger scale assignment, tests, and papers
Write effectively within the social science discipline, using correct disciplinary guidelines, to analyze, interpret, and communicate about social science phenomena. Students will write in several components of the class. They will have response and application papers that will require shorter examinations; a larger research project which will require not only communicating about the research and findings, but also a somewhat comprehensive survey of the literature. All of which require critical and analytical writing skills.
Describe and analytically compare social, political, economic, cultural, geographical, and historical settings and processes other than one’s own. One large part of this class is the examination of culture on individual thought and action. Students will be exposed to unique cultural, social, and political perspectives so they might be able to better understand the actions of a diversity of individuals. This will be assessed via tests and written assignments.
Demonstrate an understanding of basic principles, procedures, terms, and concepts of Social Psychology and recognize personal and social impacts of social psychological principles on individuals, groups, institutions, or other organizations. Students will demonstrate competence in understanding the concepts of social psychology. They will not only recognize them and apply them in formative assessments such as tests and quizzes, but they will show proficiency in identifying them in real to life situations, Through examination of classic and contemporary research in the field, media based examples, and through other projects and assignments.
Psychology 2300 provides a more detailed exploration of social psychological principles that students may be exposed to in an introductory psychology course. Through readings, labs, lectures, as well as other formative and summative assessment activities students will explore the depth of subjects including, but not limited to: • Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research• Social Cognition: How We Think About the Social World• Social Perception: How We Come to Understand Other People• Self-Knowledge: How We Come to Understand Ourselves• The Need to Justify Our Actions• Attitudes and Attitude Change: Influencing Thoughts and Feelings• Conformity: Influencing Behavior• Group Processes: Influence in Social Groups• Interpersonal Attraction: From First Impressions to Close Relationships• Prosocial Behavior: Why Do People Help?• Aggression: Why We Hurt Other People• Prejudice: Causes and Cures• Making a Difference with Social Psychology: Attaining a Sustainable Future• Social Psychology and Health• Social Psychology and the Law• The course will also take a critical application of social psychological concepts used in various media forms.
Key Performance Indicators:
Tests 20 to 50%
Application and replication papers 10 to 40%
Reading and Discussion Points 5 to 20%
Research application project 20 to 50%
Media and Spontaneous Assignments 1 to 10%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Elliot Aronson, Timothy D. Wilson, and Robin M. Abert, Social Psychology, current edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Publishers.
Coats & Feldman, Classic and Contemporary Reading in Social Psychology, current edition, Prentice Hall.
The course will be taught in a manner that reflects current best practices in teaching and learning of psychology and accounts for, but is not limited to: aptitudes of the instructor, demographics of the students, applicable high impact practices, size of the class, structure of the classroom, time of day, choice of primary texts/materials, and time of year.
Maximum Class Size: 45
Optimum Class Size: 35