Social psychology is one of the basic disciplines in psychology. Social psychologists study the feelings, thoughts, and behaviours of 'normal' individuals, and how these feelings, thoughts, and behaviours are influenced by the implicit or explicit presence of others. Social psychology is a basic discipline and the emphasis very much on theories that predict and explain social behaviour. At the same time, social psychology is also directly relevant for society. Social psychology deals with the behaviour of people in organisations, health behaviour, consumer behaviour, financial behavior, law, education, but also love and culture.
After completing the course, the student can…
- name basic findings (e.g., the bystander effect) and important theories (e.g., cognitive dissonance theory) from social psychology.
- interpret every day events and situations using social psychological theories.
- discuss classic scientific papers from social psychology (assuming seminar meeting attendance)
- (see the beauty of the field).
Successful completion of the course consists of passing a multiple-choice exam. The exam is in English and it is not possible to bring a dictionary. The exam part will result in a grade. Participation in the seminars is optional and consists of understanding and discussing the contents of classic papers from social psychology. Seminar attendance will not be graded.
The grade of the exam is the grade for the course.
We will discuss the following topics:
- the specifics of social psychology (What is social psychology?)
- social perception (How do people form impressions of others, what do they attribute the causes of other’s and their own behavior to?)
- attitudes (What is the relationship between attitudes and behavior? Where do attitudes come from and how can they be changed?)
- affiliation and attraction (Who do we find attractive or unattractive? And when?)
- prosocial behavior (When are people more or less cooperative, or competitive?)
- aggression and altruism (When do people act aggressive? Does altruism exist?)
- social influence (Why do we obey authority figures? Why do we conform to the majority?)
- relationships between groups (Where do stereotypes come from? Why are there conflicts between groups?)
- various findings in social psychology will be clarified using examples in areas such as economy, organization, health, education, campaigns, environment, sports, and law.
Type of instructions
14 x 2 hours seminars, 5 x 2 hours seminar groups
Type of exams