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.
- analyze classic scientific papers from social psychology.
- summarize and criticize a classic scientific paper from social psychology.
- design a study that builds upon prior research from social psychology
- (see the beauty of the field).
Successful completion of the course consists of two parts: (1) a multiple-choice exam and (2) completing seminar meetings (work groups). 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 compulsory and consists of a combination of various assignments. Each assignment should be completed satisfactorily. The seminar participation will be graded with a pass/fail.
The grade of the exam is the grade for the course. The course credits will be officially registered after successfully completing the seminars. The date of the exam is also the deadline for the seminars
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 instructions14 x 2 hours seminars, 5 x 2 seminar groups with compulsory attendance
Type of examsTentamen en werkgroepopdrachten
- Douglas T. Kenrick, Steven L. Neuberg, Robert B. Cialdini, Social Psychology: Goals in interaction 6th edition, Pearson Education, 2014, ISBN 9780133810189.
- Aanvullende artikelen die tijdens de werkgroepbijeenkomsten besproken worden.