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Social psychology

This is the foundation course on which subsequent, university level Social Psychology courses are based.

This course offers an introduction to the concepts, theories and methodologies used in the study of key areas of the discipline.

Topics covered

  • Overview: The course introduces students to key issue areas of Social Psychology, outlining how key researchers have contributed to the development of theory. These issues areas are also used to briefly describe the role of research methods in social psychological research.
  • The self in social context: Students are introduced in this module to key concepts, theories and methodological approaches specific for the study of self. These include the self‐concept, self‐awareness, self‐perception and social comparison, self‐esteem and impression management.
  • Interpersonal relations: Students are introduced in this module to key concepts, theories and methodological approaches to the study of interpersonal relations. These include attachment theory, social exchange and equity theory, factors of attraction and the interpretation of the behaviour of others.
  • Group and inter‐group relations: This module introduces students to key concepts, theories and methodological approaches regarding groups and inter‐group relations. These include group norms and roles, social facilitation and social loafing, theories of prejudice and intergroup collaboration.
  • Cultural phenomena: In this module, students are introduced to key concepts, theories and methodological approaches related to culture and cultural phenomena. These include cultural experiences of the self, aggression, prosocial behaviour and culture, attribution and culture, and inter‐cultural communication.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Identify and explain key concepts, theories and methodological approaches used in Social Psychology
  • Apply Social Psychological theories to key issues covered in the course
  • Assess the validity and relevance of different approaches to the study of social psychological phenomena.

Assessment

Unseen written exam (Two-hour 15 minutes).

Essential reading

  • Aronson, E., Wilson, T. and Akert, R.M. (2012) Social Psychology (International Edition). 8th ed. Harlow: Pearson [ISBN 9780205918027]
  • Hayes, N. (1993) Principles of Social Psychology. New York: Psychology Press.