Social Psychology

Social Psychology


Fall 2010
08/23/2010 - 12/12/2010

Course Information

Section 009
TTh 14:50 - 16:10
NRG1 1214
Chris De La Ronde

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

information for this site

The material posted on this site addresses the syllabus information required by Texas House Bill 2504, the "Three Clicks" law. This is not a complete course syllabus.  The syllabus handed out in class will contain more information than is noted here.  The entire syllabus also will be posted on the Blackboard site for this class.

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

This course introduces the student to the field of social psychology – the scientific study of how individuals think, influence, and relate to one another.  This course is a survey of theories, research, and methods of social psychology including the topics of the self, conflict, aggression, power, group dynamics, and decision making. 

The common course objectives include the ability of the student to discuss representative social psychological theories, research findings and/or principles concerning the following topics: 

  • Research Methods in Social Psychology
  • Social Identity (such as the study of the self, gender, locus of control, etc.)
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Conformity
  • Aggression and Pro-social Behaviors
  • Attraction & Interpersonal Relationships
  • Group Dynamics (such as groupthink and decision making, leadership, persuasion, conflict, cooperation, etc.)
  • Social Cognition and Attitudes

Beyond learning basic social psychological theories, research findings and/or principles concerning the above core topics as well as the additional topics covered, a second objective is for the student to become more aware of social psychological processes and social influence in everyday life.




The textbook for this course is Social Psychology, by Thomas Gilovich, Dachner Keltner, and Richard E. Nisbett, 2nd Edition, New York: W. W. Norton, 2011.

Course Requirements

Grades will be determined by five in-class exams, a portfolio assignment, class participation, plus an extra credit paper. Although you must complete all five exams, your final grade will be based on your four highest exam scores.  The exams will consist of fifty multiple-choice items, worth 2 points each, covering about three weeks of lectures and three chapters from the textbook.  Students must provide scantron forms for each exam.  These forms are available at ACC bookstores.  Grades will be based on the traditional scale:

                                                            90 - 100           A
                                                            80 - 89             B
                                                            70 - 79             C
                                                            60 - 69             D
                                                            59 and below   F

and will not be forced to fit a normal distribution.  I will, however, make an adjustment to the grades for each exam.  Specifically, I will treat the top score on each exam as the top of the grading scale.  That is, your score on each exam will be a percentage of the top score.  For example, if the top score on the first exam was 88, the "100% standard" would be 88 and a person scoring an 80 would receive an 80/88 (90.9%) and would thus have an "A" on the first exam.  Your final grade will be based on your four highest converted scores, (100 points each), your portfolio (80 points), and your class participation (20 points), plus any extra credit points you may earn.

Course Subjects


                             DATE:                       LECTURE TOPIC AND READINGS:
Week 1:               Tu 8/24                      Introduction                   

                            Th 8/26                      Introduction to Social Psychology
                                                              Chapter 1:  An Invitation to Social Psychology

Week 2:               Tu 8/31                      Introduction to Social Psychology
                                                              Chapter 1:  An Invitation to Social Psychology

                             Th 9/2                       Research Methods in Social Psychology
                                                              Chapter 2:  The Methods of Social Psychology

Week 3:                Tu 9/7                       Research Methods in Social Psychology
                                                              Chapter 2:  The Methods of Social Psychology

                             Th 9/9                       The Self
                                                              Chapter 3:  The Social Self

Week 4:                Tu 9/14                     The Self
                                                              Chapter 3:  The Social Self

                             Th 9/16                     EXAM 1

Week 5:                Tu 9/21                     Causal Attribution
                                                              Chapter 4:  Understanding Others

                             Th 9/23                     Causal Attribution
                                                              Chapter 4:  Understanding Others

Week 6:                Tu 9/28                     Social Cognition
                                                              Chapter 5:  Social Judgment

                             Th 9/30                     Social Cognition
                                                              Chapter 5:  Social Judgment

Week 7:                Tu 10/5                     Attitudes and Behavior
                                                              Chapter 6:  Attitudes, Behavior, and Rationalization

                             Th 10/7                     EXAM 2

Week 8:                Tu 10/12                   Emotion
                                                              Chapter 7:  Emotion

                             Th 10/14                   Social Influence
                                                              Chapter 8:  Social Influence

Week 9:                Tu 10/19                   Social Influence
                                                              Chapter 8:  Social Influence 

                             Th 10/21                   Attitudes and Persuasion
                                                              Chapter 9:  Persuasion

Week 10:              Tu 10/26                   Attitudes and Persuasion
                                                              Chapter 9:  Persuasion                                   

                             Th 10/28                   EXAM 3                                                     

Week 11:              Tu 11/2                     Interpersonal Attraction
                                                              Chapter 10:  Attraction

                             Th 11/4                     Interpersonal Attraction
                                                              Chapter 10:  Attraction 

Week 12:              Tu 11/9                     Interpersonal Relationships
                                                              Chapter 11:  Relationships 

                             Th 11/11                   Stereotyping and Prejudice
                                                              Chapter 12:  Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Week 13:              Tu 11/16                   Stereotyping and Prejudice
                                                              Chapter 12:  Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

                             Th 11/18                   EXAM 4

Week 14:              Tu 11/23                   Aggression and Altruism
                                                              Chapter 13:  Helping, Hurting, and Cooperating

                             Th 11/25                   THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
                                                              Interpersonal Conflict and Cooperation
                                                              Chapter 13:  Helping, Hurting, and Cooperating

Week 15:              Tu 11/30                   Group Behavior and Influence
                                                              Chapter 14:  Groups                                                                                                          

                             Th 12/2                     Group Behavior and Influence
                                                              Chapter 14:  Groups

Week 16:              Tu 12/7                     Applications of Social Psychology
                                                              Chapter 15:  Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise:  l                                                                                  Social Psychology Applied                  

                             Th 12/9                     EXAM 5