PSYCHOLOGY 380: Introduction to Social Psychology


Fall 1999 Mondays & Wednesdays, 2 - 3 p.m. 1324 East Hall


Professor Serena Chen

East Hall, Room 3231


Office Hours:  Wednesdays, 4 - 6 p.m. or by appointment

GRADUATE STUDENT INSTRUCTORS: Emily Chan (3234 East Hall, 763-4222, Section 003 Wednesday, 3-5 1096 EH Section 002 Friday, 10-12 224 DENN Lynne Schaberg (3237 East Hall, 647-3933, Section 008 Thursday, 8-10 438 WH Section 009 Thursday, 10-12 432 WH Nicole Shelton (5114 Institute for Social Research, 647-3671, Section 013 Thursday, 4-6 1068 EH Section 012 Friday, 10-12 229 DENN Sam Sommers (3225 East Hall, 647-3933, Section 005 Monday, 9-11 245 DENN Section 007 Wednesday, 3-5 B239 EH Mischa Thompson (3225 East Hall, 647-3933, Section 006 Monday, 11-1 430 DENN [Please note: New location as of 9/1/99] Section 004 Wednesday, 5-7 427 DENN [Please note: New location as of 9/1/99] Jeremy Welland (3213 East Hall, 764-9433, Section 010 Friday, 9-11 413 DENN Section 011 Friday, 11-1 413 DENN


Social psychology is the scientific study of the way people think, feel, desire, and behave in social situations. It involves understanding how people influence, and are influenced by, the others around them. A primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the perspectives, research methods, and empirical findings of social psychology. Equally important is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing the social situations and events that you encounter in your everyday lives. Finally, throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on developing critical and integrative ways of thinking about theory and research in social psychology.


You should be aware that this is a demanding course. There is considerable reading to be done -- making it unwise to fall behind in the reading. The lectures in this course supplement the readings. As such, you can expect lectures to present ideas that are not necessarily covered in the readings. You are expected to master the material covered in both the readings and the lectures. Your success in this course depends on attending class regularly, actively participating in class, and taking thorough notes. If you simply cannot avoid missing a class, borrow notes from a classmate.

The discussion sections led by your Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) are intended to hone and expand upon the ideas covered in each week's lectures and readings, and to conduct demonstrations and group empirical projects. You are expected to attend and actively participate in these sections. Sections begin meeting on Thursday, September 9th. Your GSI will provide a separate information sheet listing the deadlines you are responsible for in your discussion section.

You are required to take 3 exams in this course. All exams will be given during lecture time. Thus, there will be no lecture on exam days. EXAM LOCATIONS WILL VARY ACROSS SECTIONS AND WILL BE ANNOUNCED THE WEEK BEFORE EACH EXAM IN LECTURE. The firmly scheduled dates for the 3 exams are: Monday, October 11th, Monday, November 8th, and Monday, December 13th. MARK THESE EXAM DATES IN YOUR CALENDARS NOW. [Note: There is no exam during the final exam period]. All exams are multiple choice and are non-comprehensive. Each of them covers the material presented in the readings, lectures, and discussion sections within the specified dates. As a general rule, make-up exams will not be given. Exceptions to this rule are made only in dire, unavoidable circumstances (e.g., serious illness or emergency) that are fully documented (e.g., with official correspondence from physicians and/or Deans) and preferably with advance arrangement made directly with Professor Chen. Make-up exams, when offered, are essay exams.

You will have additional opportunities to convey your knowledge of the course material in the two required course papers. You will receive detailed information for each of these papers in handouts distributed in lecture or in your discussion section. In brief, the first paper requires you to conduct an experiment with your classmates on helping behavior, and write a paper reporting on the experiment. The other paper asks you to provide a comprehensive and creative social-psychological analysis of a feature film.

Lastly, although this is not a requirement, I strongly encourage each of you to make use of my office hours and your GSI's office hours. Your GSI and I would be more than happy to talk with you about any ideas, challenges, and/or concerns you might have about the course material, and about psychology more generally.



Your final grade in this course will be based on your achievements on course requirements weighted in the following manner:

Exam #1	                    20%

Exam #2	                    20%

Exam #3	                    20%

HELPING paper  	            15%

FILM ANALYSIS paper         15%

Participation in Section    10%

Your GSI will discuss how your Participation in Section grade will be determined.

Final letter grades are based on standard percentages, not curves, as follows:

97 -100% ... A+	   77 - 79% ... C+

93 - 96% ... A     73 - 76% ... C

90 - 92% ... A-	   70 - 72% ... C-

87 - 89% ... B+	   67 - 69% ... D+

83 - 86% ... B     63 - 66% ... D

80 - 82% ... B-	   60 - 62% ... D-

REQUIRED READINGS: (Textbook & Coursepack are both available for purchase at Ulrich's Bookstore. A copy of each is also available on reserve at Shapiro Undergraduate Library). Textbook Social Psychology (3rd Edition) Authors: Elliot Aronson, Timothy D. Wilson, & Robin M. Akert Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman, 1999 Textbook Web Site: Coursepack A collection of required readings reprinted by Grade A Notes. Go to Ulrich's to purchase this coursepack, not Grade A Notes.



WEEK #1:

Wednesday, September 8th


No assigned reading

WEEK #2:

Monday, September 13th


Textbook Chapter 1

Wednesday, September 15th

Research Methods

Textbook Chapter 2

WEEK #3:

Monday, September 20th

Social Cognition, Part I

Textbook Chapter 3

Wednesday, September 22nd

Social Cognition, Part II

Hastorf & Cantril (1954)

WEEK #4:

Monday, September 27th

Social Perception

Textbook Chapter 4

Wednesday, September 29th

Linking Social Perception to Social Behavior

Bargh, Chen, & Burrows (1996)

WEEK #5:

Monday, October 4th

Attribution, Part I

Lau & Russell (1980)

Wednesday, October 6th

Attribution, Part II

Miller (1984)

WEEK #6:

Monday, October 11th


Exam covers 9/8 - 10/6 material

Wednesday, October 13th

The Self, Part I

Textbook Chapter 5

WEEK #7:

Monday, October 18th

The Self, Part II

Linville (1985)

Wednesday, October 20th

Cognitive Dissonance

Textbook Chapter 6

WEEK #8:

Monday, October 25th

Attitudes & Persuasion

Textbook Chapter 7

Wednesday, October 27th


Schacter & Singer (1962)

WEEK #9:

Monday, November 1st

Conformity & Compliance

Textbook Chapter 8

Wednesday, November 3rd


Osherow (1999)

WEEK #10:

Monday, November 8th


Exam covers 10/13 - 11/3 material

Wednesday, November 10th

Group Processes

[Film Analysis paper handed out in lecture]

Textbook Chapter 9

WEEK #11:

Monday, November 15th

Prosocial Behavior

Textbook Chapter 11

Wednesday, November 17th

Film on prosocial behavior during lecture

No assigned readings

WEEK #12:

Monday, November 22nd


Aron, Aron, Tudor, & Nelson (1991)

Baldwin, Carrell, & Lopez (1990)

Wednesday, November 24th

Lecture will NOT meet (you may use time to view a film for the film analysis paper)

No assigned reading

WEEK #13:

Monday, November 29th

Close Relationships

Textbook Chapter 10

Wednesday, December 1st

Stereotyping & Prejudice

Textbook Chapter 13

WEEK #14:

Monday, December 6th

Intergroup Relations

[Film Analysis paper due for all sections]

Worchel Chapter 3

Wednesday, December 8th

Applying Social Psychology & Wrapping Up

Bargh & Raymond (1995)

WEEK #15:

Monday, December 13th


Exam covers 11/10 - 12/8 material

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