Social Psychology: Course Description

This course provides a unified view of the field of social psychology organized around the concepts of social influence and power and exchange in social life and explores in-depth human thoughts, feelings, and actions as influenced by other people.  Specific topics include socialization, perception of self and others, pro-social and anti-social behavior, attitudes, interpersonal attraction, social influence, and group behavior.

Social Psychology and “the Self”

  • Define social psychology.
  • Explain the role of research in social psychology.
  • Define the concept of “the self” in the social world.
  • Apply the concepts of socialization to personal development.

Social Beliefs and Judgments/Beliefs and Attitudes

  • Analyze the social, cultural, and spiritual influences on ethics.
  • Describe the reciprocal relationship between behavior and attitudes.
  • Explain how individuals rationalize their behavior using cognitive dissonance theory.

Group Influence

  • Analyze the impact of group influence on the self.
  • Examine the relationship between group influence and cultural identity.

Persuasion and Conflict

  • Examine the elements of persuasion.
  • Assess the effects of persuasion on the individual in society.
  • Describe the elements of conflict resolution and peacemaking.


  • Examine the various motivations to engage in altruistic behavior.
  • Examine the concepts of philanthropy, social activism, and volunteerism in terms of the social exchange theory and pro-social behavior.
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