PCC/ CCOG / PSY

Course Content and Outcome Guide for PSY 216

Course Number:
PSY 216
Course Title:
Social Psychology
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:
 

Course Description

Surveys the scientific study of how individuals think about, influence, and relate to one another with respect to social beliefs, persuasion, attraction, conformity, obedience, prejudice, aggression, and pro-social behaviors. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Apply an understanding of the impact of social and cultural forces on one€™s sense of self, values, and beliefs to more effectively analyze human
thinking and behaviors.
2. Critically evaluate research to understand and explain confusing, conflictual or distressing human social behavior.
3. Relate social psychological concepts and theories to the context of historic and current world, national, and local events, as well as to understanding one€™s own life experiences.
4. Apply social psychological concepts and theories to reduce anti-social attitudes and behaviors and increase pro-social attitudes and behaviors within individuals and groups. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate intended outcomes by any combination of the following as determined by the instructor:

  1. Written and /or oral assignments designed to promote integration of class material with personal reflection, experience, and/or skill acquisition.
  2. Multiple choice, short answer and essay questions that require integration, application, and critical examination of material covered in the course.
  3. Participation in dyad and group exercises and/or discussions, including skill-building exercises and activities within and outside the classroom. In- and outside-classroom activities may include email, online discussion, and video-taping.
  4. Attendance at lectures, workshops , on-campus and community events directly related to the course outcomes.
  5. Student-teacher conferences where verbal and non-verbal skills may be demonstrated and competency assessed.
  6. Participation in and critical assessment of a service learning project directly related to the course outcomes.

 

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Social influences on the self-concept and related judgments of others, including: collectivistic and individualistic cultural orientations; self-serving biases; attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error, the Just World Hypothesis and blaming the victim. How to resist the influences of these biases upon self- and social judgments.
  2. Social cognition, including errors and biases in perception (illusory correlations, hindsight bias, etc) decision-making (heuristics, etc), and memory (constructive nature of memory, false memory syndrome).
  3. Conformity as social influence, including: normative and informational influences; compliance (particularly obedience) and internalization. How to recognize and resist pressures to conform to harmful behavior.
  4. The relationship between attitudes and behavior, particularly the impact of behavior upon attitude change and explanatory theories for the ubiquitousness of self-justification throughout human social behavior. How the relationship between behaviors and attitudes can be used to increase anti-social or pro-social attitudes and behaviors.
  5. Persuasion, including: the factors relating to message type and content, source of persuasive message, and audience; social norms and scripts that are strategically used to increase effectiveness of persuasion; inoculation and resistance to persuasion.
  6. Effects of group membership on individuals, including: groupthink; social facilitation; social loafing; deindividuation; bystander apathy. How to prevent groupthink and social loafing, and how to transform bystander apathy into pro-social action.
  7. Prejudice, including: the distinctions among stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination; the basic motivations for prejudice and discrimination (perceived competition for scarce resources, scapegoating, need to justify social inequalities, and dispositional influences). How to reduce inter-group conflict and prejudice.
  8. Aggression, including: basic theories of human aggression (biological, evolutionary, and socio-cultural); personal, situational, and social influences; aggression and violence in media (including pornography). Effective and ineffective ways to reduce aggression and violence.
  9. Interpersonal attraction, including: predictors of liking and loving (including evolutionary and socio-cultural theories); social influence of physical attractiveness; factors that characterize satisfactory relationships and theories that predict satisfaction maintenance and dissolution of relationships (both friendships and romantic relations).
  10. Basic research methods of social psychology, including: experimental and non-experimental methods; ethics in human social research.

 

 

Competencies and Skills:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the social influences on the self-concept and related judgments of others, including: collectivistic and individualistic cultural orientations; self-serving biases; attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error, the Just World Hypothesis and blaming the victim. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies to resist the influences and correct the errors of these biases upon self- and social judgments.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes of social cognition that affect human judgment, including errors and biases in perception (illusory correlations, hindsight bias, etc) decision-making (heuristics, etc), and memory (constructive nature of memory, false memory syndrome).
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of conformity as a powerful social influence, including: the role of normative and informational influences; compliance (particularly the classic studies of obedience) and internalization. Demonstrate an understanding of how the pressures to conform can be recognized and how knowledge of these pressures can be used to resist pressures to conform to harmful behavior.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between attitudes and behavior, particularly the impact of behavior upon attitude change and explanatory theories for the pervasiveness of self-justification throughout human social behavior. Demonstrate knowledge of how the relationship between behaviors and attitudes can be used to increase anti-social or pro-social attitudes and behaviors.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of persuasion, including: the variety of factors relating to message type and content, how the source of persuasive message is evaluated, and how knowledge about the audience can be used to increase the effectiveness of the persuasive message. Demonstrate an understanding of the social norms and scripts that can be and are strategically used to increase effectiveness of persuasion. Demonstrate knowledge of the strategies of inoculation and how to make oneself a more critical audience of persuasive messages.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of group membership on individuals, including: groupthink; social facilitation; social loafing; deindividuation; bystander apathy. Demonstrate knowledge of how to prevent groupthink and social loafing, and how to transform bystander apathy into pro-social action.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes and effects of prejudice, including: the distinctions among stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination; the basic motivations for prejudice and discrimination (perceived competition for scarce resources, scapegoating, need to justify social inequities, and dispositional influences). Demonstrate an understanding of how prejudice and inter-group can be reduced through interdependence and equal status.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes and effects of aggression, including: basic theories of human aggression (biological, evolutionary, and socio-cultural); personal, situational, and social influences; aggression and violence in media (including pornography). Demonstrate knowledge of both effective and ineffective ways to reduce aggression and violence.
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the theories and factors surrounding interpersonal attraction, including: predictors of liking and loving (including evolutionary and socio-cultural theories); social influence of physical attractiveness; factors that characterize satisfactory relationships and theories that predict satisfaction maintenance and dissolution of relationships (both friendships and romantic relations).
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of basic research methods of social psychology, including experimental and non-experimental methods, and ethics in human social research.