Image for Social Psychology

Purpose

This course was designed to provide an overview of social psychology and to discuss applications of the material to everyday life. Research related to cognition, attitudes, persuasion, conformity, dissent, and the power of group situations were discussed. We focused on interpersonal processes with special attention to both pro-social and anti-social behaviors.

 

Reflection

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this course because I learned so much more about the self. This course was certainly one of my top five favorite psychology courses to teach. Firstly, my students educated me about the connections between the self and the social world in the formation of popular beliefs, judgments, behaviors and attitudes. Secondly, we fostered 'difficult conversations' about stereotypes, prejudice, aggression and discrimination. When we addressed these topics, students become silent or appeared uncomfortable. As their instructor and guide, I informed them that we often do not adequate time to talk about these topics. The astonishing revelation students had however was the close connection between said topics, and that every person is a perpetrator and a victim - among groups, in families and intimate relationships. Thirdly, students designed a self-project for the class. The project was based on a goal that was a missed opportunity or a wish. As a result, students were often hesitant to start because they never attained this goal before, or did not believe they could. The best part for me at the end of the semester was to hear students state that (1) they achieved the goal and (2) they did not achieve the goal but recognized that the goal represented a false or misplaced need. As a result, students learned not only about the theories of social psychology. They also personally witnessed the theories 'acting out', as they experienced the results of their own actions on themselves, and society. For example, many of my students chose to exercise to improve their physical health. They recognized that starting slowly is essential to building self-efficacy. They also observed that loved ones who supported them in their endeavor helped them to start. Yet, as they continued to exercise, they saw the results belonged to them and no-one else - they needed to own and praise their success for themselves. The beauty is that when they do know what they need to do, it is a learning accomplishment that is irreplaceable and uplifting.

Syllabus

This is my syllabus. If you need a copy, please contact me.

Evaluations

Here are the evaluations for this class for Spring 2014 and Spring 2015 and Spring 2017.