Social Psychology

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to the concepts and ideas in the area of social psychology. Social Psychology aims to discover the different ways in which people interact with other individuals, groups, and the larger society as a whole, as well as why people act in certain ways. As with an anthropology or sociology course, social psychology looks at the inner workings of groups of people. However, it differs from these courses in terms of its focus; social psychology focuses primarily on the single individual’s psychology as part of the group or society, rather than the culture or group interaction (though both of these areas have some relevance in social psychology). This may seem to be quite a broad subject area – and it is. Humans are social creatures (in other words, they have evolved to be able to interact and communicate at high levels with individuals of their own species) and almost invariably exist in a social context (even a situation in which society is absent could be studied by social psychologists as a social context). Social psychology deals with a huge range of aspects of human life, including love, attraction, aggression, helping behaviors (or altruism), and obedience. While social psychology encompasses a multitude of topics, it also relates to many other fields, both within psychology and outside of it. For example, other branches of psychology (personality, gender, culture, emotions, clinical, and industrial psychology) have used important findings from social psychology in their own studies. Subjects outside of psychology, such as religion, economics, and even engineering, have made use of information that has come out of social psychology research. Social psychology research has undoubtedly had the greatest impact on the field of psychology as a whole. This course will introduce you to the most influential social psychology experiments and explain the impact that they have had on the field as a whole. First, we will introduce you to the broad topic of social psychology. Next, we will get into the content areas in which social psychological research is conducted. These areas will include the research, findings, and theories regarding self and person perceptions, attitudes, social influence, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal relationships, aggression, and altruism, in addition to applications of social psychology to health, law, businesses, and the environment.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to PSYCH301: Social Psychology. General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.
 
Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:  
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Units 1 and 2, as these lay the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, exploratory materials presented in the latter units. You will also need to complete:
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all of the resources provided in each unit.
In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 74 hours.Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you approximately 5.75 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 4.25 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 1.5 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.
 
Tips/Suggestions: As you read, take careful notes on a separate sheet of paper. Mark down any important concepts, examples, and definitions that stand out to you. Try to keep track of major theoretical ideas and research findings that repeatedly come up in different units of the course. You might also try to organize the most important course content according to whether they apply to the self/individual person, relationships (dyads and interpersonal relations), or group processes. These notes will be useful to review as you study for the Final Exam.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • discuss experiments and other empirical research in the field of social psychology;
  • outline the basic methodology, results, and impact of seminal research studies in social psychology (e.g., Milgram’s study, Asch’s study, Festinger’s study, etc.);
  • explain how the notion of the “self” contributes to cognitive processes in social interaction;
  • discuss the main research findings in the area of social persuasion;
  • define the term “attitude” and identify the mechanisms behind attitude change;
  • discuss the cognitive and affective theories/components linked to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination;
  • identify the basic properties of and factors involved in interpersonal attraction and the formation and maintenance of relationships;
  • discuss the breadth and importance of social psychological research and its impact in the field of psychology;
  • compare and contrast different types of aggression and discuss research techniques for studying aggressive behaviors;
  • identify factors that affect a person’s decision to help or not help other people; and
  • describe how social psychology can be applied to health, law, business, and environmental issues.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed all courses listed in the Core Program of the Psychology Discipline. This requirement only applies to those students who are seeking the equivalency of a Full Psychology Degree. If taking this course as an elective, you must only have completed PSYCH101.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Introduction to the Study of Social Psychology  

    Social Psychology has a rich history of experimental research that aims to study persons and their relationships with others, groups, and society as a whole. In this unit, you will be introduced to several diverse areas of research, which encompass this broad field of study. Then, you will learn more about experimentation, the backbone of social psychological research. Finally, you will be provided with a brief tutorial on how to read social psychological research, as a majority of your readings are grounded in peer-reviewed journal articles.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 What Is Social Psychology?  
  • 1.1.1 Sociological and Psychological Contributions to Social Psychology  
  • 1.1.2 Diverse Topics in Social Psychology  
    • Reading: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T.L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 13: Social Psychology”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T.L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach“Unit 13: Social Psychology” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this unit, which provides an overview of important concepts in social psychology. You may remember social psychology from your introduction to psychology course. Feel free to skim this chapter if you recall the content. 
       
      Note on the Text: As social psychology covers a diverse set of topics, this chapter will serve as a primer to introduce you to the main topics in social psychology.

      Reading this unit should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of T.L. Brink from Crafton Hills College. Note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

    • Reading: The Social Psychology Network’s “Social Psychology Links By Subtopic”

      Link: The Social Psychology Network’s “Social Psychology Links By Subtopic” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Scroll down this page to review the variety of subtopics associated with Social Psychology. Click on any link of particular interest in order to view additional resources, publications, and studies in that area. Note that this website also maintains links to the latest reports of psychology in the news and to the professional profiles of hundreds of social psychologists around the world.
       
      Reading this webpage should take you approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “What Grabs People’s Attention?”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “What Grabs People’s Attention?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: For this activity, you should first read and reflect on the list of scenarios below. Each scenario describes a situation where an individual behaves in a manner that seems to grab people’s attention. Then, write out your answers to the open-ended questions. There are no correct or incorrect answers for this activity. Rather, the activity is designed to help you start thinking about human social behavior at a deeper level.
       
      Considering these scenarios and writing out thoughtful responses to the open-ended questions should take you approximately 30 minutes.

  • 1.2 Researching Empirical Journal Articles  
  • 1.2.1 Reading Empirical Articles  
  • 1.2.2 Experimental Research in Social Psychology  
    • Lecture: YouTube: University of California, Berkley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 2: Experiments”

      Link: YouTube: University of California, Berkley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 2: Experiments” (YouTube)
       
      Also available in:
      iTunes U
       
      Instructions: Start the video at the 2-minute mark, as the first part of the lecture deals with administrative details of the class. There is also a class break from the 43-minute mark to the 48-minute mark that you can fast-forward through.
       
      Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 3.0 License.  It is attributed to Robb Willer and the University of California, Berkley, and the original version can be found here.

    • Activity: Principles of Social Psychology: “Table 1.1 Is Social Psychology Just Common Sense?”

      Link: Principles of Social Psychology: “Table 1.1 Is Social Psychology Just Common Sense?” (PDF)

      Instructions: People often think that research in psychology is all just common sense, but sometimes the results are surprising. Find out more about some of the topics that people think are common sense by taking a short true/false assessment and then checking your answers against the answer key. To take the assessment, scroll down to Table 1.1, on page 35. Record your answers to the 8-question true/false quiz. After, scroll down to Table 1.5, on page 59, to go to the Chapter Summary page where you can check how well you scored and read more about the research supporting the correct answers. By doing this exercise, you should gain a better understanding of the importance of conducting scientific research, even if the focus of a study seems to be a simple matter of common sense.
       
      Reading the introduction, completing the quiz, and studying the correct answers should take you approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Unit 1 Assessment  
  • Unit 2: The Self and Person Perception  

    This unit will focus on two areas of social psychology that may seem somewhat out of place in a class about groups, cultures, and societies: the self and its perception of others. You may be wondering how units on the individual self fit into this course. Well, when we talk about social situations from a psychological point of view, there are two components of any interaction. The first part, which relates to the self, is the way we view ourselves and our beliefs. Our concept of our own being is important to understanding how we act in social situations. The second component of any interaction involves how we perceive and form opinions or ideas about people around us. This may be more obvious in how it relates to our interaction in social situations, as our opinions about people may change the way in which we interact with them. Understanding how we view ourselves and how we view other people is essential in being able to comprehend how humans behave in social situations.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Nature of the Self and Introspection” and “Self-Perception Theory”

      Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Nature of the Self and Introspection” (RealAudio) and “Self-Perception Theory” (RealAudio)
       
      Also available in:
      Transcript (HTML) “Nature of the Self and Introspection”
      Transcript (HTML) “Self-Perception Theory”
       
      Instructions: Note these lectures will cover subunits 2.1-2.4. Click on the hyperlinks titled Audio and Slides, which are at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right-hand side of the webpages. Listen to the lectures in conjunction with reading the PowerPoint slides. Real Player software is required for the audio files.
       
      These lectures are from Professor Traci Craig’s Social Psychology course at University of Idaho. Although not all of the lectured material is covered in this unit, the material presented is pertinent to the topic of the self in social psychology. 
       
      Listening to these lectures and reading the slides should take you approximately 2 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1 Introduction to the Concept of “The Self”  
  • 2.1.1 What is the Self?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lecture assigned below subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2 Self Knowledge  
  • 2.2.1 The History of the Self  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below the unit introduction and subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2.2 Effects of Public and Private Self-Awareness  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below the unit introduction and subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2.3 Self-Regulation  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below the unit introduction and subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2.4 Self-Schemas and Gender Schemas  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below the unit introduction and subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2.5 Cultural Contributions  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below the unit introduction and subunit 2.1.

  • 2.2.6 Self-Esteem, Self-Complexity, and Self-Discrepancy  
  • 2.3 Social Cognition  
  • 2.3.1 Low-Effort Thinking  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.2 Guiding Schemas and Association  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.3 Chronic Accessibility of Schemas  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.4 Components of Impression Formation  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below subunit 2.3.

  • 2.3.5 Physical Information and Nonverbal Behavior  

    Note: This topic is covered by the lectures assigned below subunit 2.3.

  • 2.4 Attributional Processes  
  • 2.4.1 Attributions Defined  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.2 Automatic versus Controlled Processes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.3 Motivational Influences of Attributions  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.4 Short-Term Consequences of Attributions  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.4.

  • 2.4.5 Long-Term Consequences of Attributions: Clinical Implications  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.4.

  • Unit 2 Assessment  
  • Unit 3: Attitude and Attitude Change  

    Attitudes are an essential component of our psychological world. We evaluate items every day in terms of good and bad or like and dislike, and it is through these evaluations that we make sense of our world. Importantly, attitudes are not fixed and are subject to change with experience. For these reasons, attitudes have occupied a central place in the field of social psychology. In this unit, you will learn about what attitudes are and the important concept of cognitive dissonance, which is associated with attitude change.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Attitude: An Introduction  
  • 3.1.1 Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Processes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.2 Qualities of Attitudes: Accessibility, Ambivalence, and Consistency  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.3 Attitude Function  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.1.

  • 3.1.4 The Attitude-Behavior Relation  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.1.

  • 3.2 Theories of Cognitive Dissonance  
  • 3.2.1 Cognitive Dissonance Defined  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.2.

  • 3.2.2 Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Theory  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.2.

  • 3.2.3 Bem’s Self-Perception Theory  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.2.

  • 3.2.4 Elliot Aronson’s Self-Concept Theory  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 3.2.

  • 3.3 Empirical Research on Cognitive Dissonance  
  • 3.3.1 The Original Experiment  
  • 3.3.2 New Research on the Origins of Cognitive Dissonance  
    • Reading: Yale University: Dr. Louisa C. Egan, et al.’s “The Origins of Cognitive Dissonance”

      Link: Yale University: Dr. Louisa C. Egan, et al.’s “The Origins of Cognitive Dissonance” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Under Selected Journal Articles, scroll down to The Origins of Cognitive Dissonance and select the link to open in PDF format. Read this article as advised by the readings presented earlier in subunit 1.2. This article describes a research study of cognitive dissonance, using children and primates as the subjects to show decision rationalization, which resulted in the acknowledgement that dissonance may have developed earlier than previously believed.
       
      Reading this article should take you approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 3 Assessment  
  • Unit 4: Social Influence  

    As social beings, we are often strongly affected by the presence of those around us. One main focus of social psychological research has centered on social influence. Social influence refers to a situation in which a person or group changes or influences the attitudes or behaviors of others in a particular direction. There are many different aspects of social influence that one can experience at any given time. However, in this unit, we will focus on four types of influences that humans experience when in social situations: conformity, compliance, obedience, and the bystander effect.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 An Introduction to Social Influence  
    • Reading: Creighton University: Professor Robert B. Cialdini’s “The Science of Persuasion”

      Link: Creighton University: Professor Robert B. Cialdini’s “The Science of Persuasion” (HTML)
       
      Also available in:
      Microsoft Word
       
      Instructions: Read this empirical journal article as advised by the readings presented earlier in subunit 1.2. This article will introduce you to the six basic tendencies in human behavior, which help make social influence possible. Robert B. Cialdini is Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University.
       
      Reading this article should take you approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 Conformity  
  • 4.2.1 An Introduction to Conformity  
  • 4.2.2 Normative and Informational Influences  
  • 4.2.3 Pluralistic Ignorance  
  • 4.3 Compliance  
  • 4.3.1 Motivations for Compliance  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.2 Three Compliance Strategies  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.3 Self-Affirmation versus Self-Presentations  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 4.3.

  • 4.4 Obedience and the Power of the Situation  
    • Reading: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Gregorio Billikopf Encina’s “Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority”

      Link: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Gregorio Billikopf Encina’s “Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority” (HTML) 
       
      Instructions: Note this article will cover subunits 4.4.1 and 4.4.2. Milgram’s experiment and Zimbardo’s experiment represent two of the most famous and, arguably, infamous experiments conducted in social psychology. These experiments were not only important to the topic of obedience but also important in impacting the creation and enforcement of ethical guidelines in scientific research. The overall themes to this research are that (a) situational factors have a powerful effect on behavior, and (b) ethical consideration in research is necessary and important.
       
      Reading this article should take you approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: IntroPsych: Dr. Russ Dewey’s Psychology: An Introduction: “Was Milgram’s Research Ethical?” and “Zimbardo’s Prison Study”

      Link: IntroPsych: Dr. Russ Dewey’s Psychology: An Introduction: “Was Milgram’s Research Ethical?” (HTML) and “Zimbardo’s Prison Study” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Note these articles will cover subunits 4.4.1 and 4.4.2. Milgram’s experiment and Zimbardo’s experiment represent two of the most famous and, arguably, infamous experiments conducted in social psychology. These experiments were not only important to the topic of obedience but also important in impacting the creation and enforcement of ethical guidelines in scientific research. The overall themes to this research are that (a) situational factors have a powerful effect on behavior, and (b) ethical consideration in research is necessary and important.
       
      Reading these articles should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: YouTube: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 12: Obedience I” and “Lecture 13: Obedience II”

      Link: YouTube: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 12: Obedience I” and “Lecture 13: Obedience II” (YouTube)
       
      Also available in:
      iTunes U (Lecture 12)
      iTunes U (Lecture 13)
       
      Instructions: Note that these lectures will cover subunits 4.4.1 and 4.4.2. Scroll down, and click on the clapperboard icon for the Obedience Ilecture. For this first lecture, start the video at 4 minutes and 45 seconds as the first part of the lecture deals with administrative details of the class. There is also a class break from the 62-minute mark until the 67-minute mark, if you would like to fast-forward through this section. For the second lecture, click on the link above, scroll down, and click on the clapperboard icon for the Obedience IIwebcast. Start the video at 11 minutes as the first part of the lecture deals with administrative details of the class. There is also a class break/extra material from the 54-minute mark until 65-minute mark. If you would like, you may skip over this section. 
       
      Note on the Lecture: These lectures are from Professor Robb Willer’s “Social Psychology: Self and Society” course at the University of California, Berkeley. 
       
      Watching the lectures and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

      Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 3.0 License.  It is attributed to Robb Willer and the University of California, Berkley, and the original version can be found here.

  • 4.4.1 The Milgram Experiments  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 4.4.

  • 4.4.2 Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 4.4.

  • 4.5 Bystander Effect  
  • 4.5.1 The Case of Kitty Genovese  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 4.5.

  • 4.5.2 Seminal Studies in the Bystander Effect  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 4.5.

  • Unit 4 Assessment  
  • Unit 5: Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination  

    One of the negative effects of social influence is prejudice, which is an adverse prejudgment or bias of an individual or group seen in almost every society and within most people, at one time or another. Accordingly, it is important to know how prejudiced attitudes develop and why we tend to exhibit them. It is also important to understand the steps one can take to reduce prejudice. This unit will explore the ways in which stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination relate to one another, while explaining their theoretical origins and utility.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Introduction to Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination  
  • 5.1.1 Linking Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2 Categorical Thinking, Assimilation, and Contrast  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.3 Ingroup-Outgroup Concept  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.4 Self-Esteem and Social Identity  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.5 Subtle Forms of Prejudice  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2 Stereotyping  
  • 5.2.1 Explicit and Implicit Bias  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.2 Consequences of Stereotyping  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.3 Stereotyping in Children and the Media  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.4 Stereotypes from Direct Experience  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.5 Self-Perpetuating Stereotypes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.2.6 Reducing Stereotypes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.3 Discrimination  
  • 5.3.1 Considering the Target’s Perspective  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.3.2 Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.3.3 The Contact Hypotheses  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 5.2.

  • 5.4 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Stereotype Threat  
  • 5.4.1 An Introduction  
  • 5.4.2 Impact on Academic Performance and Automaticity  
  • 5.5 Unit 5 Assessment  
  • Unit 6: Interpersonal Relationships and Attraction  

    In this unit, we will focus on the psychology of individuals in terms of how they are attracted to one another and how they form relationships. While the relationships we will discuss are typically romantic in nature, many of the same concepts can be applied to friendships and family relationships as well. We will be primarily concerned with how relationships differ and why some relationships last longer than others. These issues become quite complex when you consider the diversity of the human relationships that exist. Accordingly, psychologists have developed a number of theories that attempt to explain different aspects of relationships. This unit will also look at physical attraction, identifying different types of attraction (i.e. physical and aesthetic) and why attraction is an important part of human survival.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Initial Attraction  
  • 6.1.1 Interpersonal Attraction  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.1.2 Reasons for Affiliation  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.1.3 Factors Influencing Affiliation Motivation  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.1.4 Theory of Social Exchange  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.1.5 Proximity and Familiarity  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.1.6 Physical Attractiveness  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.2 Intimacy  
  • 6.2.1 Intimacy Defined  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

  • 6.2.2 Attachment Theory  

    Note: This material discusses adult attachments styles and how they relate to romantic relationships. Attachment theory first was researched with respect to infants and their mothers. The nature and quality of the infant’s attachment to the parent is presumed to provide a working model for relationships in general. To the extent that this model remains stable over the years it might influence how adults approach their romantic relationships. The four primary adult attachment styles (one secure and three insecure) are described in detail.

  • 6.3 Relationship Satisfaction and Stability  
  • 6.3.1 Overview of Research in Relationship Satisfaction  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 6.3.

  • 6.3.2 The Social Psychological Approach  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 6.3.

  • Unit 6 Assessment  
  • Unit 7: Aggression and Helping  

    This unit will examine the contrasting acts of aggression and helping. We will explore the theories, research methods, and research findings related to the study of aggression. Then we will switch from studying when and why people cause harm to others to evaluating when and why they are willing to help others. Specifically, we will look at situations in which people are more or less likely to help others, the reasoning behind helping, and the individual difference variables that affect the act of helping.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 An Introduction to Aggression  
  • 7.1.1 Instrument versus Hostile Aggression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.2 Gender Differences in Aggression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.3 Anger, Catharsis, and Neo-Association Theory  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.4 Social Learning Theory of Aggression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.1.

  • 7.1.5 Reducing Aggression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.1.

  • 7.2 Methodology in the Study of Aggression  
  • 7.2.1 Types of Measurement  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.2 Convergence of Laboratory Aggression Measures  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.3 Similarity of Real World and Laboratory Aggression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.4 Generalization from the Laboratory to the Real World  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.2.

  • 7.2.5 Meta-Analytic Results on Findings  

    Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 7.2.

  • 7.3 An Introduction to Helping  
  • 7.3.1 Kin Selection  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.2 Socio-Cultural Perspective  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3 A Learning Perspective  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.

  • 7.4 When Do People Help?  
    • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Helping”

      Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Helping” (RealAudio)
       
      Also available in:
      Transcript (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the hyperlinks to the audio lecture and PowerPoint slides, which are located at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right side of the webpage. Listen to this short lecture or read the transcript and also view the PowerPoint slides. Note this lecture will address content outlined in the sections under subunits 7.4.1 and 7.4.2.
       
      Listening to the lecture or reading the transcript and reading the slides should take you approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.4.1 Theoretical Perspectives on Helping  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.

  • 7.4.2 Social and Cultural Factors Affecting Helping Behavior  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.

  • Unit 7 Assessment  
  • Unit 8: Selected Applications of Social Psychology  

    This unit will examine some of the many different areas where the findings from laboratory research have been used to address real world social problems. Applications of social psychology have helped to promote and improve social welfare for people around the world. This unit will focus on applications to issues in the areas of health, law, and the environment.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 Applications to Health  
    • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Health Psychology”

      Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Health Psychology” (RealAudio)
       
      Also available in:
      Transcript (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the hyperlinks to the audio lecture and PowerPoint slides, which are located at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right side of the webpage. Listen to this short lecture or read the transcript and also view the PowerPoint slides. Note this lecture will address content outlined in the sections under subunit 8.1.1-8.1.3.
       
      Listening to the lecture or reading the transcript and reading the slides should take you approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.1.1 Stress  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.2 Illness  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3 Lifestyle Choices  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.1.

  • 8.2 Applications to the Law  
    • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Social Psychology and Law”

      Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Social Psychology and Law” (RealAudio)
       
      Also available in:
      Transcript (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the hyperlinks to the audio lecture and PowerPoint slides, which are located at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right side of the webpage. Listen to this short lecture or read the transcript and also view the PowerPoint slides. Note this lecture will address content outlined in the sections under subunit 8.2.1-8.2.3.
       
      Listening to the lecture or reading the transcript and reading the slides should take you approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.2.1 Jury Processes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.2 Eyewitness Testimony  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.3 Perceptions of Justice  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.2.

  • 8.3 Applications to Businesses  
  • 8.4 Applications to The Environment  
    • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Environmental Psychology”

      Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Environmental Psychology” (RealAudio)
       
      Also available in:
      Transcript (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the hyperlinks to the audio lecture and PowerPoint slides, which are located at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right side of the webpage. Listen to this short lecture or read the transcript and also view the PowerPoint slides. Note this lecture will address content outlined in the sections under subunit 8.4.1-8.4.3.
       
      Listening to the lecture or reading the transcript and reading the slides should take you approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.4.1 Weather  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.2 Crowding  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.3 Architecture  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 8.4.

  • 8.5 Course Review  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Social Psychology in the Virtual World”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Social Psychology in the Virtual World” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: For this activity, you should think about each of the open-ended questions and then write out your answers. There are no correct or incorrect answers for this activity. Rather, the activity is designed to help you think more deeply about how learning about human social interactions in a virtual environment might differ from learning about social psychology in a traditional face-to-face classroom.
       
      Considering the questions and writing out thoughtful responses should take you approximately 30 minutes.

  • Unit 8 Assessment  
  • PSYCH301 Final Exam