Social Psychology

SELA MISSION STATEMENT: Knowledge, skills, life long learners• Thoughtful collaborators• Inspiring leaders in chosen field• Valuable contributors to community• Critical thinkers• Creative thinkers •Appreciate multiple perspectives •Communicate effectively• Self reflection •Embrace diversity• Act with purpose and vision

John F. Kennedy University

Syllabus
PYJ3210
Social Psychology
Winter 2011
Steven A. Del Chiaro, PsyD
sdelchiaro@jfku.edu
408.874.7741

 

Office Hours
Please make an appointment for office hours.  I want to be available to you.  During office hours we can discuss questions about the course, psychology as a career, or topics of interest to you.  Please understand that I, just like you, have a busy schedule, but will do my best to be available.

If you send me an e-mail, I will usually get back to you within 24 hours and I will always respond to let you know that I have received your message.  As a general rule, if you do not hear from me, chances are I did not get the message, so you need to re-send it.

Course Description
Students will learn about the scientific investigation of social behavior. They will study the theory and empirical research in social psychology: conformity, obedience, helping, and aggression; attitudes, persuasion, identity and roles; person perception, attribution, and social judgment; interpersonal and inter-group relationships, social conflict, prejudice, and stereotyping. And they will explore the implications of these concepts for explaining current social phenomenon.

Learning Outcomes
This course is designed to provide students with a survey of the field of Social Psychology, which attempts to understand how individuals think, feel and behave in relation to others and how these thoughts, feelings and behaviors are affected by other people. Students who successfully complete the course will have gained an understanding of the research mechanisms used in Social Psychology and an understanding of how behavior is influenced by both individual characteristics and by social context. They will also become more critical observers of how their behaviors are affected by others and, hopefully, will learn to manage these influences. Some of the topics to be explored during the course will include the social self, social perception, attribution theories, stereotypes, prejudices, sexism & racism, attitudes, persuasion, conformity and compliance, group processes, cooperation, competition and conflict, attraction, helping , aggression and violence, and stress and coping.

Course Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

1.      Explain and distinguish among the major theoretical approaches in social psychology.

2.      Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theory and research in personality and social processes.

3.      Understand the scientific approach as used in social psychology.

4.      Understand relevant research, theory, and information necessary to plan, conduct, and interpret results of research in social psychology.

5.      Describe the role of Psychology in addressing human problems, both individually and collectively.

6.      Explain behavior using different Psychological theories or models.

7.      Recognize the value of social psychology in understanding and suggesting solutions for real-world problems.

8.      Demonstrate critical thinking skills in relation to social psychology.

9.      Demonstrate self-awareness of their own attitudes, stereotypes, and prejudices.

10.  Use psychological theory to provide insight and understanding of their own behavior.

11.  Use psychological theory to understand interpersonal and group behavior.

12.  Identify the impact of their own behavior on others.

13.  Demonstrate interpersonal awareness and sensitivity to differences and similarities in the way people are treated due to gender, race, ethnicity, culture, class, and sexual orientation.

Required Texts
Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. (2007). Social psychology and human nature. NY:Thompson Wadsworth Pub Co. 
ISBN-10: 0534638325, ISBN-13: 9780534638320

Student Responsibilities
Syllabus Policy:
The course syllabus presented in this document will be followed as closely as possible. However, the course syllabus, schedule, policies, and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor or in the event of extenuating circumstances. This includes the tentative dates listed. Possible changes will be announced in advance by the instructor as if possible. Since such announcements are typically made during class, it is the student’s responsibility to clarify any of these changes that may have been made when the student is absent.

Although you will be responsible for all of the material in the assigned readings, some of the information may not be covered in class. Therefore, if there is material that is unclear to you it is highly recommended that you discuss this material with me at an appropriate time (e.g., during office hours). It is your responsibility to read the syllabus and ask questions about it so that you have a clear understanding of the expectations. If you are unclear about any of the requirements/expectations, then please set up a time to speak with me. I will be grading as though you have a clear understanding of the course requirements and material.

Attendance:
In accordance with JFKU policy, I will be taking attendance. You are adults and need to make your own decisions.  Please realize that your decisions have consequences (If this makes no sense to you then it is a good thing you are enrolled in Learning and Cognition, because you will understand through operant conditioning that behaviors have consequences!).  Students are responsible for everything that is said and done in class. I strive to make my classes not only educational but also enjoyable. It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a course they do not wish to take. If you simply stop coming to the class and do not withdraw from the course, then you will still receive a grade that will be based on the completed work. Additionally, I encourage students to arrive on time for the class. However, I understand that extenuating circumstances do arise that can prevent your diligent efforts toward punctuality. If you are late to class, please take a seat in the row of desks/seats closest to the door in order to prevent disruption to the class. I hope you will take advantage of this policy only when absolutely necessary.  I do have a small portion of your grade based on participation, tardiness affects participation.  Many important pieces of information are discussed in class, and students are responsible for knowing and complying with this information including changes in assignments. Please make appropriate adjustments to your schedule to allow for arrival to the class on time (e.g., arriving early to avoid traffic/parking problems).

Classroom Courtesy and Disruptions:
Class disruptions are not tolerated. Students will be asked to leave if they are being disruptive to fellow students or the professor. Disruptions include but are not limited to cell phones and pagers going off for any reason (even accidental).  In addition, please place electronic communication devices (e.g., pagers, cell phones) in the “off” position during class. If you must make or answer a call, please excuse yourself from class for such activity.  In accordance with university policies on student conduct, it is expected that you will treat other students and the instructor with courtesy and respect

You are responsible for understanding the dates, policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, fee payment, withdrawal and so forth.

Diversity Statement:
Consistent with the mission of John F. Kennedy University, I welcome persons of differing backgrounds and experiences including but not limited to age, disability and health status, ethnicity and race, family structure, geographic region, language, religious/spiritual and secular beliefs, resident status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and socioeconomic status.

It is my goal to foster an environment in which diversity is recognized and embraced and every person is treated with dignity, respect, and justice. I hope that your academic experience in this course and at John F. Kennedy University will provide the opportunity to gain knowledge and experiences necessary to thrive in a diverse, global environment.

Taking Notes:
Since a portion of the lectures will not come from the assigned readings, taking lecture notes is very important. Coming to class prepared (e.g., thoroughly reading the assigned material) and paying close attention to lecture will benefit the student. Preparation through reading the assigned material will help the student with taking notes during class as the student will recognize some of the material as coming from the readings and as a result will not need to take copious notes on that portion.  Should you happen to miss a class, you are welcome to obtain notes from a peer in the course. Also, please ask your peers in the course if you “missed anything important” and not the instructor. This question is considered rude by most professors including myself. It is important to note that those students who regularly attend class tend to do significantly better in the course.

INTERNET, WWW, AND E-MAIL ACCESS:
This course involves extensive use of the Internet for student research and assigned readings. All students are required to have access to the Internet via some means as well as an active/current e-mail address.  If you do not have a computer or access to the Internet, you can use the computers in the computer lab on campus.

IMPORTANT WEB ADDRESSES:

 

American Psychological Association

http://www.apa.org/

The Social Psychology Network

http://www.socialpsychology.org/social.htm

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology

http://spsp.org/

Encyclopedia of Psychology

http://www.psychology.org/

Overview Psychology Links

http://www.has.vcu.edu/psy/psy101/forsyth/psych.htm

Weekly Topics, Activities and Assignments:
(Tentative Schedule- subject to modification)

Week

Topic

 Chapter

Online Assignment

 

 

 

 

1

Class Business/Syllabus

 

 

January 12

Introduction to Social Psychology

Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

2

The Self

Chapter 3

Chapter 2 Culture and Nature

January 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Behavior Control

Chapter 4

 

January 26

PO 1 Due

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Social Cognition  (FF)

 Chapter 5

Chapter 6 Emotion and Affect

February 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

5

Prosocial Behavior

Chapter 8

 

February 9

PO 2 Due

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Aggression and Antisocial Behavior

Chapter 9

Chapter 7  Attitudes, Beliefs

February 16

 Key Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Attraction and Exclusion

Chapter 10

 

February 23

PO 3 Due  Key Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

March 2

Close Relationships

Chapter 11

Chapter 14  Groups

 

 

 

 

9

Prejudice and Intergroup Relations

Chapter 12

 

March 9

PO 4 Due  Key Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Social Influence and Persuasion

Chapter 13

 

March 16

Reasearch Paper Due  Key Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

March 26

Examination/presntations

 

 

Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the presentation of words, ideas or views of someone else as if they were one’s own. Plagiarism is intellectual dishonesty and, as such, is a serious academic offense. The potential penalties range from an unsatisfactory grade in the course (an ‘F” or ‘no credit’), a letter of sanction placed in the student’s permanent academic file, or even dismissal from the university. Plagiarism includes:

bulletpassing off another’s written work as your own
bulletfailing to give credit to your sources for the ideas, information, and words you have borrowed from them
bulletnot quoting when you use another’s exact  words
bulletnot  changing the wording or sentence structure significantly enough when you paraphrase a source.
 

Incomplete Policy

An Incomplete (I) grade is given only to a student who has maintained satisfactory attendance and work throughout most of the course but, due to extraordinary circumstances, is unable to complete the required work by the end of the quarter. The granting of an ”I” grade is at the discretion of the instructor and must be approved by the dean. It is the student’s responsibility to provide an incomplete grade form and to request an “I” from the instructor in writing prior to the last class meeting, stating briefly but specifically the reasons for the request. The due date to complete work is determined by the instructor but may not exceed two quarters.

Disability Accommodations
If you need accommodations for this class due to a documented disability, please see Lisa Noshay-Petro in the Office of Disability Services for Students (ODS) in Room S220, 925.969.3447, Lnoshay@jfku.edu. All students who need accommodations should meet with the ODS early in the quarter, and utilize the support services they offer. Accommodations cannot be made until students are registered with the ODS, and have received an Accommodation letter. All information is kept confidential.

Academic Support Center (ASC)
The ASC provides once a week session in instruction in writing, study skills, and APA citation style. Appointments can be held in person or via phone, fax or email. Students who are registered with the Office of Disability Services are entitled to 2 appointments per week. All ASC services are free to registered students, faculty, and staff. Students can make an appointment by calling 925.969.3530 or emailing asc@jfku.edu.

Quizzes:
There will be six quizzes for the chapters discussed in class and there will be four "super" quizzes for the on-line assignment.  These quizzes for class will be worth 5 points each and the "super" quizzes will be worth 10 points each.  The quizzes will cover the text reading and will be aimed at helping you understand and think about the material covered. 

Writing Projects:

Participant-Observation Assignment
Students in Social Psychology will complete a participant-observation assignment.  The purpose of this assignment is to put the course material into action in daily contexts, applying social psychology research findings on attributional biases, bystander intervention, conflict resolution, empathy, and so on. This assignment is worth 40 points.

Assignment 1:  Day of Compassion

Our Social Psychology class will observe a "Day of Compassion." To participate in this event, your challenge will be to live each minute of that day in as compassionate a way as possible. In other words, for a full 24-hour period you should do your best to care for others, to be considerate and respectful, and to avoid causing harm to any living being.

When carrying out this assignment, leave no behavior unexamined -- from talking on the telephone to eating lunch to watching TV. That is, don't limit yourself to simply holding the door open for a stranger or petting a lonely dog; think about all the unnecessary suffering in the world, and strive for the greatest impact and deepest level of compassion without being phony or insincere. It is up to you to define what compassion is and to decide how best to realize it.

If you are already quite compassionate, try being compassionate toward groups you don't often focus on, and even if your actions don't differ much from how you normally behave, be sure to carefully observe and analyze what transpires during the experience. If outside events make it difficult for you to participate on the designated day, or if you feel dissatisfied with your performance of the assignment, feel free to repeat the exercise on a later day.

Note: To minimize any bias in social reactions, it is best if you do not tell others about the class assignment until after the Day of Compassion is over.

Students will turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like (limited to one typewritten doubled-spaced page using 12-point font and 1" margins). Here are a few sample questions you might address:

bulletHow did you define compassion, and who were the recipients of your efforts?
bulletIf your behavior was different than normal, which person did you like more: the "Day of Compassion you" or the "normal you"? If you preferred the "Day of Compassion you," what are the psychological factors that prevent this "you" from coming out?
bulletWhat are the psychological costs and benefits of behaving compassionately? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs?
bulletHow did others respond to your compassion? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior, and why?
bulletIf you wanted to encourage others to behave as you did during the Day of Compassion, what psychological techniques would you use? How can social psychology be used to foster a more compassionate society?
bulletIf you were to predict your behavior one month from now, do you think it will be changed in any way as a result of participating in the Day of Compassion? If so, how? If not, why not?

Note: This assignment is intended to be engaging and informative, but you can opt out of it if you prefer. As stated in the course syllabus: "If at any point you prefer not to complete an assignment (or if your attempt to complete it is unsuccessful), you can still receive full credit by turning in a one-page report discussing the barriers that prevented you from carrying out the assignment."

Assignment 2:  Day of Nonconformity

Our Social Psychology class will observe a "Day of Nonconformity." To participate in this event, your challenge will be to live each minute of that day in a way that is as uninfluenced as possible by conformity pressures to appear cool, fit in with a group, or go along with others to be liked or accepted. In other words, for a full 24-hour period you should live in a way that is true to yourself while not infringing on the rights of others.

When carrying out this assignment, leave no behavior unexamined -- from washing your face to eating lunch to talking with friends to watching TV. That is, don't just avoid obvious acts of phoniness or insincerity; strive for the deepest level of authenticity, in whatever way you define it for yourself. The goal is not to be different, unique, or selfish, but to be your own person.

Note: To minimize any bias in social reactions, it is best if you do not tell others about the class assignment until after the Day of Nonconformity is over. Also, under no circumstances should you behave in a way that harms others or is unethical or illegal (yes, this means keeping your clothes on in public).

Students will turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like (limited to one typewritten doubled-spaced page using 12-point font and 1" margins). Here are some sample questions you might address:

bulletHow did you define nonconformity, and what did you focus your efforts on?
bulletIf your behavior was different than normal, which person did you like more: the "Day of Nonconformity you" or the "normal you"? If you preferred the "Day of Nonconformity you," what are the psychological factors that prevent this "you" from coming out?
bulletWhat are the psychological costs and benefits of living authentically? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs?
bulletHow did others respond to your nonconformity? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior, and why?
bulletIf you wanted to encourage others to behave as you did during the Day of Nonconformity, what psychological techniques would you use?
bulletIf you were to predict your behavior one month from now, do you think it will be changed in any way as a result of participating in the Day of Nonconformity? If so, how? If not, why not?

Assignment 3:   Day of Social Justice

Our Social Psychology class will observe a "Day of Social Justice." To participate in this event, your challenge will be to live each minute of that day in as inclusive, unprejudiced, and nondiscriminatory a way as possible. In other words, for a full 24-hour period you should do your best to embody ideals such as fairness, equality, and diversity.

When carrying out this assignment, consider institutional as well as personal forms of injustice and privilege. That is, don't just avoid obvious acts of bias, segregation, and exclusion; think deeply about the injustices that various groups face on campus, in the local community, and in the world more generally, and try to reduce these injustices without behaving in ways that are phony or insincere. It is up to you to define what social justice is and to decide how best to realize it.

Note: To minimize any bias in social reactions, it is best if you do not tell others about the class assignment until after the Day of Social Justice is over.

Students will turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like (limited to one typewritten doubled-spaced page using 12-point font and 1" margins). Here are some sample questions you might address:

bulletHow did you define social justice, and what did you focus your efforts on?
bulletIf your behavior was different than normal, which person did you like more: the "Day of Social Justice you" or the "normal you"? If you preferred the "Day of Social Justice you," what are the psychological factors that prevent this "you" from coming out?
bulletWhat are the psychological costs and benefits of reducing segregation on campus? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs?
bulletHow did others respond to you? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior, and why?
bulletIf you wanted to encourage others to behave as you did during the Day of Social Justice, what psychological techniques would you use? How can social psychology be used to foster a more just society?
bulletIf you were to predict your behavior one month from now, do you think it will be changed in any way as a result of participating in the Day of Social Justice? If so, how? If not, why not?

Assignment 4:  Day of Nonviolence

Our Social Psychology class will observe a "Day of Nonviolence." To participate in this event, your challenge will be to live each minute of that day in as nonviolent and peaceful a way as possible. In other words, for a full 24-hour period you should do your best to live in harmony with others and avoid causing harm.

When carrying out this assignment, leave no behavior unexamined -- from washing your face to talking on the telephone to eating lunch to watching TV. That is, don't just avoid obvious acts of physical or verbal violence; strive for the deepest level of nonviolence in your heart without being phony or insincere. It is up to you to define what nonviolence is and to decide how best to realize it.

Note: To minimize any bias in social reactions, it is best if you do not tell others about the class assignment until after the Day of Nonviolence is over.

Students will turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like (limited to one typewritten doubled-spaced page using 12-point font and 1" margins). Here are some sample questions you might address:

bulletHow did you define nonviolence, and what did you focus your efforts on?
bulletIf your behavior was different than normal, which person did you like more: the "Day of Nonviolence you" or the "normal you"? If you preferred the "Day of Nonviolence you," what are the psychological factors that prevent this "you" from coming out?
bulletWhat are the psychological costs and benefits of behaving nonviolently? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs?
bulletHow did others respond to your nonviolence? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior, and why?
bulletIf you wanted to encourage others to behave as you did during the Day of Nonviolence, what psychological techniques would you use? How can social psychology be used to foster a less violent society?
bulletIf you were to predict your behavior one month from now, do you think it will be changed in any way as a result of participating in the Day of Nonviolence? If so, how? If not, why not?

**In carrying out these assignments, try to go beyond superficial descriptive accounts and see if you can arrive at social psychological insights that might improve your life, campus, society, or the world. Later in the semester, I will share a few of these accounts with the class. If you prefer that your account not be shared, simply make a note of this on the sheet that you turn in.

Social Psychology Paper:
Working alone or in groups of two, students will choose a topic of interest in social psychology.  You will write a comprehensive paper on that topic and include at least three empirical articles.  The paper will be no longer than five type written pages, not including title and reference pages. The last 2 class sessions will be used for students to briefly present their research projects to the rest of the class.

             Structure for Assignments

1.      Your papers need be organized - you should be developing a central idea in each section and the reader should be able to follow the logic of your argument.  Each paragraph should have a coherent theme and paragraphs should follow each other in an organized manner. Read over your papers to be sure that there is a logical order to them. 

2.      Watch for grammatical errors, particularly sentence fragments and run-on sentences. More than five spelling or grammatical errors will result in points deducted from final grades.  More than ten will result in a zero (0).  I encourage you to have your paper proof read.

3.      Your papers will be typewritten, double-spaced, one-inch margins, using Times New Roman (or VERY similar) font.

4.      On a sheet attached to the front of all your papers, type the Title of your paper. In addition you must include Name, Course, Course Number, Semester/Year, and Due Date.

5.      Citations/references included in your paper are to be done according to APA style as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th Edition, which is available in the library, the campus bookstore, and on-line.  You should have at least 2 references for every paper and they will be listed on a separate sheet of paper attached to the back of your assignment.

            Grades:

Grading will be based on the sum of the following: 

  1. One exam covering lectures, films, guest speakers, outside readings and the text are worth 100 points each (100). 
  2. Six quizzes will be worth 5 points each (30). 
  3. Four "super" quizzes worth 10 points each  (40).
  4. Participant-Observation Assignments will be worth 10 points each (40).
  5. Semester Research Project of your Choice will be worth 60 points (60).

The grade scale is as follows:

A

=

94 – 100%

C+

=

77 – 79%

 

A-

=

90 – 93%

C

=

73 – 76%

 

B+

=

87 – 89%

C-

=

70 – 72%

 

B

=

83 – 86%

D+

=

67 – 69%

 

B-

=

80 – 82%

D

=

60 – 66%

 

 

                F     =

   0 – 59%

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Tentative Schedule- subject to modification)

Week

Topic

 Chapter

 

 

 

1

Class Business/Syllabus

 

 

Introduction to Social Psychology

Chapter 1

 

 

 

2

The Self

Chapter 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Behavior Control

Chapter 4

 

PO 1 Due

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

Social Cognition  (FF)

 Chapter 5

 

 

 

5

Prosocial Behavior

Chapter 8

 

PO 2 Due

 

 

 

 

6

Examination 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Aggression and Antisocial Behavior

Chapter 9

 

PO 3 Due
Key Terms

 

 

 

 

8

Attraction and Exclusion

Chapter 10

 

Key Terms

 

 

 

 

9

Prejudice and Intergroup Relations

Chapter 12

 

PO 4 Due
Key Terms

 

 

 

 

10

Social Influence and Persuasion

Chapter 13

 

Key Terms

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

Examination 2