Social Psychology-Honors


Introduction to Social Psychology provides an overview of how the individual is influenced by social context. Topics (as listed below) include prejudice, romantic relationships, and persuasion. Psyc343 is a 3cr course. Psyc100 or Psyc101 are prerequisites. The intimate size of the honors course is intended to allow considerable discussion.

  • Text: Baron, R. A., & Byrne, D. (2000). Social Psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  • Course topics
    • What is social psychology?
    • Methodology (Ch. 1)
    • Social Perception (Ch. 2)
      • Spencer, S. J., Fein, S., Wolfe, C. T., Fong, C., & Dunn, M. (1998). Automatic activation of stereotypes: The role of self-image threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1139-1152
    • Social Cognition (Ch. 2; Ch. 3)
    • The Self (Ch. 5: pp. 173-195)
      • Brown, L. M. (1998). Ethnic stigma as a contextual experience: A possible selves perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 163-172.
    • Attitudes (Ch.4. )
    • Prejudice (Ch. 6.)
      • FILM: The Eye of the Storm
      • Dovidio, J. F., Smith, J. K., Donnella, A. G., & Gaertner, S. L. (1997). Racial attitudes and the death penalty. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 1468-1487.
    • Attraction & Close Relationships (Ch. 7 & Ch. 8: pp. 305-323)
        Bazzini, D. G., & Shaffer, D. R. (1999). Resisting temptation revisited: Devaluation versus enhancement of an attractive suitor by exclusive and nonexclusive daters. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 162-176.
    • Social Influence (Ch. 9)
      • FILM EXCERPTS: In search of Jim Jones; Power of the situation
    • Aggression (Ch. 11)
        Bushman, B. J. (1998). Priming effects of media violence on the accessibility of aggressive constructs in memory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24,537-545.
      • FILM: The Stanford Prison Experiment
    • Groups (Ch. 12)
    • Applied Social: Focus on the Legal System (Ch. 13)

    • Evaluation
      • Noncumulative Exams. The midterm and endterm exams will be essay format. Each noncumulative exam contributes 18% to the final grade.
      • Final Exam. The cumulative final will be short answer and identification, and contributes 18% to the final grade.
      • Papers. Two 6-8 page papers each contribute 18% to the final grade. The first paper assignment is to identify a major media persuasion attempt (e.g., a television commercial; political campaign ad). Analyze the persuasion attempt from the perspectives in Chapter 4, drawing on other chapters when relevant. The second paper is to analyze a contemporary (i.e., no earlier than 1995) film or television series with reference to the literatures on stereotyping and prejudice; the film or series should deal with fictional material, rather than being a documentary or news program. All papers are due in class on the above-noted dates. In writing your papers, you may not solicit help from other people (e.g., classmates, professors, other students, significant others) in outlining or writing your paper. Note also that substantial paraphrasing and borrowing of ideas without appropriate citation can be construed as plagiarism, so be sure that you understand what constitutes a breech of the honor code. You may request a copy of the honor code from your dean or see it reprinted (with permission) on my webpages. A link to examples of inappropriate citation and plagiarism also appears at this website:

      • Critiques. Readings, on researve at the Tilton library, will serve as the focus of 5 class discussions. Two days prior to each discussion, please submit brief comments and questions about the article. Try to make and support at least two points (about 3/4 typed page). Please submit 3 copies by 3pm of the due date to the envelope outside my door. Two or three students will be assigned to cofacilitate the discussion of the article, and will receive copies of each student's comment. These critiques comprise 15% of the final grade. Late critiques defeat the purpose, and will not be accepted.
      • Final Grade. You will notice that the noncumulative exams, the final exam, and the long papers each contribute 18% to the final grade. I will drop the lowest of these 5 grades, so please do not request "make-up" exams or paper deadline extensions. The critique and class participation grades may not be replaced.

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    Last updated 9/19/99