Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

Social Psychology – the study of how other people influence how we think, feel, and act – is a central aspect of human psychology. In simple terms, social psychology studies how we think about ourselves, how we think about other individuals, and how we think about groups of people. These form the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup aspects of psychology. Within these areas we look at a wide range of behaviours, from helping to harming, loving to hating. We also look from the level of the mind to the whole of society. What unifies these approaches is a keen focus on the social. These introductory lectures will introduce you to social psychology, cover the basic findings in this domain, and present research on more current developments. Specifically we will look at how people see themselves, how they ‘think socially’, and how they think about and interact with others.

Lecture No 19
The Self in the Social World
How do we know ourselves? Self-knowledge and self-awareness; culture and self; self-motives; self-esteem; self-presentation and impression management.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
02/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Lecture No 20
Social Cognition and Social Thinking
Social schemata and the construction of reality, the role of preconceptions, belief perseverance and memory, and heuristics in social judgements; application to clinical judgements and drivers’ behaviour.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
04/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Lecture No 21
Social Influence
Why and when do people conform; minority influence and social change; why and when people obey; how Milgram’s insights have been applied in the real world.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
06/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Lecture No 22
People in Groups
How do groups influence our behaviour? Social facilitation, social loafing and deindividuation. How do groups influence decision making? Group polarisation, group think and brainstorming.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
09/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Lecture No 23
Prosocial Behaviour
Why do people help others? Does altruism really exist? When do others intervene? Who is most likely to help? Can we increase prosocial behaviour?
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
11/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Lecture No 24
Relationships: Chemistry or Communication?
The need for affiliation; interpersonal attraction; critique of the idea that relationships are about ‘chemistry’; relationships as active, two-sided processes; relationship skills and strategies; studying relationships
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A
13/03/2020 - 11:10am to 12:00pm

Hogg, M. A. & Vaughan, G. (2010). Social Psychology (6th edition). Prentice Hall, chapters 4, 7, 11 (pp. 426-435), 13 & 14.

Please see lectures for guidance on which sections of each chapter from Hogg & Vaughan to read.

Further reading:

Schacter et al, Psychology, chapter 14.​

Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Branscombe, N. R. (2012) Social Psychology, (13th edition). Pearson Education Ltd, chapters 2, 7 & 11.