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.
On completion of this section of the course, students should be able to:
- outline some classic and recent studies in social psychology and discuss key theoretical concepts
- discuss, illustrate and assess some of the methods used by social psychologists
- appreciate how the methods and findings of social psychological research are used to support or reject particular theories.
Schacter et al, Psychology (2012). Chapter 14.
Hogg, M. A. & Vaughan, G. (2010). Social Psychology (6th edition). Prentice Hall, chapters 4, 7, 11 (pp. 426-435),13 & 14.
Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Branscombe, N. R. (2012) Social Psychology, (13th edition). Pearson Education Ltd, chapters 2, 7 & 11.