[SI0172] - Introduction to Social Psychology
Module Code: SI0172
Module Leader: Steven Stanley
Number of Credits: 20
Teaching Method: Lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions and library research
Assessment: Coursework (Report) 3000 words (50%) - Autumn Semester; Written examination 1.5 hours (50%) - Spring Semester
Degree Schemes: Education (BPS); Criminology; Social Science
You will learn different ways of thinking about the relationship between people and the social world, including a number of classic and contemporary approaches to social psychology, and how to link them to topical issues happening in the world today. How should we study social problems and the place of the person in them?
Topics include: prejudice; crowds and groups; personality, self and identity; attitudes; helping behaviour; constructing the social world; language and communication; attribution. You will carry out a series of practical tasks, such as a classic social psychological experiment, analysing newspaper articles, interviewing people.
This is a self-contained module for those students who will pursue the subject no further and a foundation for those who will continue to study psychology through their second or third years, including those seeking to achieve a degree with eligibility for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Knowledge and Comprehension
- Understand a number of different perspectives within social psychology and how they relate to the social sciences.
- Analyse current debates and social issues, understand how a variety of social psychological perspectives have come to understand people and the social world.
- Learn ways of theorising and investigating, understand a variety of approaches to theoretical and empirical investigation within social psychology.
Skills (Application and Analysis)
- Examine examples of current social issues to understand what social psychological assumptions are being made.
- Undertake practical tasks, where appropriate, which set out to explore different traditions of work within social psychology.
- Demonstrate facility with forms of argument and discourse and modes of writing used within social psychology.
Understanding (Synthesis and Evaluation)
- Demonstrate an understanding, synthesis and evaluation of a social problem, its consequences and effects through written and spoken accounts.
- Engage with social problems through psychological texts, and where appropriate videos, newspaper articles to describe, discuss, analyse and evaluate social psychological problems.
- Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which social psychological forms of explanation relate to those within other social sciences through discussion, presentation and written forms.
Ability to analyse a text and media representation and argument using conceptual tools. Ability to compose a report which presents and discusses research carried out in the seminars in relation to social psychological theory. Ability to write a coherent, fluent and well-structured argument in essay form. Ability to participate in a group discussion and argue a point.
Synopsis of Module Content
This course introduces experimental and critical approaches to social psychology, presenting a number of different ways of thinking about the relationship between the person and the social world. Classic and contemporary approaches to social psychology are introduced where possible to important and topical issues happening in the world today. You will learn how to think, act and write as social psychologists by analysing social problems and the place of the person in them. Lectures present some key topics and issues in social psychology, such as crowds and groups, obedience and conformity, prejudice and attitudes, self and identity, language, discourse and communication. Seminars allow you to engage in doing and discussing social psychology, in a series of practical and discussion sessions. We hope to introduce you to social psychology in an accessible, relevant and engaging way.
Opportunities for Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is divided into coursework in the Autumn semester in which a project report must be written based on the research carried out during the seminars and an examination in the Spring semester.
Arrangements for Feedback on Work
Feedback will be given in response to the assessed coursework via standard SOCSI feedback forms and through assessment marks and examination marks.