Social Psychology (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Psychology (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course is designed to offer a comprehensive introduction to social psychology as an applied science to study how people influence each other’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We will explore and examine its core questions from both a theoretical and an applied basis.

    Course Goals and Methodology
    The main goal of this course is to understand what social psychology is; how this field of study has evolved into the current state of knowing; and how students can apply social psychology concepts to their own lives and experiences. The course combines lecturebased classes with a case study methodology. We will dedicate three classes to each unit. Every unit begins with several core questions, which gives way to class conversation and discussion. The instructor will present the theoretical contents of each unit in two lecturebased classes. In the third class of each unit, following a flipped classroom methodology, the students will prepare and present a number of case studies previously assigned by the instructor. Finally, each unit concludes with a self-check quiz and a number of broader questions to check students’ progress and understanding are going well, and make sure students are prepared for the assessments across the course.

    Learning Objectives
    By the end of the course, students will:
    ● Explain what social psychology is and what social psychologists do.
    ● Analyze important questions about social thought and behavior.
    ● Apply social psychology concepts to their own lives and experiences.
    ● Understand how our self-perceptions are influenced by others, and how we adjust our social self to influence others.
    ● Explain social cognition as a combination of intuition and logic to process social information.
    ● Understand how attitudes and persuasion work within the social world.
    ● Explain how groups provide social and practical benefits to individuals, and analyze how groups can both help and hinder individual efforts.
    ● Describe how prejudice and discrimination emerges, and apply methods of prejudice reduction.
    ● Explain general motives for why helping and aggressive behaviors occur.
    ● Discuss, compare and contract different “attachment styles” and what this means in intimate relationships.

    Required Texts

    There is no textbook required for this course. Therefore, students are not expected to purchase any material. The instructor will post the class material (Google Slides, case studies handouts, in-class worksheets, announcements, links, and any additional reading) on Blackboard, which is accessible both on campus and off campus. To log in, you need to sign in on using the username and password you received in your orientation folder.  

    However, the contents of the course are mainly based on the following two textbooks:  

    ● Heinzen, T. E., & Goodfriend, W. (2018). Social psychology. Los Angeles; London; New Delhi; Singapore; Washington DC; Melbourne: Sage.

    ● Heinzen, T. E., & Goodfriend, W. (2019). Case studies in social psychology critical thinking and application. Los Angeles; London; New Delhi; Singapore; Washington DC; Melbourne: Sage.  

    Additional bibliography:  

    ● Alquist, J. L., Ainsworth, S. E., Baumeister, R. F., Daly, M., & Stillman, T. F. (2015). The making of might-have-beens: Effects of free will belief on counterfactual thinking. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 268–283.

    ● Bordens, K. S., & Horowitz, I. A. (2014). Social psychology. Solon, OH: YOLO Learning Solutions Group.

    ● Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., & Sedikides, C. (2016). Separating narcissism from selfesteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 8–13.

    ● Doğan, R. (2014). Different cultural understandings of honor that inspire killing: An inquiry into the defendant’s perspective. Homicide Studies, 18, 363–388.

    ● Doliński, D., Grzyb, T., Folwarczny, M., Grzybała, P., Krzyszycha, K., Martynowska, K., & Trojanowski, J. (2017). Would You Deliver an Electric Shock in 2015? Obedience in the Experimental Paradigm Developed by Stanley Milgram in the 50 Years Following the Original Studies. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(8), 927-933.  

    ● Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (2013). The nature–nurture debates: 25 years of challenges in understanding the psychology of gender. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 340357.

    ● Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., & Chen, S. (2019). Social psychology. New York: W. w. Norton & Company.

    ● Goluboff, S. L. (2016). Text to sex: The impact of cell phones on hooking up and sexuality on campus. Mobile Media & Communication, 4, 102–120.

    ● Horwitz, S. R., & Dovidio, J. F. (2017). The rich—love them or hate them? Divergent implicit and explicit attitudes toward the wealthy. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 20, 3–31.

    ● van Bommel, M., van Prooijen, J., Elffers, H., & van Lange, P. A. M. (2014). Intervene to be seen: The power of a camera in attenuating the bystander effect. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 459–466.

    ● Zebrowitz, L. A. (2017). First impressions from faces. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 237–242. 


    Course Requirements and Grading
    Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

    ● Participation (25%)

    ● Mid-term Exam (20%) —October, 23th

    ● Case Study Oral Presentation (10%)

    ● Final Paper (25%) —December, 13th

    ● Final Exam (20%)  —TBA 


    Course contents
    1. Applied Social Psychology: Social Thought and Behavior
    a. What is social psychology?
    b. What are the big questions in social psychology?
    c. Is science a valid way to learn about complex social behavior?

    2. The Social Self
    a. What is the “self”?
    b. How do we know the self is social?
    c. How do we present different selves in different situations?
    d. What is self-esteem?

    3. Social Cognition and Person Perception
    a. How do we think?
    b. From where does intuition come?
    c. How do we remember social information?
    d. How do we form impressions of others?
    e. How do we explain other people’s behavior?
    f. Why do we misjudge one another?

    4. Attitudes and Persuasion
    a. What are attitudes,and do they predict behavior?
    b. From where do they come?
    c. How do they change?
    d. What persuasion techniques are used to change attitudes?

    5. Social Influence: Conformity, Social Roles, and Obedience
    a. What types of social influence exist?
    b. Why and when do we choose to conform?
    c. How do social roles change our behavior?

    6. Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
    a. How do we stereotype?
    b. How do stereotypes turn into prejudices?
    c. Is prejudice a personality problem?
    d. Has prejudice decreased over time?
    e. How can we reduce stereotyping,prejudice, and discrimination?

    7. Aggression and Violence
    a. What does it mean to be "aggressive"?
    b. Is aggression explained by biological instinct?
    c. Is aggression explained by cultural influences?
    d. Is aggression explained by situational influences?

    8. Help and Cooperation
    a. What motivates people to help others?
    b. Why do some people help more than others?
    c. What circumstances make helping more or less likely?

    9. Intimate Relationships
    a. What causes attraction?
    b. What makes us physically attractive?
    c. How do we decide to commit?
    d. Do men and women act differently and,if so,why?

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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