Social Psychology

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Psychology

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

  • Location

    Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

  • Area of Study

    Psychology, Sociology

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

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


    This is a beginning-level course in the area of Social Psychology with three fundamental aims. The first of them is related to the comprehension of the object of study, the delimiting of its field and the topics and problems that it treats. As a second goal, the course intends to analyze the social behavior of humans from the perspective of the basic psychological processes involved, such as social perception, motivation, attitudes, etc., and by considering in a special form the process of socialization. Finally, as a third aim, the class is designed to analyze human behavior in social groups, centering itself on the study of the factors involved in interpersonal relations, as well as on the analysis of the phenomena, processes, and internal dynamic of the groups.

    The contents of this course constitute the theoretical base of the course Social Psychology 2, whose essential purpose is the development of a project in the social field.


    1. To characterize Social Psychology in the context of the Social Sciences, with the aim of adequately comprehending its object of study and the topics and problems with which it is concerned.
    2. To analyze the nature of the basic psychological processes that underlie human social behavior and that contribute to giving form to its particular manner of interacting with its surroundings.
    3. To understand the process of socialization in its dimensions of primary and secondary socialization, incorporating the study of factors that touch on social learning.
    4. To analyze the most important interior phenomena and processes of groups, with the aim of understanding their functional dynamic and the influence that they exercise on human social behavior.


    I. Thematic Unit: General Panorama of Social Psychology

    1. Brief historical perspective.
    2. Principal topics and problems to study
    3. The social interaction as an object of study in Social Psychology
    4. Defining the field of study and its relation to other social sciences
    5. Panoramic vision of the research methods in Social Psychology

    II. Thematic Unit: The Basic Psychological Processes in Social Interaction

    1. Social Perception
    1.1. Concept of perception
    1.2. Perception of objects and perception of persons
    1.3. The process of personal perception
    1.4. Influence of the group on perception
    1.5. Influence of socio-cultural factors on perception
    2. Social Motivation
    2.1. Concept of motivation
    2.2. Motivation and frustration
    2.3. Attributionist model of social motivation
    2.4. Introduction to the study of motivational models in the labor organization
    3. Attitudes
    3.1. Concept of attitude
    3.2. Nature and formation of attitudes
    3.3. Measurement of attitudes. Problems and limitations
    3.4. Change of attitudes and predictions of conduct.

    III. Thematic Unit: Socialization

    1. Concept of socialization
    2. Process of socialization
    2.1. Theories of socialization
    2.2. Dimensions of socialization
    2.2.1. Primary socialization
    2.2.2. Secondary socialization
    3. Social learning.

    IV. Thematic Unit: Phenomena and Group Processes

    1. Concept and classification of groups
    2. Norms and group roles
    3. Dynamic, phenomena, and group processes
    3.1 Group cohesion
    3.2 Conformism or majority influence
    3.3 Innovation or minority influence
    3.4 Leadership
    3.5 Networks of communication
    4. Group interaction
    4.1. Group conflicts
    4.2. Reduction of conflicts


    The course will have two evaluations, each one of them will include the relevant bibliography, which will be given at an appropriate time in the course. The first exam includes thematic units I and II and the second includes units III and IV. Each one of these evaluations will have a weight of 40% for the calculation of the grade from coursework. The remaining 20% will be the final grade from the assistantship program.

    In the final grade for the course, the above coursework will be weighted at 70%, with the final exam making up the remaining 30%.

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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


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