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Social Psychology : Course Outline (Apsy -404)

Course Objectives

A. To outline the procedures social psychologists use to test hypotheses about the behavior of individuals and of groups. B. To develop the understanding of the processes through which people perceive and attempt to understand others.. C. To explain how attitudes are formed and changed, and how they are related to behavior. D..To understand the origins and effects of prejudice and discrimination. E. To understand the dynamics and outcomes of altruistic behaviors F.To discuss the factors that influence our liking for other individuals and that lead to the formation of close relationships.

Contents 1st Term

Unit # 1 Nature and Scope of Social Psychology

  • What is Social Psychology?
  • Social Psychology and allied disciplines
  • Brief History of Social Psychology
  • Research methods in Social Psychology

Unit # 2 Social Cognition

  • Schemas and scripts
  • Heuristics; Impression formation; Stereotypes
  • Types of Cognitive Processing
  • Potential errors in Social Cognition
  • Affect & Cognition

Unit # 3 Social Perception

  • Non-verbal communication
  • Impression formation; Stereotypes
  • Attribution

Unit # 4 Self in a Social World

  • Self-presentation
  • Self knowledge
  • Concept and components of self
  • Self-esteem; self-awareness; self-concept; self-conscious emotions, guilt, shame and embarrassment
  • Social comparison

Unit # 5 Attitudes

  • Attitude formation
  • Prejudice, Stereotypes and discrimination
  • Attitude change
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Persuasive communication

Contents 2nd Term

Unit # 6 Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination

  • The nature and origin of stereotyping
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Techniques for countering prejudice

Unit # 7 Altruism

  • Altruism: The motivation to help
  • Factors, rewards and costs of helping
  • External and internal influences on helping behavior
  • Long-term commitment to pro-social acts

Unit # 8 Aggression

  • Aggression: The motivation to Harm
  • Frustration and aggression
  • Bullying and aggression at work
  • Controlling and socialization for non-aggressive ways of conflict resolution

Unit # 9 Social Influence and Group Behavior

  • Nature of Groups; Group polarization
  • De-individuation, group cohesiveness, productivity and decision making
  • Conformity; Obedience and deviance; Cultural and Social Norms
  • Leadership: Effective leadership
  • Theories of leadership

Unit # 10 Social Psychology in Action

  • Social psychology entering: Health Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Legal Affairs, Organizational Psychology, Peace and Conflict
  • Current status of Social Psychology
  • Role of media

Course Outcome

At the completion of the course the students will be able to:


  • Think critically about social processes, influences, relations and attitudes


  • Understand the application of social psychology concepts in the real world