PSY-254: Social Psychology

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Social Psychology
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Complete PSY-131 with a grade of C or better.
Catalog Course Description

This course focuses on how individual thought and behavior are impacted by the presence of others. Major evidence-based topics in the psychological and sociological approach to social psychology are covered. Examples include conformity, group processes, interpersonal attraction, prosocial behavior, aggression and prejudice.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Research methods
  2. Social perception
  3. Social cognition
  4. The self
  5. The need to justify our actions
  6. Attitudes and attitude change
  7. Conformity
  8. Group processes
  9. Interpersonal Attraction
  10. Aggression
  11. Prosocial behavior
  12. Prejudice
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
1.0 Understand scientific method as applied to social psychology and can:
1.1 distinguish between scientific and nonscientific statements.
1.2 recognize examples of standard experimental designs.
1.3 select correct designs for different research problems.
1.4 recognize examples of various experimental controls.

2.0 Know technical social psychology terms and can:
2.1 select correct definitions of terms.
2.2 match terms and definitions.
2.3 distinguish between correct and incorrect usage of terms.
2.4 state the correct definition of terms.

3.0 Understand basic social psychology concepts and can:
3.1 recognize new examples of various concepts.
3.2 distinguish among examples of closely related concepts.
3.3 recognize correct and incorrect interpretations of statements in which basic concepts appear.
3.4 recognize correct and incorrect usage of concepts.
3.5 state concepts in own words.

4.0 Understand social psychology theories and can:
4.1 identify different theories based on descriptions.
4.2 match prominent social psychologists with their theories.
4.3 recognize new applications of different theories. 4.4 match hypotheses with theories.
4.5 appraise the adequacy of a given theory.

5.0 Understand social psychological problems and can:
5.1 identify psychological principles operating in various real and hypothetical cases.
5.2 select the best analysis of real and hypothetical cases.
5.3 describe how status, role, and class impact social psychological problems.
5.4 contrast the psychological approach to selected social psychological problems with the sociological view.

6.0 Understand procedures for putting social psychology in action and can:
6.1 list steps in various procedures.
6.2 identify descriptions of various procedures.
6.3 select correct interpretations of different procedures.
6.4 recognize new examples of procedures.
6.5 recognize correct and incorrect applications of procedures.

7.0 Appreciate the role of the scientific method in social psychology and can:
7.1 explain why evidence-based approaches are key to establishing the science of social psychology.
7.2 distinguish between evidence-based approaches and those that lack supporting data.
7.3 report on a popular conception of social behavior that is not based on evidence.
7.4 identify research that appears to refute a previously held belief about social behavior.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Each instructor will identify and implement appropriate methods to assess the achievement of the learning objectives for the course.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2021
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2021