Course Catalog

Social Psychology

  • Semester 1 2024-2025

    Aug 28, 2024-Dec 13, 2024 For Members Register
  • Semester 2 2024-2025

    Jan 8, 2025-April 25, 2025 For Members Register

Course Overview

Are you thinking and acting freely of your own accord, or is what you think, feel, and do a result of influences by the people around you? Social psychology is the scientific study of how and why the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The principles of social psychology help explain everything from why we stop at stop signs when there is no one around to why we buy certain products, why in some situations we help others and in some we don’t, and what leads to more dramatic (and catastrophic) events such as mass suicides or extreme prejudice and discrimination.

As students take up these topics and questions, they build and engage in a community of inquiry, aimed primarily at learning how to analyze human behavior through the lens of a social psychologist. Social Psychology invites students to explore, plan, investigate, experiment, and apply concepts of prejudice, persuasion, conformity, altruism, relationships and groups, and the self that bring the “social” to psychology.

The course culminates in a public exhibition of a student-designed investigation of a social psychological topic of their choice. This course uses a competency-based learning approach in which students build GOA core competencies that transcend the discipline and learn how to think like a social psychologist.

Students in GOA courses will need reliable access to a computer with webcam/microphone connections, an email address (preferably school-based), a Web-conferencing app (GOA courses use Zoom), and a Word processing app (GOA courses use Google’s G Suite). When necessary, alternative arrangements may be made.

UC-approved course

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