Overview of Course
Have you ever been convinced that a friend was mad at you because they didn’t respond to your text, only to learn that their phone was simply turned off? Have you ever noticed that you act or speak differently around some people than you do around others? These are the phenomenon that social psychologists aim to understand. Social psychology is the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Our responses to most situations are not simply the result of our individual personalities, but rather are strongly influenced by the social contexts around us (as well as the social norms that we internalize). In this course, you will learn about the research and theory of social psychology and how different social and cultural norms and expectations can influence how we process information about ourselves and others. We’ll discuss topics such as the self, perception, conformity and obedience, stereotyping and discrimination, relationships, aggression, and helping behaviors. Throughout the course, we will also consider how social identities (e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation) as well as culture and nationality play a role in how we make meaning of the world around us.