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WELCOME TO SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Instructor: Dr. Beth Parkinson
Office: 229 AC Building
Phone ext. 2070
I. The Aim of this course
Social Psychology deals with studying the behavior of individuals, small groups, and large groups in relation to elements of their social environment. The term "social environment" refers to anything outside the person which affects behavior, ranging from the color of the room you are in, to your expectations about what is considered "good manners," to what criteria are important in selecting a date or a mate. Social Psychology attempts to explain everyday behavior by using the principles of scientific inquiry. You may be surprised when you find out about some of those explanations!
II. An Important Message
As the instructor for this class, I will take the responsibility of being prepared each day, and I will sincerely try to make the material interesting and challenging. However, it will be difficult for me to keep things stimulating if you come in continually unprepared, unmotivated, or unresponsive. I expect each of you to take the same responsibility as students that I have taken as the instructor--to be prepared for class, and to be interesting and challenging. I strongly believe that all of us should be invested in making this a good class. If you don't want to be bored, get involved!
If, at any time during the semester, you need help with any part of the course, see me during office hours, or make an appointment during another time if office hours aren't convenient. If you aren't doing as well as you would like to be, don't wait until the last week of class to stop in...monitor your grades as the semester progresses, and see me if you need help as soon as the situation looks discouraging.
EXAMS There will be four exams. Dates are on the Daily Schedule.
Written Assignments. There will be two written assignments due throughout the semester. Due dates are in the Daily Schedule, as well as the dates on which the assignments will be handed out. Remember, attendance is required on days when written assignments are due. All written assignments are to be handed to me directly, not left tacked on my door, or under my door. All assignments are to be handed in at the beginning of the class period on which they are due. I will accept a late assignment one class day after it is due, but you will be penalized for lateness.
Class participation. If you choose to participate in class seldom or not at all during the semester, I will not deduct points from your final grade. (However, I do think that participating definitely enhances your classroom learning.) However, good participation can help your grade, especially if you are "borderline" between grades at the end of the semester. When you take your final exam, you will be asked to provide me with an honest evaluation of the quality of your class participation. Consider these to be bonus points, easily available to everyone.
Attendance: I will not "take attendance" in any legalistic sense. Officially, you are required to attend class on all exam days, and the days on which written assignments are due. However, considering the expense of tuition, and assuming that you are at Thiel to benefit from knowledge acquisition and new learning experiences, I think that minimal attendance is of minimal benefit, for you, me, and your fellow students. Don't enroll in this class if you don't intend to be here!
A lack of "legal" attendance policy is not meant to imply that you can cut class freely. You must monitor your own attendance - if you want to benefit from class and receive a good grade, you must attend on a regular basis.
Date Assignment Topic Jan 11 Introduction Jan 13-Jan 27 Ch. 1 (all) The Basics Handout Aloneness, Loneliness,
and the Need for Others
Ch.3 (Read only to p. 106 "Judgmental Overconfidence")
Ch.2 (Start on p. 55 "Self-Serving Bias" to end of chapter)
Social Perception Feb 1 EXAM I Feb 3-Feb 22 Ch. 4 (omit p. 157 "Self-Perception" to end of chapter)
Behavior and Attitudes Ch. 11 (omit p. 461 "Equity"to p. 463 "Self-Disclosure")
Interpersonal Attraction Feb 24 EXAM II Mar 8-22 Handout Cooperation and Competition Handout Conflict and Negotiation Ch. 7 (all) Persuasion Mar. 24 EXAM III Mar 29 - Apr 26 Ch. 8 (Omit p.325 "Minority Influence" to end of chapter)
Group Influence Ch. 6 (all) Conformity No reading assignment Normative and Deviant Behavior Library Reading Environmental Influence on Behavior Apr. 29, 1 PM EXAM IV
Written Assignment #1 Handout on Feb 10 Due on Feb 17
Written Assignment #2 Handout on Apr 14 Due on Apr 21