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Social Psychology

General data

Course ID: 2500-EN_O_32
Erasmus code / ISCED: 14.4 Kod klasyfikacyjny przedmiotu składa się z trzech do pięciu cyfr, przy czym trzy pierwsze oznaczają klasyfikację dziedziny wg. Listy kodów dziedzin obowiązującej w programie Socrates/Erasmus, czwarta (dotąd na ogół 0) – ewentualne uszczegółowienie informacji o dyscyplinie, piąta – stopień zaawansowania przedmiotu ustalony na podstawie roku studiów, dla którego przedmiot jest przeznaczony. / (0313) Psychology The ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) code has been designed by UNESCO.
Course title: Social Psychology
Name in Polish: Social Psychology
Organizational unit: Faculty of Psychology
Course groups: obligatory courses for 3 year
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): (not available) Basic information on ECTS credits allocation principles:
  • the annual hourly workload of the student’s work required to achieve the expected learning outcomes for a given stage is 1500-1800h, corresponding to 60 ECTS;
  • the student’s weekly hourly workload is 45 h;
  • 1 ECTS point corresponds to 25-30 hours of student work needed to achieve the assumed learning outcomes;
  • weekly student workload necessary to achieve the assumed learning outcomes allows to obtain 1.5 ECTS;
  • work required to pass the course, which has been assigned 3 ECTS, constitutes 10% of the semester student load.

view allocation of credits
Language: English
Type of course:

obligatory courses

Short description:

This course is an introduction to the theories, concepts and ideas related to social psychology. During the course the students will learn about basic mechanisms underlying behavior of individuals in social groups. Most of the classes will take a form of discussion around the given literature. We will try to focus on the implications of presented concepts for real-life functioning.

Full description:

This course will consist of 30 hours of lecture, which will introduce the social psychological understanding of human cognition, affect and behavior and 30 hours of seminar during which students will be encouraged to use the theoretical knowledge provided during the lecture in a practical manner.

During the lecture, social cognition and intergroup relations subfields will be of focal interest – and the social identity framework will be used as a main interpretative framework to understand human social behavior. The lecture will provide students with a background in classic and modern social psychological theories, as well as opportunities to interpret the real-life problems within the theoretical framework of social psychology.

The seminar is as an elaboration of the Social Psychology lecture. The seminar will be based mostly on the readings given in the syllabus. Students will be encouraged to work consistently through the whole semester, by writing reflection papers on the readings mentioned in the syllabus and bigger essays based on the knowledge from the course. The goal of the course is to find different explanations of human behavior in given social situations.


SEMINAR - list of classes

1. Social Psychology yesterday and now – what is it and where does it

come from. Main interests of social psychology. Short overview of history

and paradigms

Key reading:

Duckitt, J. (1992). Psychology and prejudice: A historical analysis and

integrative framework. American Psychologist, 47, 1182-1193.

2. Methods in Social Psychology

Key reading: Hogg M. & Vaughan, G. (2011) Chapter 1 Introducing social

Psychology In: , M, Hogg & G., Vaughan Social Psychology. Pearsons

Education. Section - Methodological Issues (pp 8-19)

Reflection paper 1 reading: Wells, G. L., & Windschitl, P. D. (1999).

Stimulus sampling and social psychological experimentation. Personality

and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(9), 1115-1125.

3. How do people explain behavior? Overview of attribution processes

and theories

Key readings: Menon, T., Morris, M. W., Chiu, C. Y., & Hong, Y. Y. (1999).

Culture and the construal of agency: Attribution to individual versus

group dispositions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(5),

701 -717.

Bilewicz, M., Witkowska, M., Stefaniak, A., & Imhoff, R. (2017). The lay

historian explains intergroup behavior: examining the role of

identification and cognitive structuring in ethnocentric historical

attributions. Memory Studies, 10, 310-322.

Essay 1 main reading: Cultural differences in casual attributions

Choi, I., Nisbett, R. E., & Norenzayan, A. (1999). Causal attribution across

cultures: Variation and universality. Psychological Bulletin, 125(1), 47-63.

Seminar 4 Self How do we perceive ourselves and what are the

implications of self-perception for cognition and behavior

Key readings:

Abele, A. E., & Wojciszke, B. (2007). Agency and communion from the

perspective of self versus others. Journal of Personality and Social

Psychology, 93(5), 751-763.

Markus, H., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for

cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.

Reflection paper: Stephens, N. M., Fryberg, S. A., Markus, H. R., Johnson,

C. S., & Covarrubias, R. (2012). Unseen disadvantage: How American

universities' focus on independence undermines the academic

performance of first-generation college students. Journal of Personality

and Social Psychology, 102(6), 1178-1197.

Seminar 5 Attitudes and behavior. When and how attitudes can predict

behavior? What happens when behavior contradicts attitudes?

Key reading:

Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (2005). Attitude Research in the 21st Century:

The Current State of Knowledge. In: D. Albarracín, B. T. Johnson, & M. P.

Zanna (Eds.), The handbook of attitudes (pp. 743-767). Mahwah, NJ:

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Seminar 6 Persuasion and attitude


Reflection paper 3 reading: Schultz, P. W., Nolan, J. M., Cialdini, R. B.,

Goldstein, N. J., & Griskevicius, V. (2007). The constructive, destructive,

and reconstructive power of social norms. Psychological Science, 18(5),


Seminar 8 How do we make decisions and why do we cooperate?

Key readings:

Van Lange, P. A. (1999). The pursuit of joint outcomes and equality in

outcomes: An integrative model of social value orientation. Journal of

personality and social psychology, 77(2), 337-349.

Balliet, D., Parks, C., & Joireman, J. (2009). Social value orientation and

cooperation in social dilemmas: A meta-analysis. Group Processes &

Intergroup Relations, 12(4), 533-547.

Reflection paper 4 reading: Van Lange, P. A., Agnew, C. R., Harinck, F., &

Steemers, G. E. (1997). From game theory to real life: How social value

orientation affects willingness to sacrifice in ongoing close relationships.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(6), 1330-1344.

Seminar 9 Belonging to groups

Key readings: Tajfel, H. (1979). Individuals and groups in social

psychology. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18(2), 183-190.

Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., Anastasio, P. A., Bachman, B. A., & Rust, M.

C. (1993). The common ingroup identity model: Recategorization and the

reduction of intergroup bias. European Review of Social Psychology, 4(1),


Reflection paper 5 reading: Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Niemann, Y. F.,

& Snider, K. (2001). Racial, ethnic, and cultural differences in responding

to distinctiveness and discrimination on campus: Stigma and common

group identity. Journal of social Issues, 57(1), 167-188.

Seminar 10 Stereotypes and prejudice – How do people perceive

members of other groups?

Key Readings:

Stangor, C., & Schaller, M. (2000). Stereotypes as individual and collective

representations. In C. Stangor (Ed.), Key readings in social psychology.

Stereotypes and prejudice: Essential readings (pp. 64-82). New York:

Psychology Press.

Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2007). The BIAS map: Behaviors

from intergroup affect and stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social

Psychology, 92(4), 631-648.

Seminar 11 Consequences of social stigma and discrimination

Key Readings:

Miller, C. T. (2006). Social psychological perspectives on coping with

stressors related to stigma. In: , S., Levin & C., van Laar (Eds.). (2006). The

Claremont symposium on Applied Social Psychology. Stigma and group

inequality: Social psychological perspectives (pp. 21-44). Mahwah, NJ:

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Crocker, J., Voelkl, K., Testa, M., & Major, B. (1991). Social stigma: The

affective consequences of attributional ambiguity. Journal of Personality

and Social Psychology, 60(2), 218-228.

Seminar 12 Morality What is moral and why?

Graham, J., Haidt, J., Koleva, S., Motyl, M., Iyer, R., Wojcik, S. P., & Ditto,

P. H. (2013). Moral foundations theory: The pragmatic validity of moral

pluralism. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 55-130.

Reflection paper 6 reading: Skitka, L. J., & Bauman, C. W. (2008). Moral

conviction and political engagement. Political Psychology, 29(1), 29-54.

Seminar 13 Romantic relationships

Key readings:

Harvey, J. H., & Wenzel, A. (2006). Theoretical perspectives in the study

of close relationships. In: A. L., Vangelisti & D., Perlman, (Eds.). The

Cambridge handbook of personal relationships, (pp. 35-49). Cambridge

University Press.

Lee, T. L., Fiske, S. T., Glick, P., & Chen , Z. (2010). Ambivalent sexism in

close relationships:(Hostile) power and (benevolent) romance shape

relationship ideals. Sex Roles, 62(7-8), 583-601.

Seminar 14

Presentations of student groups’ interventions

Seminar 15

Why and how make social psychology better

Aarts, A. A., Anderson, J. E., Anderson, C. J., Attridge, P. R., Attwood, A., &

Fedor, A. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological

science. Science, 349(6251), 1-8.

Henrich, J., Heine, S. J. & Norenzayan, A. (2010).The weirdest people in

the world? Behavioral Brain Science, 33, 61-135.

Learning outcomes:

The students who complete this course will gain competence in the field of social psychology and will be able to integrate the material from different sections (social cognition, attitudes, intra

relations, social influence, helping, etc.), as well as to understand the specificity of regional context (Poland, Eastern Europe), its transitional changes, the issues of discrimination, prejudice and tolerance. Students graduating this course will increase knowledge of statistical methods and experimental models (mediation/moderation), will gain knowledge about implicit and unconscious emotional processes that affect human behavior and attitudes. They will be able to apply psychological knowledge to understanding the basic social and political processes (crucial for expertise, policy-making, etc.).


The student:

Knows basic theories related to the behavior of individuals in social setting

Knows methods used in social psychology research

Understands the relationship between self and social cognition

Knows how people explain behavior of others and understands the theory of attributions

Knows how attitudes are related to behavior and how to change the attitudes

Understand the role of social norms in human behavior

Knows why people cooperate and what is the role of trust in cooperative behavior

Understands how people form group identities and what are the implications of identifying with a group

Knows the relationship between stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination

Knows latest trends in morality research

Knows the theory of ambivalent sexism


The student:

Can critically assess papers presenting socio-psychological research in terms of correctness of methodology

Can plan an anti-discrimination workshop

Recognizes the concepts from social psychology in real-life situations he/she encounters

Can apply the knowledge learned throughout the course to real-life situations

Can explain why certain individuals behave in the way they do in social settings, using the concepts, theories and ideas from social psychology


The student:

Understands that concepts from social psychology can be applied to real-life situations

Can think critically about the findings of social psychology

Understands the consequences of findings from social psychology in regards to human behavior

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

The final grade from the course is based on all parts of the assessment of both lecture and seminar.

Knowledge and competences from the lectures is assessed with a written exam (multiple choice questions). This exam accounts for 50% of the final grade and can be retaken in a retake session.

The assessment of the seminar is drawn from the following components:

15% of the final grade: essay (max 2000 words)

20% of the final grade: 3 reflection papers to be chosen from 13 topics (max. 600 words), 5 points each.

15% of the final grade: Group development of an intervention focused on prejudice reduction. Students will be required to develop in groups of 2 or 3 a prejudice reduction intervention. The description of the intervention (it’s theoretical basis and proposed methods of evaluation) must be provided on paper (max 1500 words).

In order to pass the course all of the tasks of the seminar need to be completed.

NOTE: There is no possibility of retaking parts of the assessment of the seminar – it requires a systematic effort throughout the semester.

Grading criteria:

97% or more = 5!

92-96% = 5

84-91% = 4.5

76-83% = 4

68-75% = 3.5

60-67% = 3

below 60% = 2 (fail)

Attendance is obligatory for both lectures and seminar classes. No more than 2 of each can be missed without valid excuse. Regardless of excuse, for the seminar, missing more than 4 classes overall leads to course failure; for the lectures missing more than 50% leads to course failure.

This course is not currently offered.
Course descriptions are protected by copyright.
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Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warszawa
tel: +48 22 55 20 000
contact accessibility statement USOSweb (2023-02-27)