Social Psychology Seminar

Term: Spring 2012

Subject Code: GPSY

Course Number: 6341

Social psychology concerns itself with the understanding of thoughts, emotions and behavior that is influenced by and relevant to social interactions, real or imagined, at the interpersonal or intergroup level . A substantial proportion of research in social psychology focuses on behaviors behaviors maladaptive to the individual and/or to the society as a whole--e.g. prejudice and discrimination, anti-social behavior, hyper-consumerism. These behaviors are caused by a variety of factors, among which cognitive bias in obtaining and processing information, motivation to maintain a positive self-esteem, the need to perceive structure and order in the attempt to handle existential anxiety. Modern social psychology addresses these questions empirically, primarily through the use of the experimental method. In this seminar we explore some of these questions by reading primary sources and conceptualizing and setting up new empirical, experimental investigations. The focus is on critical appraisal of the social psychological literature around various themes, the identification of important questions stemming from current findings (and weakness of existing research studies), and the careful planning of a rigorous program of research.

Pre-requisites. Only current psychology PhD student can enroll without permission. MA students as well as Junior and Senior undergraduates are also welcome, but need to seek approval directly with the instructor prior to registering.

Only current psychology PhD student can enroll without permission. MA students as well as Junior and Senior undergraduates are also welcome, but need to seek approval directly with the instructor prior to registering.


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