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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Social Psychology

Type: Bridging course (Applied Social Psychology)
Area of studies: Psychology
Delivered by: School of Psychology
When: 1 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Master’s programme: Applied Social Psychology
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The introductory course "Social Psychology", is read for the first-year students of the master's program "Applied Social Psychology", involves acquainting students without basic psychological education with the basic concepts, phenomena, theories and experiments of social psychology.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Developing a conception of the main subject areas of social psychology, the specifics and characteristics of socio-psychological knowledge;
  • Assimilation of knowledge about mechanisms of thinking and behavior of people in social groups; various forms of interaction of individuals with each other and with society;
  • Formation of skills of socio-psychological analysis of various situations, effects and phenomena;
  • Formation of skills in the organization of interpersonal and group interaction
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Understands and defines the position of social psychology in the system of scientific knowledge; Has an understanding of the subject and the main methods of social psychology, including understanding their features and limitations.
  • Understands and defines the main mechanisms and factors of the formation of attitudes and ideas about the world; Understands and defines the mechanisms and factors of the influence of attitudes on human behavior; Understands and defines the main features of the self-concept: structure, features and mechanisms of formation and influence on other processes; Understands and defines the features of socialization, the role of family and media institutions.
  • Understands and defines the structure and main factors of the communication process; Understands and identifies the essential elements, processes and factors of persuasive communication; Understands and defines the main types of non-verbal communication.
  • Understands and defines the main mechanisms and factors of ideas formation about other people and events; Understands and defines the main mechanisms and factors of the formation of attributive judgments; Understands and defines the main elements of conflict interaction, types of conflict, stages and factors influencing its course; Understands and identifies major social dilemmas and their characteristics
  • Understands and defines a small group, its structure, goals and objectives, features of formation and influence on other psychological processes; Understands and defines the basic mechanisms and types of leadership; Understands and defines the main features of decision-making in a group; Understands and identifies group effects.
  • Understands and identifies the root causes and consequences of intergroup conflict; Knows basic models for improving intergroup interaction.
  • Understands and defines the main types of spontaneous groups and factors affecting this behavior; Understands and determines stages and features of the development of spontaneous groups and collective actions.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the world of social psychology. The place of social psychology in the system of scientific knowledge. Some aspects of the history of the development of social psychology. Methods of social psychology.
    Specificity of the boundaries of social psychology with "parental" disciplines. The subject area of social psychology. Contrasting sociological and psychological methods of the world and a human cognition. The problem of the theoretical independence of social psychology (theory, subject, categories, principles, patterns, methods). Functions of social psychology in society. Social and theoretical preconditions separating social psychology into an independent science. The first attempts to create socio-psychological theories: “The Völkerpsychologie” by M. Lazarus and G. Steinthal, and the specific approach of W. Wundt; Psychology of Crowds (G. Tarde, S. Sighele and G. Le Bon); “The instinct theory of motivation” W. McDougall. The limitations of these theories: speculative nature, lack of experimental practice. The beginning of the experimental development of social psychology in the USA in the early years of the XX century. "American" approach: re-evaluating a small group as the main object of research and laboratory experiment as the main method. Features of acquisition of social psychology its identity in the second half of the twentieth century. The results of theoretical introspection of modern Western social psychology (60-90s.). Social psychology methods: from observation to experiment.
  • Social psychology of personality: Social attitudes. Self-concept. Socialization.
    Social attitude concept. The tradition of studying social attitudes in Western social psychology. Definition of social attitude and its structure: cognitive, emotional, behavioral components. Social attitudes functions in regulation of social behavior of the individual. The ratio of social attitudes and real behavior. LaPierre's experiment (the attitude-behavior problem). Modern interpretations of this phenomenon. Influence of attitudes on behavior: self-presentation and role behavior, self-belief. Cognitive dissonance theory, L. Festinger. The problem of social attitudes change. Self-concept as a system of attitudes towards oneself. Socialization concept: broad and narrow sense of the term. Basic theoretical approaches to the analysis of socialization. Two sides of the socialization process - an individual's assimilation of social experience and its active reproducing. Socialization mechanisms.
  • Communication.
    The structure and means of human communication. Persuasive communication. Non-verbal communication. Lasswell's model of communication. Specificity of information exchange between people: active position of communication partners, the problem of meaning, methods of influence in this process. Communication means. The use of various sign systems. Speech as the most important means of verbal communications. “Information flow” and change of communicative roles ("communicator" and "recipient") in the dialogue. The problem of code and information decodification by partners as a common methodological problem of non-verbal communication. Communication barriers and ways to overcome them. The concept of communicative competence and the possibility of its development. The main means of non-verbal communication and its functions.
  • Social interaction and relationships. Conflict. Social cognition. Social attribution.
    The problem of interaction in social psychology, the ratio of interaction and communication. "Exchange of actions" as the most important condition for joint activities. Types of interaction: cooperation and competition. The psychological content of cooperation. Forms and levels of competitive interaction; productive competition. The problem of conflict in social psychology. Productive and destructive conflicts. The structure of the conflict. Types of conflicts. The 2-dimensional model of personality behavior strategies in a conflict situation by K. Thomas and R. Killmann (modified by Emelyanova). The concept of "social perception" (J. Bruner). The general scheme of socio-perceptual processes. Mechanisms of interpersonal perception. The structure of the attributive process; types of attribution (H. Kelly). Causal attribution. Basic principles of causal attribution. Attribution errors.
  • The problem of group research in social psychology. Small group phenomena. Group dynamics.
    The concept of a "small group". The controversy surrounding the quantitative characteristics of the small group: "lower" and "upper" limits. Dependence of the solution to the question of the boundaries of a small group on interpretation of its nature. Classification of small groups: primary and secondary groups (Ch. Cooley); formal and informal groups (E. Mayo); membership groups and reference groups (H. Hymen). Small group structures: interpersonal relations, power (types, management and subordination), communication. The position of an individual in a small group: status and role. The importance of different types of small groups for determining the behavior of an individual. General characteristic of dynamic processes in a small group. Small group formation. Stage of development of a small group. Stages and levels of team development. Group cohesion. Leadership and management. The relationship between the concepts of "leadership" and "management", "leader" and "manager". The history of leadership theories. Group effects.
  • Psychology of intergroup relations. Social identity.
    The phenomena of "in-group favoritism" and "out-group hostility". The terms of occurrence and overcoming of these phenomena (type of intergroup competition, presence of overgroup goals of joint activities). Development of ideas about social identity in socio-psychological concepts. The structure of social identity. Social identity functions. Social identity formation problems. Contemporary research on social identity.
  • Spontaneous social groups (psychology of large groups).
    The concept of a "large" social group. Signs that distinguish a large group from a small (specific regulators of social behavior). Methodological significance of studying the psychology of large groups and methods of this research. Types of large social groups. Mass behavior. Types of mass behavior (pro-social and protest behavior).
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking First presentation on a given topic for discussion at the seminar
  • non-blocking Second presentation on a given topic for discussion at the seminar
  • non-blocking Final test
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.4 * Final test + 0.3 * First presentation on a given topic for discussion at the seminar + 0.3 * Second presentation on a given topic for discussion at the seminar
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Barenbaum, N. B. (2000). How social was personality? The Allports’ “connection” of social and personality psychology. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 36(4), 471–487. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=11054739
  • Hogg, M. A., & Vaughan, G. M. (2014). Social Psychology : UEL (Vol. 7th edition). Harlow, England: Pearson. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1418528
  • Social psychology, Myers, D. G., 2010

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Förster, J., & Strack, F. (2009). Social Cognition : The Basis of Human Interaction. New York: Psychology Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=358151
  • McKeown, Shelley, et al. Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory : Contemporary Global Perspectives. Springer, Cham, 2016.
  • Mitchell, A. D., & Turner, J. M. (2012). Social Psychology : New Developments. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=541216
  • Roccas, S., & Brewer, M. B. (2002). Social Identity Complexity. Personality & Social Psychology Review (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 6(2), 88–106. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0602_01
  • Stäheli, U., & Savoth, E. (2011). Seducing the Crowd: The Leader in Crowd Psychology. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DDEACCAC
  • Vallacher, R. R., Read, S. J., & Nowak, A. (2002). The Dynamical Perspective in Personality and Social Psychology. Personality & Social Psychology Review (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 6(4), 264–273. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0604_01