Introduction to social psychology ADED1059E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

How in this dynamic social world are other people's lives interwoven with ours?  Interactions shape development, mental well-being and behaviour - often outside of our awareness.  Some examples of topics under discussion will be: why adversity can be an aphrodisiac; how a whole nation might condone and participate in genocide; why prison guards need good training; why ordinary young people would riot in London.


Blocks 2 & 3

Wednesday, 19.00-21.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Two 1250 word essays (25% each); one online multiple choice test, requiring answers to questions on a broad spread of topics drawn from the course content (20%); one final, short response online exam open for a week with a choice of questions relating to the whole course (30%).

Course Aims

Social Psychology is concerned with all aspects of social behaviour; it studies the individual in society and behaviour in groups. The aims of the course are to study how people relate to each other, and to examine the ways in which behaviour is influenced by interaction with other individuals and groups of individuals and by social settings.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Understand the main methods of investigation used by social psychologists and the methodological issues surrounding them.

■ Define 'attitudes', their structure and functions and give a critical assessment of how they are measured.

■ Give a critical account of the explanations of, and factors involved in, prejudice and persuasion.

■ Give an overview of the research findings in the study of inter-personal behaviour.

■ Assess the value of the main psychological theories of human aggression.

■ Discuss the processes involved in social groups and social influence (e.g. development of group norms, pressures to conform, authority, leadership).

■ Review studies of altruism

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment