Fall, 2007; T & Th, 11:00am-12:15pm, ILC 130



Jeff Stone, Ph.D.


436 Psychology Department

Office Hrs:

Tues 1pm-4pm and by appointment






Chad Forbes


416 Psychology Department

Office Hrs:

Tues, 10-11a; Weds, 1-3pm, and by appointment





Required Text:                 Social Psychology by Brehm, Kassin & Fein (6th edition)


Course Description:  This course offers a broad introduction to social psychology, the scientific study of human social influence and interaction.  We will explore the various ways people think about, affect, and relate to one another.  The course will cover topics such as the social self-concept, social judgment, attitudes, persuasion, conformity, aggression, helping behavior, prejudice, and interpersonal relationships.  The goals of this course are to (a) improve your understanding of social psychological explanations for social influence and interaction and to (b) improve your understanding of the research methodologies commonly used to understand social influence and interaction. 


Course Format:  We will meet twice a week for a 1 hour and 15 minute lecture and I will assume that you have completed the reading assigned for each class meeting.  The lectures will focus on central themes in the assigned reading but I will usually introduce new topics not covered in the readings.  Films, videos, class demonstrations and discussions will supplement the lectures.  Because you will be responsible for knowing theory and research not covered in the reading material, it's a good idea to attend every lecture.  Be sure to get notes from a classmate if you miss a class. 


Course Website:  The course website provides several resources to help you conquer this class.  You will find the syllabus, study guides, test scores, an outline for each lecture, and a link to the supplemental readings and extra-credit web blog (see below).  I strongly recommend you read the study guide and lecture outline before lecture and bring them with you to each class. 


Weekly Readings: The core readings for the course will come from one textbook and from short articles available on electronic reserves.  Most of the reading will come from the Brehm, Kassin & Fein textbook (available in the U of A bookstore).  The supplemental short papers are required and available online.  You can access them for reading and/or printing at the course polis website. 


You will need the program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the articles.  It is available for free from Adobe and you can download it from the electronic reserve site.


To access the supplemental readings, click on the "POLIS Private Reserves" link on the course polis page.  On the next page, type in the password "social" and click on the ŇOKÓ button.  The next page will show a list, alphabetized by the authorŐs last name, of all the readings for this semester.  To access a specific reading, click on "get the file" and it will load the pdf file onto your computer.  You can then read it or print it out.  Let us know if you have questions or if there are problems using the ER site. 

Study Guides:  The textbook, readings and lectures contain a large amount of information about social psychology.  In order to help you focus on the most important information—the definitions, facts and concepts that will appear on the exams--I have created a study guide for each exam.  The study guide for each exam will be posted on the course website and you should start to complete it right away.  Whereas they are designed to reduce the amount of information you are responsible for, they still require several hours to answer all the questions.  The exams will exclusively focus on your knowledge of the materials that are on the study guide.


Exams:  There will be 3 midterm exams during the semester.  Each is worth 40pts and will be multiple-choice in format.  I will provide a study guide for each exam to emphasize the key reading and lecture material.  The study guide for each exam can be printed from the course website. 


The final exam is worth 80pts and it will be cumulative with an emphasis on the material covered in the last quarter of the course.  It will also be a multiple-choice format. 


Missed exams:  I will not give make-up exams to anyone without medical or legal documentation for his or her absence (e.g., a jury duty summons, etc).  In addition, the following regulations and procedures apply:

               1.  In order to receive a makeup exam, you must present your documentation to the teaching assistant no less than 24 hours before the exam is scheduled to begin for the class. 

               2.  Each student will only be allowed to take one make-up exam during the semester. 

               3.  Make up exams must be completed within 5 days of the missed exam date. 


**Students who fail to meet any of the above criteria will not be given a makeup exam.  Be sure you can attend class on the scheduled exam dates before deciding to take this course!


Extra Credit Blogs:  You can earn up to 8 extra credit points in the class by participating in the online course web blog.  The web blog is discussion site where students can post responses to thought questions, tell personal (but anonymous) stories related to the course material, and discuss the course material with the instructor and other students.  The blog for this course is designed to give you additional opportunities to earn extra points toward your final grade by discussing the course material.  


There will be 4 opportunities to blog for extra credit during the semester, one for each "section" (or exam) in the course.  At the start of each section of the course, one set of blog questions will be posted on the blog site.  You can log onto the blog site and submit answers to ONE of the question sets using a personal 5 digit ID number.  You can earn a total of 2 points for an accurate, full response to the set of questions you choose to answer.  There are some important rules to follow so you get all your points:

               1:  Responses that do not fully or correctly use the course material to address the questions, or represent an obvious duplication of the responses posted by another student, will receive less than two points.  I am not kidding about this. 

               2:  If you lose points because your use of the course material was inaccurate, consider it a personal invitation for you to attend office hours so we can discuss the relevant concepts, research, etc.  Naturally, you have the option to decline the invitation and revisit the material on your own time (highly advised).

               3:  You can only earn points for a blog response while it is posted on the blog site.  The blog questions will disappear by 10am on the day of the exam and no responses will be accepted after that time.  Thus, if you want all 8 extra credit points, you need to respond to the blog questions before each and every exam (including the final). 

               4:  A full set of instructions and guidelines for using the course web blog will be available to download from the course web blog site.  You must read the guidelines before you submit your first response.   


Grading:  Your grade in this class will be based on the following point system:



3 Midterm Exams



Final Exam




Total Points




               Your final course grade will be a function of performance on three midterm exams (40points each) and performance on a final cumulative exam (80points).  The total points possible is 200.  I will distribute letter grades based on the total points earned out of the total of 200 (i.e., everyone can get an A!).  Grades will be assigned based on the following point totals:


A = 200 - 180 total pts

C = 159 - 140 total pts

E = 119 - 0 total pts

B = 179 - 160 total pts

D = 139 - 120 total pts



A few additional issues:


All holidays or special events observed by organized religions will be honored for those students who show affiliation with that particular religion.  Also, all absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean's designee) will be honored.


Policies regarding expected classroom behavior:  No electronic devices will be allowed during exams.  During lectures, please turn off your cell phone and mute the sound if you bring a laptop.  Also please be respectful of your neighbors by not talking or visiting during lectures. 


Any form of academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism, will be handled according to University procedures. Students are encouraged to review the University Student Code of Academic Integrity policies found at


Students are also encouraged to review the policies against threatening behavior by students:


You are hereby notified that you may deem some course content offensive.  I will always  try to warn you when I think this is possible, but I may not always know when a topic or other material is offensive to you personally.  Please let me know in an email if that was the case.  


Students with special needs who are registered with the S.A.L.T. Center ( or the Disability Resource Center ( must submit appropriate documentation to me if they are requesting special accommodations.  I will do the best I can to grant your request. 


All information contained in this course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policies, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by me.





Schedule of Lectures and Readings for Fall 2007

Chpt = Brehm et al. Textbook, S = Supplemental Paper



Lecture #


Reading material covered



Course Introduction and Syllabus




Foundations Of Social Psychology

Chpt 1



Methods in Social Psychology

Chpt 2:



The Social Self

Chpt 3 pp 54-68; S1: Fryberg paper



Self-Esteem and Self-Serving Biases

Chpt 3:  pp 69-91; S2: Solomon paper



Attributions About Others

Chpt 4:  pp 95-116



Social Judgments

Chpt 4:  pp 116-129



Midterm Exam 1




Attitudes and Behavior

Chpt 6:  pp 185-194; S3: Rudman paper

9/20, 25

8, 9


Chpt 6:  pp. 194-213

9/27, 10/2

10, 11

Behavioral influences on attitudes

Chpt 6:  pp 213 –223; S4: Aronson paper



Conformity and Compliance

Chpt 7:  pp 227-248; S5: Cialdini paper



Obedience To Authority

Chpt 7:  pp 248-259



Midterm Exam 2


10/16, 18

14, 15


Chpt 11




Chpt 5:  pp. 133-150; S6: Stone paper




Chpt 5:  pp.  150-157; S7:  Fiske paper




Chpt 5:  pp.  157-170




Chpt 5:  pp. 171-176; S8:  Johns paper



Reducing Intergroup Conflict

Chpt 5:  pp 176-180



Midterm Exam 3




Group Processes

Chpt 8:  pp 263-280; 294-302



Attraction To Others

Chpt 9:  pp. 307-328



Love And Close Relationships

Chpt 9:  pp. 328-347; S9:  Mehl paper



Thanksgiving—No Class




Helping Behavior

Chpt 10



Applications to Health & Law

Chpt 12:  pp443-466

Chpt 14:  pp513-545



Course Summary & Evaluations




Cumulative Final Exam 11am-1pm



**Review sessions for the exams will be scheduled as space and time permits