LSO460 - Social Psychology

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-19 14:51:15.317
Last review date 2018-07-19 14:56:16.614

Subject Title
Social Psychology

Subject Description
It is universally recognized in art, literature, history and individual experience that human beings are social beings. Who we are, how we think, how we feel, and how we behave are all subject to the influence of the situation in which we find ourselves. Social psychology is the science that attempts to examine, describe, and explain the impact of social situations on individuals and on groups. This course will examine topics within the field such as how we see ourselves and others in a social context, how attitudes are formed and changed, and the power of social situations to influence our behaviour. Building on the knowledge the learner has of psychological research methodology, this course aims to improve the student's understanding of how psychologists study social influence and interaction. Both group and individual processes will be examined in depth to encourage critical analysis of a variety of theoretical viewpoints, and to develop the learner's ability to investigate and report on current perspectives in social psychology

Credit Status
One upper level Liberal Studies elective credit towards a degree program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

. Identify and discuss the basic psychological theories, principles, and concepts explaining social cognition, attitude formation, group processes, pro-social behavior, aggression, conformity/obedience and stereotyping/prejudice, attraction, and self-understanding (Comprehension/Evaluation).
. Assess various theoretical perspectives that have arisen regarding social phenomena (Comprehension/Evaluation).
. Analyze everyday social situations using key concepts in social psychology (Comprehension/Application/Analysis).
. Examine how human behavior is influenced by such social factors as groups, authority figures, bias, gender roles, cognitive dissonance, etc. (Comprehension/Application).
. Analyze emerging ideas about social behaviour both individually and collaboratively. (Comprehension/Synthesis).
. Combine a critical understanding and increased knowledge of social behaviour by evaluating the implications of classic research in the key areas of social psychology (Comprehension/Synthesis/Evaluation).

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

LSO260 or equivalent and/or permission of the coordinator

Topic Outline

  • Social Cognition and Social Perception
  • Self-Knowledge
  • Attitudes
  • Social Influence processes
  • Conformity
  • Group influence
  • Aggression and Prosocial Behaviour
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Attraction

Mode of Instruction
Your professor will use a variety of appropriate teaching modes and techniques, such as:  lecture, question and answer, tutorials, classroom discussion, group work, individual and/or group presentation, computer-aided instruction, consultation, etc

Prescribed Texts
Kassin, S. et al. Social Psychology 2nd Can ed. Nelson

Reference Material
All students are required to use Research Guides for their assignments, available from the Seneca Library:

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of an assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty resulting in a lower grade.

Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be arranged in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Presentation with analysis 20%
Mid-Term Test 25%
Research Paper 30%
Final Exam 25%
Students are graded on form as well as content. Marks (up to 5% of the final grade) may be lost for poor organization of ideas and errors in spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation.
Students are not permitted to use instructional aids during tests or exams.
To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified, and achieve an overall grade of 50% or more.  It is expected that students have a sufficient command of the English language to express themselves clearly in both written assignments and class discussions. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see the Academic Policy at

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood