COURSE SCHEDULE AVAILABLE HERE

 
GUIDE 1: INTRODUCTION
GUIDE 2: ISSUES IN METHODS
GUIDE 3: A SOCIAL PERCEPTION PRIMER
GUIDE 4: AFFECT AND ATTITUDES
GUIDE 5: PERSONALITY AND THE SELF
GUIDE 6: LEARNING THEORIES AND SOCIALIZATION
GUIDE 7: AN INTRODUCTION TO GROUPS
GUIDE 8: GROUP STRUCTURE & INFLUENCE

SYP 5105-01
FALL 2013

 
THEORIES OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Susan Carol Losh
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems
Florida State University

 
OVERVIEW
WEB-ASSISTED INFO
HOW TO REACH ME
ASSIGNMENTS
TOPICS, TEXTS & READINGS
 
Dr. Susan Carol Losh
3204 Stone Building (EPLS Suite)
850-644-8778
850-644-4592 (EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY & 
LEARNING SYSTEMS)
850-644-8776 FAX
slosh@fsu.edu

Fall 2013
Wednesdays 3:35-6:00 P.M.
  G151 Stone Building 
The Stone Building is right across
the street from on the Medical School
on West Call and Murphree Streets

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY IF YOU REQUIRE ANY ASSISTANCE WITH DISABILITIES.
 
 

OVERVIEW

Social Psychology studies social interaction, social processes, and the interplay among the person, culture and society in attitudes, beliefs and socialization. This course introduces you to the many perspectives social psychologists use in our work. Social Psychology is a separate discipline which allows us the flexibility to explore substantive areas as different as pressures toward conformity, ethnic prejudice, or child and adult development. It can be applied to virtually any organization: schools; the family. the military; businesses; churches, synagogues or mosques; sports teams; and many others. The field's diversity of mid-range theories can create conceptual ambiguity, yet simultaneously Social Psychology offers us considerable insight into the individual and society, and into the human condition.

Please be patient as you encounter six separate terms for the same concept such as social learning, or you puzzle out "chicken and egg problems" in attitude and action.
Yes, of course I wish the field would "get it together"--but, in fact, such conceptual sloppiness is true of virtually every discipline (as I found out to my shock when I got into mathematical statistics.)

Social psychology provides the "conceptual glue" between organizations and individuals, the nuts and bolts to explain the reciprocity between social structure and the individual. More than anything else, social psychology addresses processes and sequencing: the routines of daily life such as conversations, forming impressions of people, collectivities or events, and creating and maintaining life in groups.

This semester, we'll examine basic theoretical perspectives in Social Psychology. Unfortunately we cannot swallow the entire discipline in one gulp. For example, I have somewhat less coverage of topics such as the social psychology of emotions (Dr. Turner picks up some of the slack here.) I will focus more on constructs such as "the self" or "self-efficacy" where research allows us to draw more consistent conclusions than on popular, yet conceptually murky, concepts such as "personality." I will also discuss basic methodological issues pertinent to Social Psychology, such as experimental demand and reactivity, format construction issues in questionnaires, or drawing causal inferences using more "qualitative" methods such as ethnographies.

My roles as Instructor are to facilitate and to coordinate the "big picture." For each major course section, I will discuss basic perspectives, postulated major processes, and particularly noteworthy empirical findings. I'll be calling on you, too, to discuss your experience, your readings and observations.

I recommend reading my online lectures or "course guides" at the beginning of each unit. I try to explicate some of the major themes that you will encounter in your readings, sometimes bring in some cutting edge materials (e.g., brain plasticity and social experience), some of the concepts I feel are less fruitful ("evolutionary psychology"), and some of the conflicts in the discipline.

If you would like to see more about how I apply Social Psychology, click on the VITA.

COURSE GOALS 

To become familiar with major conceptual perspectives in the discipline of Social Psychology, including:

To learn the discipline's vocabulary
To become familiar with major methods used in Social Psychology
To become familiar with applications of Social Psychological approaches to diverse organizations, such as schools, sport, the military, the family or businesses
To be able to apply course material to a literature review, planned study, conducted study, or analysis of study results
 
 
WE'RE ONLINE!

Our course is WEB assisted through CourseInfo/Blackboard and the mailer  systems at FSU. You must be registered for SYP5105-01 to access our site through Blackboard. To access our course, here is what to do. Go online to:

https://campus.fsu.edu

Enter your FSU ID username (USERNAME ONLY!) and password to log in. For example, I would enter "slosh" ONLY and omit the the rest. Then click on “Theories of Soc Psy” to enter our site.

If you DON'T have an FSU ID account, you will need one immediately. Go to the FSU Guide to Computing Resources website (address below). Follow the links to register online for your MyFSU account.

http://its.fsu.edu/ITS-Service-Desk

I will use WEB-assist for several course features:


FALL 2013: Here's how I can be reached:
 

3204 Stone Building
850-644-8778 Voice mail available
850-644-4592 Educational Psychology & Learning Systems
850-644-8776 FAX
EMAIL IS PROBABLY THE FASTEST WAY TO REACH ME!

slosh@fsu.edu

  NEW FSU Stone Building

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2-3:30 or by appointment 
I'm available other times so please see me if you need an appointment!
NOTE: If I have an office hours conflict, I will announce that in class and on our Blackboard website.


 
ASSIGNMENTS

You have two assignments:

 
ASSIGNMENT
DATE
COURSE WEIGHT
COURSE PROJECT Preliminary prospectus: September 25 
Updated prospectus: October 16 
First draft: November 13 
Final draft: December 11 BY NOON
 65 percent
PRESENTATION ONE completed during the November 13-December 4 period
 35 percent

See the links for more information.  The links will be updated during the semester to provide more detail and format specifications. Please complete readings according to the timetable in this syllabus and be prepared with assignments by their due date.
 
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE

I ONLY ACCEPT HARD COPY FOR ASSIGNMENTS IN CLASS ON THE DUE DATE.

EMAIL ATTACHMENTS (e.g., WORD documents) ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
PLEASE DO NOT SLIDE PAPERS UNDER THE EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY & LEARNING SYSTEMS SUITE DOOR!

If you absolutely cannot hand your progressive paper deadlines in to me in person, here are some alternatives:

  • My office mailbox in 3210 Stone Building
  • FAX to the EPLS Office (850) 644-8776. Be sure to put my name and SYP 5105 on the Cover Sheet and include the total number of pages
  • Mail (USE FIVE DAYS ADVANCE NOTICE!)  to Dr. Susan Carol Losh, Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, FSU, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4453
In all these alternatives, I must receive your assignment by the stated due  dates.

During the semester, I may ask for a copy of your work on disk. For example, I receive copies of all presentations on disk.
 
 
COURSE PROJECT

Course Project (about 15 pages). Wide latitude exists for your project. You may review existing literature in an area of interest to you. You may use existing research to design a future study. Or, you can conduct a small original study or analyze data that were previously collected.* A short preliminary prospectus of your project is due September 25,  an updated prospectus is due October 16. The draft of your project is due November 13  to allow revisions.  The final edition of your project is due WEDNESDAY  DECEMBER 11 by NOON.

*Although it is possible to conduct and write up a study in a fraction of the semester, it is unlikely. That's OK. Even reviewing the literature and possibly designing a study comprise a good beginning.

Prior topics can be seen from the presentations posted to our Blackboard site as well as several prior course papers, also in Blackboard. Some students have written library research papers with topics such as academic motivation, cartoon violence, emotional intelligence, coach-player interaction, bullying, and cross-cultural differences in social cognition. Others have conducted a short survey, small experiment or observational design. Examples include observing parent-child interaction at supermarket checkouts or during games, observing conformity in the "upward gaze" experiment replication, nonverbal communication in counseling sessions and perceived counselor competence, seeing how social factors influence the return of a "lost wallet," conformity in aerobics classes, or how watching cartoons or children's comedies affects preschoolers. One advanced counseling student's Social Psychology paper won a graduate student poster prize at the 2011 American Psychological Association meetings. Last year, two students did an excellent critical review of the "Hawthorn effect". Maybe this year it will be YOUR turn to win an award or present at your professional association!

Please run your first draft (or your final draft if you don't do a first draft) through turnitin (available in Blackboard). I will need the entire turnitin receipt in hard copy along with your draft.

Don't be surprised if your first draft is a bit rocky. It absolutely happens to everyone! And the rewrites typically are spectacular!

ON TEAMWORK

Students often produce especially good work when they work in teams. This is particularly true for the Course Project . It is far easier for teams to plan and execute a small experiment, survey, or observation in a semester's time than it is for an individual to do so. Team presentations can also be more complex. You may choose to work in teams for the Course Project, and we may coordinate teams on the Presentations.  I will need to know the names of all team members on the Course Project by October 16. Using the project prospectus, I also will alert you to possible teammates (but the choice is yours). Even if you decide to work on your own, it is effective to share resources with those who have similar interests.
 
 
DISCUSSION/PRESENTATION

Discussion/presentation (about 20 minutes): You will lead class discussion on your project topic. We will have facilities for Power Point but you will also need to distribute a handout summary (some students print the Power Point slides). Examples asre already posted to our WEB site in Blackboard (see the Presentations folder in the Course Documents collection).. Discussion/presentations begin on November 13 (through December 4). Traditionally, we all enjoy this part of the semester because we learn a lot from each other.

Because all presentations go into Blackboard, if you want to use Prezi for your presentation, you'll need to transfer each "bubble" to a pdf that we can upload there. To date we haven't been able to pull up Prezi presentations from Blackboard.
 

GRADING CONSIDERATIONS

I use plus and minus grading, throughout and for final grades.

Participation in class discussion and class attendance are a definite consideration, especially when a student is "between grades."

Adherence to principles of essay organization, and the conventions of spelling and grammar is expected and understood. I freely admit to being adamant about good writing and we will spend at least one class period on it.

The course paper MUST relate to Social Psychology. It can neither be totally intrapersonal nor totally organizational. One reason for the project "milestone" deadlines is to ensure that your topic is "on track" for this course.

I adhere to the FSU Honor Code. Plagarism is essentially STEALING someone else's work. If you harbor any doubts, several online sites check for plagarism. You can also check with me about quoting or citing someone else's research and/or writing. Plagarized assignments receive a score of 0.


GET MORE PRELIMINARY INFORMATION ABOUT THE COURSE PROJECT HERE

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRESENTATION


 
TOPICS, REQUIRED COURSE TEXTS AND A SIDE BAR ON SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY JOURNALS

 
COURSE TOPICS

 
APPROXIMATE DATE TOPIC OBJECTIVES
August 28-
September 18
Orientation
Introduction
Methods
WEB site navigation and course outline
What is the field of Social Psychology?
What are some major theoretical Orientations?

Which Methods are most commonly used in Social Psychology?
What are general methodological advantages and disadvantages?

September 2
Labor Day Holiday University closed
September 18-
October 2
Social Perception
(Includes Attitudes and Attitude Measurement)
What is Social Perception?
Self-Esteem versus Self-Efficacy

Defining Attitudes
Issues in Attitude Measurement

October 9-23 The Self
Social Learning and Socialization
What are some differences between "the self" and "personality?"
How does Social Perception relate to Self-Presentation and Self-Concept?
What are some basics of symbolic interactionism?
Issues in nature versus nurture
Comparing basic ideas of developmentalists versus reinforcement theorists
Types of learning theories and  applications to roles and socialization
October 30-
November 21
Groups
Group Influences and Interaction Processes
What is social facilitation? What are cohorts and aggregates? How are these entities useful and how do they differ from "groups"? Basic group definition and properties.

What are the effects of group size? What are major sources of group influence? What are "good" and "bad" effects of group cohesion?

SUNDAY November 3 DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS (count me if you have trouble sleeping) Set your clocks back one hour. 
One more hour's sleep!
MONDAY November 11 VETERAN'S DAY HOLIDAY NO FSU CLASSES
November 27-29 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY NO FSU CLASSES
December 4 Applications of Social Psychology Last day of our class
December 6   Last class day of the Fall semester

 
REQUIRED TEXTS

Used copies of all texts MAY be available (e.g., on Amazon). Please be sure to purchase or share the stated edition of each.

This basic "encyclopedia approach" text is helpful for novices with its focus on basic concepts and lots of empirical studies.
This book was recently substantially revised. It does NOT look like the earlier editions. Be sure to get the CURRENT edition.
CAHILL: Spencer E. Cahill, Kent Sandstrom and Carissa Froyum (editors) (2014). Inside Social Life, SEVENTHEDITION. Oxford University Press.  PAPER. ISBN = 978-0-19-997811-3.
This edited collection presents some classic "greats" (e.g., Cooley, Mead), more modern "greats" (e.g., Zerubavel), recent developments, and applied accounts of several course concepts. Many students really like this book and keep it long after our course is over. This book was substantially revised fromprior editions. Be sure to get the CURRENT edition.
 
 
 
JOURNAL WISH LIST
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY JOURNAL? THERE ARE LOTS MORE!
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  PLEASE GIVE THE JOURNAL TITLE AND BRIEFLY
Social Psychology Quarterly  DESCRIBE THE JOURNAL.  IF A WEB SITE IS 
Public Opinion Quarterly  AVAILABLE FOR THE JOURNAL, PLEASE INCLUDE THAT
Small Group Research    TOO. JUST DROP A NOTE IN THE EMAIL HERE:
Group Dynamics slosh@fsu.edu

 
 
NOTE: Approximately twice a year, Sage Publications opens its online journals for FREE downloads. Since Sage publishes several journals, there is sure to be one for your interests. This is a terrific deal for faculty, students and other professionals so keep posted and I will let you know when I am notified.
COURSE SCHEDULE AVAILABLE HERE
 This page was built with the late, lamented Netscape Composer.
Susan Carol Losh  August 25 2013

Under construction as the semester progresses.