COURSE SCHEDULE AVAILABLE HERE OR IN THE BLACKBOARD SYLLABUS FOLDER

 
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 2014

 
THEORIES OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

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

 
OVERVIEW
WE'RE ONLINE
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
Fall 2014
Office Hours
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 2-3:15 P.M.
PLUS email!
slosh@fsu.edu

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 diverse 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. 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; dog jealousy!), some of the concepts I feel are less fruitful ("evolutionary psychology"), and some of the conflicts in the discipline.

COURSE GOALS 

To be able to describe major conceptual perspectives in the discipline of Social Psychology, including:

To learn the discipline's vocabulary
To be able to describe and apply major methods used in Social Psychology
To distinguish 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!

For the first time, Theories of Social Psychology is going totally online! Materials are accessible through Blackboard or on the myweb.fsu.edu server.

My integrative course guides are also linked in on the Overview and Readings pages, below and also under COURSE DOCUMENTS in Blackboard
This makes it easy and very quick to navigate many of our Internet resources on the "myweb" server.

For example, if you accessed our Course Calendar and Syllabus through Blackboard, you can instead access it HERE as well.

Through the links you can access the online Guides and information about the Course Project and Presentation too.
If Blackboard is running slowly, and when we meet in virtual space, we can connect directly to much of the SYP 5105 course information that we need.


If you are new and 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

Being online means some adjustments from a traditional face-to-face course. Please see the "Print Syllabus" in Blackboard for "Nettiquette" directives.

We will meet for about one hour together weekly in cyberspace. This time will be used for discussion, explanations, and short "in-class" assignments (see the Course Calendar in the Readings folder). We will determine this time the first week of the course.

You must use your FSU email to communicate in this course, whether with me or other students. (If you want to set up your FSU email to forward to a different server, that's OK with me as long as our communication is complete, but communication coming to me must come from your FSU email address.)

Generally I will respond to email from you within 24 hours.


FALL 2014: 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 THE FASTEST WAY TO REACH ME!

slosh@fsu.edu

  NEW FSU Stone Building

Email Office Hours for input are 24/7
NOTE: If I have any time conflicts, I will announce that on our Blackboard website.


 
ASSIGNMENTS

You have two major and five smaller assignments:

 
ASSIGNMENT
DATE
COURSE WEIGHT
COURSE PROJECT: see below and the ASSIGNMENTS folder in Blackboard. MILESTONES:
1. Preliminary prospectus: September 24 
2. Updated prospectus: October 22 
3. First draft: November 19 
4. Final draft: December 10 BY NeOON
Milestone cannot be skipped (please see blow)
 55 percent
PRESENTATION: see below and the ASSIGNMENTS folder in Blackboard ONE completed during the mid-November-December 1 period
(more definite and exact dates will be posted later this semester)
 25 percent
SMALL IN-CLASS "DISCUSSION" assignments. See below for more introductory information.  Five small assignments total 
More detail will be posted to Blackboard one week before discussion.
20 percent

Information in the Blackboard ASSIGNMENTS folder 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.
 

SOME IMPORTANT NOTES

Attendance and “In-Class” Participation

Since this is an online course that is both synchronous and asynchronous in nature, attendance expectations are a bit different from what you might experience in a face-to-face course:

University-wide policy requires all students to attend the first class meeting of all classes for which they are registered. Students who do not attend the first class meeting of a course for which they are registered will be dropped from the course by the academic department that offers the course. To remain enrolled in this course you must complete the First Day Attendance assignment by 11:59pm (EST) as shown on the Blackboard Announcement page.

Attendance in an online class is noted via active participation in course activities. Participation is necessary so that course activities will be successful. Students are counting on you each other to log in and interact. Thus, student attendance will be directly tied to the discussion grade in the course. Student participation counts as an indicator of attendance and student participation on our five “In-class” assignments counts 20% of your final grade. 
 

Attendance is taken and participation in class discussion is noted for in-class assignments (see the Course Calendar in the Readings Blackboard folder). 
You will find your participation noted in the Gradebook as a +,  or -. These assignments can thus influence one-half of a final grade, e.g., from a B+ to an A- (or vice versa). 

IHere are some alternatives if Blackboard is down or you experience technical problems when assignments are due:

  • My office mailbox in 3210 Stone Building (Fall 2014 only)
  • 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.

\
COURSE PROJECT (about 15 pages) 

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.* You will find many examples in Blackboard in the Presentations and Papers folders.

*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.

We operate in milestones:

1. Preliminary prospectus: September 24
2. Updated prospectus: October 22
3. First draft: November 19 (allows for revisions)
4. Final draft: December 10 BY NOON
Milestone cannot be skipped (please see below)
 

IMPORTANT
The course project MUST relate to Social Psychology. I recognize that Social Psychology is a new discipline for many of you. One reason for the project "milestone" deadlines is to ensure that your topic remains "on track" for this course. (For Mental Health students, the APA is absolutely adament about this. Proposed projects that do not clarify the relevance to course material and specify the nature of the course material you plan to draw upon (e.g., on Milestone 2) will be returned to you for revision. Students cannot “skip” milestones and simply submit a final project at any stage of this course. A student who does so is redirected to Milestone 1. If a final project omitting prior milestones is submitted at the end of the semester, the student will receive an incomplete and is redirected to milestone 1.

EXAMPLES: The Course Project can take many forms. I realize that we enroll everyone from first year master’s students to advanced doctoral candidates. Newer students often write 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 (sometimes—but far from always—more advanced graduate students) have conducted a short survey, small experiment or observational design. Examples here 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 counseling student's Social Psychology paper won a graduate student poster prize at the 2011 American Psychological Association meetings. Others have been developed into thesis or dissertation topics and/or professional presentations.

Our website “The Good Paper” in the ASSIGNMENTS folder (and HERE) in Blackboard outlines some of the rubrics for an excellent paper.

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

Don't be surprised if your first draft is a bit rocky. It absolutely happens to everyone! And the rewrites typically are spectacular!
The draft option (Milestone 3) allows you to rewrite your paper for a higher grade. ONLY the higher grade counts toward your final grade!

There is no grace period for the final assignment, Milestone 4. The university docks our department $10 per late grade per day so assignments must be turned in on the due date! Students must proofread their materials and double check their attachments to make sure that their final submission to Blackboard is the best representation of their work and the one they wish to be graded.

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 22. 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 post a handout summary (some students print the Power Point slides). Examples from prior classes are already posted to our WEB site in Blackboard (see the Presentations folder in the Course Documents collection).. Discussion/presentations begin in mid-November (through December 1). 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 either "share" or make your presentation Public so a link in Blackboard will pull it up, or transfer each "bubble" to a pdf that we can upload to blackboard. To date we've had trouble pulling up completed 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." Your participation counts 20% of your final grade.

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.


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

 
COURSE TOPICS

More compete information, including readings and assignments, can be found on the "READINGS" file in the Blackboard Syllabus folder.
 
APPROXIMATE DATE TOPIC OBJECTIVES
Weeks of August 25-
September 2
Orientation
Introduction
Methods
WEB site navigation and course outline
Describethe field of Social Psychology
Describe some major theoretical Orientations

Distinguish among Methods most commonly used in Social Psychology
Describe general methodological advantages and disadvantages?

September 1
Labor Day Holiday University closed
Weeks of September 8-22 Social Perception
(Includes Attitudes and Attitude Measurement)
Define Social Perception
Contrast Self-Esteem versus Self-Efficacy

Define "Attitude"
Describe Issues in Attitude Measurement

Weeks of September 29- October 20 The Self
Social Learning and Socialization
Describe some conceptual differences between "the self" and "personality?"
Compare how Social Perception relates to Self-Presentation and Self-Concept?
Describe the basics of symbolic interactionism?
Contrast Issues in nature versus nurture
Compare basic ideas of developmentalists versus reinforcement theorists
Apply types of learning theories  to roles and socialization
Weeks of October 27-
November 17
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 2 DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS
(count me if you have trouble sleeping)
Set your clocks back one hour. 
One more hour's sleep!
TUESDAY November 11 VETERAN'S DAY HOLIDAY NO FSU CLASSES
November 26-30 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY NO FSU CLASSES
Week of December 1 Applications of Social Psychology Last week of our class

 

REQUIRED TEXTS AND READINGS

Both texts have been substantially revised from prior editions. Be sure to get the CURRENT edition for each one.

[1] DMC: John D. DeLamater, Daniel J. Myers & Jessica Collett (2015). Social  Psychology, EIGHTH EDITION. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. PAPER. ISBN = 978-0-81=334950-3.

This is a basic "encyclopedia approach" text. The NEW print cost is $90.00, which is much less than earlier editions because it is paperback. It was just published in July (probably no used copies available but check outlets such as Amazon.) . Perhaps that is why I can’t find a link to the e-edition (which was estimated for me to cost about $60). The print edition should be at the FSU Bookstore. Here is a link to the Westview site, which also lists several booksellers:

http://www.westviewpress.com/book.php?isbn=9780813349503#

[2] CAHILL: Spencer E. Cahill, Kent Sandstrom & Carissa Froyum (editors) (2014). Inside Social Life, SEVENTH EDITION. Oxford University Press.  PAPER. ISBN = 978-0-19-997811-3.

Used copies may be available of the Cahill text.

This edited collection presents 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.
 

 
ALL articles and excerpts listed in the Course Calendar (Readings file in Blackboard SYLLABUS folder) of topics, objectives and required readings, and the Course Lecture Guides are REQUIRED READINGS.

 
 
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 OR IN THE SYLLABUS BLACKBOARD FOLDER
 This page was built with the late, lamented Netscape Composer.
Susan Carol Losh  August 11 2014

Under construction as the semester progresses.