Block 9, 2009
Class Hours: 9:00 - 11:00 (Monday - Friday); 1:00 - 2:45 (Monday-Thursday)
Office Hours: 3::30 PM - 4:30 PM every day or by appointment (call x4281 anytime).
Text: Aronson, E. (2008). The social animal. (Tenth Edition). New York: W. H. Freeman.
Aronson, E. (2008). Readings about the social animal. (Tenth Edition). New York: W. H. Freeman.
Class Schedule: Date DiscussionTopic/Activity May 04 (M) What is Social Psychology? (1) Preface & An Open Letter to the reader (Aronson) 05 (T) Social Psychology as a Science (9) #1 Leap of Faith (Aronson) 06 (W) Conformity (2) #4 From Jerusalem to Jericho (Darley & Batson) #5 Simulated Prison (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo) #6 Making Sense of the nonsensical (Osherow) 07 (T) Mass Communication, Propaganda and Persuasion (3) #7 Fear-arousing communication (Dabbs & Leventhal) #9 Television Criminology (Haney & Manzolati) #10 Mass Media Violence (Phillips) 08 (F) Social Cognition (4) #11 Beauty as a social problem (Kenrick & Gutierrs) #12 Recall of personal histories (Ross, McFarland, & Fletcher) 11 (M) Exam 1: (Chapters 1, 9, 2, 3, 4 and the articles) 12 (T) Self-justification (5) #16 The foot-in-the-door-technique (Freedman & Fraser) #17 Reducing weight (Axson & Cooper) #19 Drinking your troubles away (Steele, Southwick, & Critchlow) 13 (W) Human Aggression (6) #20 Observing Violence (Berkowitz) #21 Evidence against catharsis (Green, Stonner, & Shope) #24 Predictors of naturalistic sexual aggression (Malamuth) 14 (T) Prejudice (7) #27 Stereotype Vulnerability (Steele & Aronson) #28 Experiments in group conflict (Sherif) #29 Jigsaw Classroom (Aronson & Bridgeman) 15 (F) Liking, Loving, and Interpersonal Sensitivity (8) #31 The search for a romantic partner (Kiesler & Baral) #33 Self-filling nature of social stereotypes (Snyder, Tanke, & Bershceid) #34 Sexual attraction and high anxiety (Dutton & Aron) 18 (M) Exam 2: (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, the articles) 19 (T) Research Groups: Hypothesis Formation 20 (W) Research Groups: Literature Review 21 (T) Research Groups: Design 22 (F) Research Groups: Practice 23 (S) Adventureland Trip <--> Des Moines, IA. 25 (M) Research Groups: Data Analysis 26 (T) Research Groups: Final Write-up 27 (W) Presentations/Papers due
Goals of the course: It is difficult for me to briefly mention the goals of a course that was the single most significant course in my college career. However, I can briefly mention what I would like you take away from the course in a practical sense and then spend the rest of the term expanding and adding to these themes. First, I would like you to see the world through the eyes of a social psychologist (scary thought!). What I mean by this is that I would like you to look at a social interaction, evaluate the interaction in an unbiased way, decide upon a possible explanation for what you just experienced, and know how to experimentally test the explanation you just constructed (but that leads me to my next goal). Second, I would like you to have the skill to design and experimentally test the explanations for social behavior that you construct in this class and the explanations you construct after you leave Cornell. Third, I would like you to be able to critically evaluate a stated position based upon the validity of the data used to support that position. Fourth, I would like you to have the ability to express the results of the first three goals in a written format. That format is a research paper written in the writing style of the American Psychological Association. Fifth, I would like you to have an appreciation of how our culture limits the types of interpretations we are willing to accept for the behavior of others.
Reading assignments: Class discussion/lecture will be based upon the readings listed for each day and will extend the material, not simply going over the same material presented in the book. Classes will require a high degree of participation. Therefore, it is critical that you complete the reading before class so that you will understand the material presented in class and can contribute to the discussion.
Examinations: There will be two examinations. Exams will a combination of essay (50%) and multiple choice (50%). Make-up exams will be given to students who have missed a scheduled exam for a qualified reason. A complete list of acceptable reasons for missing an exam is attached to this syllabus. Make-up exams must be made up with two days of the scheduled exam.
Group Project: Each class member will participate in a group research project. The projects have several goals. First, they will enable you to become intimately acquainted with a particular content area of social psychology. Second, they will give you first hand experience at conducting a research project. This experience will enable you to not only become critical consumers of science but also skilled producers of science.
The group projects will be run in the following manner:
1. Groups will be selected by Tuesday of the third week. 2. Initial topics will be selected by Wednesday of the third week. 3. A typed outline of the topic and method of testing the topic will be turned in by Thursday of the third week and the group will turn in two research articles on the topic (should be within the last 10 years). 4. All materials needed to conduct the experiments must be organized and run off by 1:00 PM Friday of the third week. 5. Collect data at the amusement park on the third Saturday of the block. 6. Data analysis complete by Monday, of the fourth week. 7. Group presentations will be on the last day of class from 9:00 am to 12:00 Noon. All group members must participate and each class member must be present for all group presentations. 8. Individual papers turned in by 12:00 noon Wednesday, the last day of class. Papers are late if they are turned in at 12:01 PM on Wednesday. Papers that are late will be dropped one full letter grade for each 24 hour period they are late.
Individuals who are unable to make the "AdventureLand"
trip will be assigned to another group that will conduct a research project
in Mt. Vernon. All the same deadlines apply to this group as the AdventureLand groups.
All members of the group will participate in the group presentation.
Daily Research Ideas (DRIs): A large number of research studies in cognitive psychology have shown that deeper or more elaborate processing of information enhances memory (e.g., Hyde & Jenkins, 1973). In the context of this course, the DRIs will provide the "more elaborate" processing and will enhance your encoding and later retrieval of information from the text. Therefore, this process should aid test performance. In addition, it will foster the development of the latent social psychologist in all of us. Why is this important? The ultimate goal of social psychology is to help us critically examine our world. The DRIs will give you practice questioningand testing the assumptions you are willing to accept about your behavior and the causes underlying the behavior of those around you. The DRIs are also important because during the third week of the course you will have to come up with a research idea to test at the zoo. Therefore, they will give you practice on a task you will be asked to complete later in the block.
Each day you will turn in one research idea. Your question should be emailed to me before 9:00 AM each day. The email should start with the question. Below the question you should explain how you think you might be able to test the idea. Your explanation should include a hypothesis and how you will manipulate the variables mentioned in the hypothesis. Remember, these must be submitted before the 9:00 AM each day via email. Late submissions will not be accepted and may not be made up.
Grading: The exams will account for 70% of your course grade (First exam 35%, Second Exam 35%). The research project will account for 29% of your course grade (25% the paper you will turn in, 4% the group presentation). The final 1% of your final grade will be based on the research ideas questions you turn in each day.
Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis using:
A 95% C 74% A- 90% C- 70% B+ 87% D+ 67% B 84% D 64% B- 80% D- 60% C+ 77% F 59%
Academic Honesty: Any violation of academic honesty is a serious breach of the student-teacher relationship and the values of Cornell College. Therefore, violations of academic honesty will be treated accordingly. Any individual who cheats on an exam or turns in work that is not their own will receive a course grade of "F".
Class Attendance: It is obviously very important that you attend every class period. Material covered on the exams will come from the text and information presented only in class. It is especially important that you attend all the group presentations. The presentations fulfill several of the educational goals of this course. Therefore, individuals missing any part of any presentation (including their own) will have their final course grade reduced by 1/3 of a full letter grade.
Please be Prompt: Latecomers are very disruptive to everyone and may force us to continue beyond ending time. In addition, there are two behaviors that will absolutely not be tolerated in class; SMOKING and EATING and CELL PHONES.