An Introduction to Social Psychology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 3330
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course provides an introduction to the study of how people think, feel and behave in social contexts. The focus is on social behaviour and thought from the individual’s perspective, with the importance of social influence and situational factors being emphasized. Topics will include: social perception, attitudes and behaviour, interpersonal attraction and relationships, the social self and social identity, aggression, conformity, obedience, persuasion, prejudice, prosocial behaviour, and applied social psychology. Research methods in social psychology will also be covered.
Course Content
  1. Introduction to Social Psychology
  2. Scientific Method in Social Psychology
  3. Social Perception and Social Cognition
  4. The Self-Concept and Social Identity
  5. Attitudes and Behaviour
  6. Prejudice and Discrimination
  7. Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships
  8. Social Influence
  9. Prosocial Behaviour
  10. Aggression
  11. Group Processes
  12. Applied Social Psychology
Learning Activities

This course will employ a number of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives and will include some of the following:

  • lectures
  • audio visual materials
  • small group discussions
  • demonstrations and hands-on activities
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class.  Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving human subjects.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Literature review paper                      15%

Presentation or group work                10%

2 midterm exams                             50%

Final exam                                       25%


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe the characteristics of social psychology and contrast it with similar disciplines.
  2. Discuss the major developing areas of theory and research in contemporary social psychology (i.e., applied social psychology, cross-cultural research, social cognition, and the evolutionary approach).
  3. Identify the main features of the various types of studies and research designs commonly used in social psychological research.
  4. Describe the important ethical issues involved in conducting social psychological research.
  5. Describe the process of social perception and the factors that influence it.
  6. Explain the processes involved in making causal attributions and discuss common errors or biases in these processes.
  7. Explain the operation of heuristics, counterfactual thinking, and other automatic or controlled processes involved in social cognition.
  8. Define attitudes and describe various means of measuring them.
  9. Discuss findings and theory on the relationship between attitudes and behaviour.
  10. Describe the theories of attitude change, including the role of cognitive dissonance.
  11. Discuss the nature of the self-concept, including biases in self-perception.
  12. Discuss social identity theory.
  13. Describe cultural differences in the self-concept and social-identity and how they influence social cognition and behaviour.
  14. Identify the primary sources of prejudice.
  15. Describe methods of reducing conflict and prejudice.
  16. Describe the main factors related to forming friendships and romantic relationships.
  17. Identify the characteristics that influence romantic attraction in men and women.
  18. Identify the major theories used to explain the formation of close relationships.
  19. Describe the processes involved in maintaining relationships and ending relationships.
  20. Describe how both situational factors and internal motivations underlie the operation of various forms of social influence: conformity, compliance, and obedience.
  21. Identify and explain the operation of various persuasion techniques.
  22. Describe how situational factors affect whether someone gives help to others. Also explain how personal and cultural factors influence our tendency to help.
  23. Describe the theories of altruism and helping behaviour.
  24. Describe the factors that increase or decrease aggression.
  25. Describe the theories of aggression.
  26. Discuss the characteristics of groups and why we form them.
  27. Discuss how and why the presence of others affects our behaviour.
  28. Identify the possible pitfalls of group decision-making and provide recommendations to maximize the group’s success.
  29. Describe the applications of social psychology to various fields.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

Aronson, E., Wilson, T.D., Akert, R.M., Fehr, B. Social psychology (current Canadian ed.).

Kendrick, D.T., Neuberg, S.L., Cialdini, R.B. Social psychology: Goals in interaction (current ed.).


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 3330
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU PSYC 200 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 2330 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG PSYC 2322 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU PSYC 260 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU PSYC 2220 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU PSYC 204 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO PSYO 252 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV PSYC 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 207 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 360 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC PSYC 231 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU PSYC 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023

Start Date
End Date
Start Date
End Date
Start Date
End Date
Instructor Last Name
Instructor First Name
Karenjit Kaur
Course Status
Max Seats Count
Actual Seats Count
Actual Wait Count
New Westminster - South Bldg.
Start Time
End Time