Special Topics in Social Psychology/Social Sciences

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 3906
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course examines a special topic or emerging questions in the fields of social psychology and social sciences. Readings and topical content will include theory, research, critical debate, and applications relevant to the specific topic.
Course Content

The general framework of an upper-level special topics course in psychology can be represented as below:

  1. Historical Context
  2. Theories
  3. Mechanisms and Processes
  4. Critical Analysis and Remaining Questions

A specific example of topics for a course on Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change:

  1. What is an attitude, and why is it important?
  2. Measuring attitudes, directly and indirectly
  3. Attitude content, structure and function
  4. Attitudes influence thought
  5. Attitudes influence behavior
  6. Cognitive influences on attitudes
  7. Emotional influences on attitudes
  8. Behavioral influences on attitudes
  9. Persuasion
  10. Relationships, groups, cultures
  11. Moral and political attitudes

A specific example of topics for a course on Psychology of Racism:

  1. Definition of Racism
  2. Research Methods and Measurement in Studying Racism
  3. Racism in the Field of Psychology
  4. Prejudice and Discrimination
  5. Mechanisms of Stereotyping, Hostile and Benevolent Racism, Implicit and Explicit Racism
  6. Psychological Theories to Explain Racism
  7. Developing Racial Identity
  8. Identity Complexity
  9. Internalizing Privilege and Marginalization
  10. Colorism
  11. Microaggressions and the Psychological Impact of Racism on Individuals
    • Personal Outcomes of Colonialism
    • Refugee and Immigrant Experiences of Racism
    • Xenophobia and Orientalism in Group and Personal Relationships
    • Defining anti-Semitism and Examining Its Effects
  12. Problematizing “Normal” in Mental Health
  13. Interracial Communication, Relationships, and Alliances
  14. Psychology, Race, and the Law
  15. Critiques and Theories
    • Post-colonial Theory in Psychology
    • Indigenous Psychology
  16. Engaging Qualitative Research
  17. Resilience and Coping Among Peoples of Colours
  18. Modeling Change; Psychology of Liberation
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

  • Lecture
  • Audio-visual materials
  • Small group discussion
  • Problem-based learning
Means of Assessment

Means Of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

  • Small group assignments 10%
  • Term project paper 20%
  • Term project presentation 10%
  • Midterm exams 40%
  • Final exam 20%
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and describe relevant theoretical influences on current scholarship relating to the specific topic of the course.
  2. Define and apply key terms and concepts relating to the specific topic of the course.
  3. Analyze, synthesize, and critically evaluate scholarly research relating to the specific topic of the course.
Textbook Materials

Example text (for topic Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change):

Maio, G. R., & Haddock, G. (2015). The psychology of attitudes and attitude change (2nd edition). London: Sage Publications. 

Example text (for topic Psychology of Racism):

Jones, J. M., Dovidio, J.F., & Vietze, D.L. (2014). The psychology of diversity: Beyond prejudice and racism. West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.


Additional readings may also be curated by the instructor and students.



Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

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 3906
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR PSYC 3XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU PSYC 2nd (3)
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC SOCS 300 lev (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 3XXX (3)
LaSalle College Vancouver (LCV) LCV PSY 2XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW PSYC 3XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 3XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 3XX (3)

Course Offerings

Winter 2023