PSY 342: Social Psychology

Instructor: Lorre McCabe
Phone: (503) 997-6219
Home Phone: (503) 439-6219
Office Hours: After class or by appointment


Term: Syllabus-Spring 2003
Class: PSY/SOC 342, Social Psychology I: Self and social influence in sociocultural context
Time: Wednesday 5:30-9:10
Place: Cramer Hall, Room 150

Instructor: L. McCabe
Office: Cramer Hall 365
Telephone: (503) 997-6219
Office Hours: After Class or By Appointment

Course Overview

“Analysis of the psychological and sociological processes in social interaction and in various forms of group behavior. Particular attention to social cognition, roles and to group origins, functions, ideology, membership, and leadership (Portland State University: Bulletin, 2002).” Particular attention will be paid to the nature of ‘self’ and social influence in sociocultural context. Some examples of topics we will cover include (but are not limited to), the self, attitudes, persuasion, conformity, and social cognition.

General Course Objectives

The following course objectives are adapted from “General education learning outcomes: Social science distribution,” for Clark College.

1. Acquire a broad base of knowledge concerning how individuals influence groups and how groups influence individuals both cognitively and behaviorally.

2. Develop an ability to think critically and systematically about human beings in group situations, and how cultural and historical events influence a variety of social psychological perspectives.

3. Access, utilize and evaluate information from a variety of sources, including electronic sources of information. Understand what constitutes a “good” Internet source.

4. Effectively use and communicate social psychological concepts, theories and research findings.

5. Quantitatively and qualitatively analyze and evaluate multiple perspectives inherent in culture, based upon social psychological concepts.

6. Apply social psychological concepts to real life issues and challenges.

Personal Teaching Philosophy

My personal teaching philosophy may be different than what you as a student might expect, or have experienced. I think that what occurs in the classroom should be a learning experience that is based upon the foundation of what you learn within the text. For that reason I may choose to only cover part of a chapter as presented within the Myers text, and augment your learning experience with in class activities or other lecture items.

In addition, I feel that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. Modern technology allows us to explore this aspect of learning with greater depth. This is why I heavily emphasize the World Wide Web as a mean for exploring topics, and as a means of communication with the instructor (myself) as well as your fellow students.

Thus my philosophy can be summarized in the following sentences.

1. The classroom is more than a venue for lectures.

2. Learning does not end when one is out of the classroom.

University Policies

In my experience, to most students the following policies are at best redundant. Unfortunately due to one or two disruptive students, I must include them.

By enrolling in this class you agree to abide by Portland State University’s academic policies as well as their student codes of conduct. If you would like a copy of these policies to review, either visit the course web page or I can provide one for you.

Given these University policies, and the level of the course, I work under the following assumptions:

1. Every student in this course understands what constitutes plagiarism and/or cheating ( for more information on what constitutes plagiarism, please see course web-page).

2. Every student understands classroom etiquette.

3. That the classroom environment is one of respect towards the diversity of beliefs that exist.

As college students, these assumptions can be seen at the very least as redundant with other classroom experiences. However, some of the issues we discuss in this course can be sensitive and/or controversial in nature. Individuals may get upset with either the course material, or with fellow student’s beliefs. In rare instances I, as the instructor, must enforce University policies.These policies can be found at . If a student is found to be in violation of these policies, I am authorized by the university to take certain courses of action based upon any given behavior.

Course Policies

Read your syllabus carefully as it constitutes an agreement between you (the student) and myself (the instructor). Occasionally, I have students that make comments about certain aspects of this course that were well described within the syllabus.

1. It is common, especially with a long format course, for students to come talk to me with a variety of concerns during the break. Sometimes, I will personally ask you to hold your questions until I myself take a short break. I have had students take this personally, when I have asked them to wait. Just like you, I too sometimes need to “collect” myself before engaging in another hour or so of teaching.

2. If you have to miss class, it is unnecessary for you to call me. Call a member of your group to see what you missed. If you are going to miss an exam, please call prior to the class meeting of the following week.

3. The study of Social Psychology is strongly influenced by socio-historical change. With the current political unrest, I encourage you to bring to class articles and information concerning how this unrest relates to this course.

Required Materials

Text: Social Psychology, 7th Edition, by David Myers

Access to the school computer lab

Optional Materials

Email account

Points Possible

Group Discussions 25 points
Exam 1 50 points
Exam 2 50 points
Final Exam 50 points
Article Summary 25 points
& Response
Total 200 points

Extra Credit

In addition to the total points offered in this class I will count an addition 15 points worth of extra credit. Usually I offer many ways for you to earn this "extra credit", but all extra credit opportunities will ONLY be posted on the course web page or mentioned in class.

Group Discussions (25 points)
Attendance is vitally important in this class. There are many things discussed in class that one cannot learn from the book. Participation in group activities will be used as the method for obtaining attendance points. You can receive 5 points per class, for a total of 25 points. Group activities will be announced in a prior class (usually the week before). If you miss an activity, you will be unable to make them up.

Exams are in multiple-choice format, are comprehensive, and consist of 50 questions. You will need to bring a scantron for this exam. In case of documented emergency (ex. Doctor’s notes, death of a family member), I will allow you to make-up exams at my convenience.

Policies for Late Assignments

There is only one assignment in this course, due the week before finals. I, as a rule, do not allow late assignments unless there is a documented emergency. Those that I allow due to emergencies will not be graded down for being turned in late.