Psychology 2720A 001 FW23

Social Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Fall 2023 


Psychology 2720A    Section 001 

Social Psychology 



An introduction to the theories, methods, findings, and problems encountered in the study of people as social beings. Emphasis will be placed on experimental research, conducted both in the laboratory and in the field. Content areas include: attitudes and social cognition, social interaction and influence, group processes and applications of social psychology. 


Antirequisites: Psychology 2070A/B, 2780E and the former Psychology 2712F/G 

Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course. 


Two lecture hours and one tutorial hour, 0.5 course 




Instructor: Dr. Graeme Haynes  

Office: SSC 7440  

Office Hours: Tues., 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.  



Teaching assistant: TBA  

Office Hours: TBA  

Email: TBA  


Lecture: In-person


Tutorial 002: in-person 

Tutorial 003: in-person

Tutorial 004: in-person

Tutorial 005: in-person


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.   


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 




Lectures are intended to complement the textbook.  Thus, I will present some material that is not in the book, and will be tested on the exams.  Class attendance will significantly increase how much you get out of this course.  I post the lecture slides in advance with blanks that you are expected to fill in during class, and then post the completed slides within a few days following a lecture.  


I expect that each of you will respect your classmates and me by arriving to class on time, ready to listen and participate.  Please turn off your cell phone ringers when you arrive to class.  Devoting class time to non-academic activities such as watching videos or listening to music is disruptive and creates a negative impression of the students engaging in such activities.  In addition, a growing research literature strongly demonstrates that inappropriate use of technologies during classes negatively impacts students’ ability to learn material.  As such, students are kindly requested to turn off their device WiFi during lecture. Give yourself the best chance to do well and to be engaged! 


In a class this large, some students will be unaware that their private conversations are distracting to other students.  If you feel that students are distracting your attention from the material, then you should ask them to be quiet.  If you feel uncomfortable doing this (or if the problem persists), then please see me and I will make an announcement to the class and/or arrange to meet privately with the students. 


During class, you are encouraged to ask questions about concepts that are unclear; I’m also happy to answer questions during the 5-minute break or at the end of the lecture. Outside of class, I encourage you to meet with me during office hours (or set an appointment) to discuss any questions or concerns. E-mail is the best way to contact me outside of class.   


When sending me an email, please make sure to use proper email etiquette (e.g., start with a greeting), and include the following information: your name, the course you are in (I’m teaching several different courses this semester), and your question.  


Sample email: 


Hi Prof. Haynes,  


This is [insert name here] from your Psychology 2720a class.  After reading the lecture slides on [insert topic here], I was wondering if you could explain [insert concept here] in greater detail?  






If you adhere to these guidelines, I promise to reply to all emails within 24 hours. 



Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, that include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 



Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., Chen, S., & Nisbett, R. E. (2023). Social Psychology, Sixth Edition. New York: Norton. 


Note: If you use an older version of the textbook, although the general topic areas are the same, be aware that there may be some content from the newer version tested on the exams that does not appear in the older version.  




This course provides a broad introduction to theories and findings related to the scientific study of human social behavior. By the end of this course, you should be able to:  


  • Understand several ways in which social psychological processes occur in daily life, such as how people perceive themselves and others and how they interact with the surrounding environment, 


  • Examine social psychology from an empirically-based, scholarly perspective, rather than from an intuitive or speculative perspective based solely on personal experience and observations, 


  • Explain the scientific study of social psychology to a non-academic/non-psychologist, and  


  • Evaluate social psychological situations and make predictions about behavior. 






Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Define and describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in social psychology. 

Lectures, tutorial discussions, and assigned readings 


Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Evaluate various research methods used by social psychologists, including the questions they ask and how multiple lines of research feed into our understanding of social behaviour.  

Lectures, tutorial discussions, and assigned readings 

Discussions in lectures and tutorials & exam questions 

Application of Knowledge.  

Apply psychological principles to 
understanding everyday social problems. 

Lectures, tutorial discussions, and assigned readings 

Discussions in lectures and tutorials & exam questions 

Communication Skills. 


Articulate knowledge about social psychological theories in the broader context of historical and empirical implications. 


Lectures, tutorial discussions, and assigned readings 

Participation in tutorial activities and discussions 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge 


Analyze the merits and pitfalls of social psychological theories in isolation and as a whole. 

Lectures, tutorial discussions, and assigned readings 

Tutorial discussions, exams 




The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Exams (35% and 40%) 


For the exams, you are responsible for all material assigned in the textbook, as well as all material covered in lectures.   

Each exam is non-cumulative, and will consist of multiple choice or true/false questions.  


The first midterm exam, covering material from Chapter 1-4, 6, and 7, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 17th, from 11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.  


The final examination, covering material from Chapter 8-10, and 12-14, will take place during the December exam period (Dec. 10 – 22, specific time TBA).    


Tutorials (25%) 


Tutorials are an integral part of learning in this course. Tutorials are facilitated by the teaching assistants to provide students regular opportunities to discuss weekly lecture material, apply their knowledge via activities, and work collaboratively with classmates. The tutorial is 25% of the final course grade. Performance in tutorials is evaluated by completion of written assignments (submitted individually to OWL), on-going participation (attendance), and assessment of a final project (group presentation). More information about tutorial requirements is provided in a supplementary ‘Tutorial Instructions’ document on OWL. 




Make-Up Exams:  Exams must be written on the scheduled dates unless you have a legitimate excuse recognized by the university administration.  Valid reasons include medical or compassionate reasons, internet access issues (in the case that exams are on-line), and religious holidays, and must be substantiated by proper documentation (e.g., a medical certificate, obituary, accident report) which you must present to a counsellor from your home faculty’s academic counseling office.  A student who misses a regularly scheduled exam for other reasons, or who cannot justify a claim, will be assigned a 0 for the exam.  Students with approved absences for any exam must write a makeup exam, which will be scheduled by your prof or T.A.   

***Please refer to Section 11.0 for the full policy regarding make-up exams.*** 

Tutorials: Academic accommodation will not normally be considered fortutorial work because individual tutorial components are valued at less than 10% of the final course grade and/or entail routinely scheduled collaboration with classmates. Thus, there is no need to contact your instructor, teaching assistant, nor your Academic Counsellor if you cannot attend a tutorial. (Note: you are allowed to miss one tutorial without penalty to your participation grade.) Participation at missed tutorials cannot be made-up; students are thus encouraged to prioritize attending regularly and advised to touch base with their group members when they are absent.  Students who do not contribute (or who contribute minimally) to the group project preparation throughout the term and final presentation will receive a grade lower than that of their group, at the discretion of the tutorial assistant and/or professor. 




Department Grading Policies: 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 


To ensure fairness, please be aware that final grades in this course are based exclusively on students’ performance on the two exams and tutorial activities. Exams may not be rewritten, nor will the exams or tutorial grades be reweighted in calculating final grades. Grades will not be adjusted on the basis of need or a subjective evaluation of effort, and students will not be able to improve their marks by completing additional assignments.  





Material covered 


Midterm exam 

Tues. Oct. 17, 11:30 A.M.  

Chapters 1-4, 6, 7 


Final exam 

Dec. 10 – 22 (Time TBA)  

Chapters 8-10, 12-14 


*and all related lecture material 


Note 1:  There will be no lecture after the exams. 


Note 2:  You must go to your assigned room!  Room assignments will be announced in class, and posted on the course website a few days before each exam. Please do not contact the department secretaries for this information!! 

Note 3:  Electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, dictionaries, ipods/earbuds) are NOT permitted during exams. Please leave these devices at home or in your book bag. 







Sept. 12 

Introducing Social Psychology 

Chapter 1 & 2 

Sept. 19 

The Social Self   

Chapter 3 

Sept. 26 

Social Cognition &  

Social Attribution   

Chapter 4  

Oct. 3 

Attitudes, Behaviour & Rationalization 

Chapter 6 

Oct. 10 


Chapter 7 

Oct. 17 


Chapters 1-4, 6, 7 

Oct. 24 

Social Influence 

Chapter 8 

Oct. 31 

No class – Fall Reading Week 


Nov. 7 

Interpersonal Attraction & Relationships 

Chapter 9 

Nov. 14 

Stereotyping, Prejudice & Discrimination 

Chapter 10 

Nov. 21 


Chapter 12 

Nov. 28 






Dec. 5 

Morality, Altruism, & Cooperation 

Chapter 14 

Dec. 10-22 



8-10, 12-14 







We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 






Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.