MN2079 Elements of social and applied psychology
What is social psychology?: The nature and scope of social psychology; factors which influence social behaviour; theoretical perspectives and the role of theory in research; research methods in social psychology; reliability, validity and realism; ethical issues in research; the challenges and benefits of applying the knowledge and principles of social psychology to practical problems, especially in organisations and workplace settings.
Understanding the social world: Concepts of the self; self-perception; self presentation; performance style and self-presentation strategies; the dramaturgical model. Perception of others and impression formation. Cognitive strategies: heuristics, biases and fallacies; the impact of schemata and stereotypes. Attributions and attributional style; attribution theory; sources of error and bias. Attitudes: their nature, formation and functions; cognitive consistency and dissonance; the relation between attitudes and behaviour; recent models of the attitude-behaviour link; the nature and impact of social representations.
Social influence: Groups: roles, norms and cohesiveness. Group influence: task performance; problem solving; decision making. Conformity; normative influence, majority and minority pressure and its impact; compliance and acceptance. Obedience to authority; experimental studies factors affecting obedience and their implications. Attitude change and persuasive communication; analyses of the factors involved in the persuasion process, with special reference to the media and advertising and the role of social psychology in promoting health-related behaviour.
Social relations: Interpersonal communication: the role of language and non-verbal cues. Diversity, with special reference to gender. Relationships and theories of attraction. Altruism and pro-social behaviour. Prejudice and discrimination: the role of competition, social categorisation, social learning and social cognition. Intergroup conflict and conflict resolution, strategic interaction and negotiation, with special reference to multiculturalism. The work setting, organisational behaviour, job satisfaction, leadership. Stress and illness; life events and work as sources of stress.