Advanced Social Psychology (SOP 6069)

Spring 2002


Instructor: Dr. Stephen J. Vodanovich

Office: Building 41, Room 22. Phone: 474-2944. E-mail:

Required text: Aronson, E. (1998). Readings About the Social Animal (8th edition) Freeman & Co., New York.

Plus the required outside readings specified below.   The readings can be assessed by going to this link and entering my name in the search field that is provided


Primary Course Objectives


1) To provide students with an overview of the historical and current trends, as well as important figures, in the field of social psychology.

2) To discuss the implications of social psychological research and theories for individuals and society.

3) To assess the strengths, weaknesses, and ethics of the various research designs employed in the field.

4) To be able to understand empirical findings within the context of social psychological theories.

5) To be exposed to original articles within the major areas of social psychology.

Approximate Timeline


1/7 -- Introduction (Basic concepts, assumptions, and historical overview)

          Kurt Lewin

Section I --- Social Influence

1/9 -- Conformity; Chapter # 3

          Musafer Sherif

1/14 - Obedience: Chapter # 4

          Stanley Milgram

& outside readings:

Baumrind, D. (1964). Some thoughts on ethics of research: After reading Milgram's "Behavioral study of obedience." American Psychologist, 19, 421-423.

Milgram, S. (1964). Issues in the study of obedience: A reply to Baumrind. American Psychologist, 19, 848-852.

Elms, A. C. (1995). Obedience in retrospect. Journal of Social Issues, 51, 21-31.

1/16 - Obedience Chapters # 6 [Prison Simulation] & #7 [Jonestown]

Prison Simulation Slide Show

1/21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday -- No Class

1/23 -- Compliance

Outside readings:

Cialdini, R. B. (1975). A reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The door-in-the-face technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 21, 206-215.

Burger, J. M. (1986). Increasing compliance by improving the deal: The that's-not- all technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 277-283.

Section II --- Group Behavior

1/28 -- Prosocial Behavior

Outside readings:

Latane, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). Social determinants of bystander intervention in emergencies. In J. Macaulay and L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior. New York: Academic Press.

Cialdini, R. B., Schaller, M., Houlihan, D., Arps, K., Fultz, J., Beaman, A. L. (1987). Empathy-based helping: Is it selflessly or selfishly motivated? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 747-758.

1/30 -- Social Facilitation & Social Loafing

Outside readings:

Schmitt, B. H., Gilovich, T., Goone, N., & Joseph, L. (1986). Mere exposure and social facilitation: One more time. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 242-248.

Latane, B., Harkins, S., & Williams, K. (1979).  Many hands make light work: The causes and consequences of social loafing.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 823-832.

2/4 -- Harkins, S. G., & Jackson, J. M. (1985).  The role of evaluation in eliminating social loafing.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Moorhead, G., Ference, R., & Neck, C. (1991).  Group decision fiascos: Space shuttle Challenger and a revised groupthink framework.  Human Relations, 539-550.

2/6 -- Test # 1

Section III --- Attitudes

2/11 -- Cognitive Dissonance and Self-Perception ---                                                                

Outside readings:

Festinger, L., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959).  Cognitive consequences of forced compliance.  Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203-210.

Chaiken, S., & Baldwin, M. W. (1981). Affective-cognitive consistency and the effect of salient behavioral information on the self-perception of attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 1-12.

2/13 -- Attitude Change: Chapter # 20 [Cognitive dissonance & water conservation)

& Outside reading:

Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Schumann, D. (1983). Central and peripheral routes to advertising effectiveness: The moderating role of involvement. Journal of Consumer Research, 10.

Section IV -- Aggression

2/18 -- Modeling effects  -- Chapter # 23 [Peacetime Casualties]

& outside reading: 

Anderson, C. A., & Dill, K. E. (2000).  Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 772-790.

2/20 -- Sexual aggression and aggressive cues --

Donnerstein, E. (1080).  Aggressive erotica and violence against women.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 269-277.

Josephson, W. L. (1987). Television violence and children's aggression: Testing the priming, social script, and disinhibition predictions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 882-890.

Section V -- Prejudice 

2/25 --  Chapter # 26 [Self-fulfilling prophecies] & 27 [Gender and leadership evaluations]

2/27 -- Chapter # 29 [Group conflict] & 30 [Jigsaw classroom]

3/4 -- Gender and leadership

Massengill, D. & DiMarco, N. (1979).  Sex-role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics: A current replication.  Sex Roles, 5, 51-570.

Heilman, M E., & Stoppock, M. H. (1985). Attractiveness and corporate success: Different causal attributions for males and females. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 379-388.

3/6 -- Test # 2

Section VI -- Person Perception

3/11 & 3/13 -- Spring Break (No class)

3/18 -- Personality assessment &  Social roles

Outside readings:

Dornbusch, S. M., Hastorf, A. H., Richardson, S. A., Muzzy, R. E., & Vreeland, R. S. (1965). The perceiver and the perceived: Their relative influence on categories of interpersonal perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1, 434-440.

Ross, L., Amabile, T. M., & Steinmetz, J. L. L. (1977). Social roles, social control, and biases in social perception processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 485-494.

3/20 -- Actor-observer effect & misattribution of emotional arousal

Chapter # 15 [Reversing actors' and observers' perspectives]

& outside reading:

Olson, J. M. (1988). Missattribution, preparatory information, and speech anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 758-767.

3/25 -- Self-handicapping attributional strategies & intrinsic motivation

Berglas, S., & Jones, E. E. (1978). Drug choice as a self-handicapping strategy in response to noncontingent success. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 405-417.

Lepper, M. R., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R. E. (1973). Undermining children's intrinsic interest with external rewards: A test of the overjustification hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28, 129-137.

Section VII -- Social Cognition

3/27 --  Chapter # 12 [Contrast effects and physical attractiveness]

& outside reading:

Wenzlaff, R. M., Wegner, D. M., & Roper, D. W. (1988). Depression and mental control: The resurgence of negative thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 882-892.

4/1 -- Counterfactual Thinking --

Medvec, V. H., Madley, S. F., & Gilovich (1995).  When less is more: Counterfactual thinking and satisfaction among Olympic medallists.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 603-610.

Tykocinski, O. E., & Pittman, T. S. (1998).  The consequences of doing nothing: Inaction inertia as avoidance of anticipated counterfactual regret.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 607-616.

4/3 -- Interpersonal Attraction; Attitude similarity & dissimilarity

Rosenbaum, M. E. (1986). The repulsion hypothesis: On the nondevelopment of relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1156-1166.

Sprecher, S., & Duck, S. (1994).  Sweet talk: The importance of perceived communication for romantic and friendship attraction experienced during a get-acquainted date.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 391-400.

4/8 --  Interpersonal Attraction; Effects of strong emotion & Gender differences in perception;

Chapter # 34 [Misattribution & emotional labeling] & outside reading:

Abbey, A. (1982). Sex differences in attributions for friendly behavior: Do males misperceive female's friendliness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 830-838.

4/10 -- Interpersonal Attraction; Social Stereotypes; Chapter # 31 & 33

4/15 --  SIOP Conference -- No Class 

4/17 -- Mori, D., Chaiken, S., & Pliner, P. (1987). "Eating Lightly" and the self- presentation of femininity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 693-702.

Dovido, J. F., Ellysen, S. L., Keating, C. F., Heltman, K., & Brown, C. E. (1988). The relationship of social power to visual displays of dominance between men and women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 233-242.

4/22 -- Social Psychology and the Law

Moran, G., & Comfort, C. (1986). Neither "tenative" nor "fragmentary": preference of impaneled jurors as a function of attitude toward capital punishment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 146-155.

Loftus, E. F. (1974, December).  Reconstructing memory: The incredible eyewitness. Psychology Today, 117-119.

Whitley, B. E., Jr. (1987).  The effects of discredited eyewitness testimony: A meta analysis.  Journal of Social Psychology, 127, 209-214.

4/24 -- Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974).  Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of interaction between language and memory.  Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589.

Sue, S., Smith, R. E., & Caldwell, C. (1974).  The effects of inadmissible evidence on the decisions of simulated jurors: A moral dilemma.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 345-353.

Exam Week -- Test # 3


Grading Criteria: 3 tests worth 30% each; class participation 10%. ** Please note that makeup tests will not be given, therefore do not miss scheduled exam dates.