Education | Social Psychology in Education
P566 | 6000 | Dr. Barbara Korth

Course Description

This graduate seminar course is an opportunity for students to explore
the content and discipline of social psychology with an interest in
educational and counseling applications. At the outset we will think
of social psychology as the study of the social nature of
psychological processes. This seminar is aimed at (1) exploring,
discussing, and critiquing the current research and findings of the
field, (2) introducing the methodology and ethics of social psychology
including its strengths and limitations, (3) critiquing the
underpinnings, history, and boundaries of the field of social
psychology, (4) contextualizing social psychology within the realms of
education and social science, (5) identifying future possibilities and
applications that are personally relevant, and (6) articulating ideas,
theories, research designs, vocabulary, and literature reviews
reflective of the field of social psychology.

Students will be engaged in reading both classic and contemporary
social science research and in reflecting on the practice and findings
of social psychology. Students will also have many opportunities to
articulate (orally and in written form) social psychological concepts,
theory, and formulations making it possible for them to be part of the
social psychological discourse. Students will gain experience
critiquing the field of social psychology and applying its findings
and method to educational and counseling purposes. Because the course
is a seminar, readings, discussion, and active participation are
crucial to the dynamics and success of the class.

The class is organized into four major topic domains. These are:

" Domain One: Self in Society
" Domain Two: The Social Self and Social Influence
" Domain Three: Social Group Participation
" Domain Four: Reflections and Critique on the Theory and Method of
Social Psychology

Required Texts

There are three required texts. The Aronson text is undoubtedly the
most popular text for use in graduate introductory social psychology
classes. The text is organized through the traditional topics of study
and presents the most current findings of research in those areas as
well as the landmark pieces. The text presents the most typical
conceptualization of "social psychology" of all three of our texts.
The chapters are longish and rich with report on the main topics of
social psychological investigation and thought.

Michael Argyle's text is a nice complement to Aronson's text because
Argyle brings out, as chapters, social psychological topics that have
often not be given front stage in the development of theory and the
conduct of research. These topics are likely to seem more familiar to
readers as they capture the everyday sense of being a socialized
human. There is some overlap across the Aronson and Argyle texts, but
the perspective is different and so even this minor crossover doesn't
result in redundancy.

The Fowles book is a novel through which many social psychological
constructs are consciously employed. This novel can be read throughout
the course. This is recommended reading and not required reading.

Aronson, E. (1999) The Social Animal. Eighth Edition. New York: Worth
Publishers. ISBN: 0716733129.

Argyle, M. (1992). The Social Psychology of Everyday Life. London and
New York: Routledge. ISBN: 0415010721

Fowles, J. (1985). The Magus. A Revised Version. New York; A Laurel
Book, Published by Dell Publishing.

Course Schedule

The course will be organized like a seminar with some lectures
included. There is a lot of reading and we will share the
responsibility for this as well as for discussion.

Topic Domain One: Self in Society


2 Conformity and Social Cognition / Aronson 2, 4
3 "Persona"	
4 Self-Justification / Aronson 5

The Magus Part One

Ideas for the Major Paper:

" Defining "The Self" in social psychological literature and research.
This paper would examine the underlying assumptions in the concept of
" self" from within mainstream social psychology or across
" Self as Substantive Concept, Self as Empirical Construct. This paper
would take a close look at the match between conceptions of the "self"
in social scientific literature and the way in which the self is
operationalized as a construct for research purposes.

Due Dates for Work Reflecting this Domain

Minor Project:  September 3
Major Paper: October 24

Topic Domain Two: The Social Self and Social Influence

Session	Topic (The Social Self)	Readings

5 Conversation and Language / Argyle 2
6 Culture and Interpersonal Relationships / Argyle 3, Aronson 8
7 Gender, Sexual Identity, Sexuality Payne paper on electronic reserve

Session	Topic (Social Influence)/Readings

8 Mass Communication, Propaganda, Persuasion /Aronson 3
9 Religious Beliefs and Practices /Argyle 6

The Magus Part Two Chapters 10 - 42

Ideas for the Major Paper

" Use of Linguistic Analysis in Social-Psychological Research
" Homosexual Identity Development: Models and Problems
" Female Circumcision and Social Order: Controlling Sexual Practices
" An examination of webpages and propaganda regarding ____ {could be
" Mass communication and social crisis
" Buddhism and the belief in "No Self"
" Religious Practice without Belief
" Talk Therapy: An examination of therapist use of conversation and
talk in work with clients. How would a social psychologist examine the
use of talk therapy?
" What problems and benefits might ensue if teachers or counselors
work with people of another culture?
" What is the relationship of culture to personality? What is the
social psychological contribution to understanding the answer to this
" Gender at the Workplace: Language, Stereotypes, and

Due Dates for Work Reflecting this Domain

Minor Project: November 7
Major Paper: November 28 (though class does not meet this day)

Topic Domain Three: Social Group Participation

Session	Topic /Readings
10 Social Class Groups, Work & Leisure /Argyle 8, 4, 5
11 Power Lecture on Models and Theories of Power /Handout (Weber)
12 Conflict & Aggression, Ethnic Groups	Aronson 6, 7, Argyle 7

The Magus Part Two Chapter 43 - 67

Ideas for the Major Paper:

" Ethnic Identity Development: Models and Problems
" The Politics of Identity
" Gender and Conflict: New Ways to Handle and Old Topic
" Race Riots and the Media
" Ethnic Stereotypes in Times of Crisis and War
" School Violence and Youth
" Gang Aggression and Fear
" Ethnic Pride Movements: Personal and Societal Effects

Due Dates for Work Reflecting this Domain

Minor Project: December 17 (which is a Tuesday)
Major Paper: December 5


Topic Domain Four: Reflections and Critique on The Theory and Method
of Social Psychology

Session	Topic /Readings
14  Types of Social Psychology, Critique of the Discipline and Method,
Genie Film /Aronson 9
15 Educational and Counseling Applications /No readings

The Magus Part III


Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding
of social psychological principles, practices, and applications by
completing the following course requirements. These assignments are
specifically intended to provide evidence that individual students
have reached course goals and to what extent this has been
accomplished. These evaluation tools were designed to both provide me
with some means of evaluating student understanding and provide
students with opportunities to extend their learning into personally
relevant dimensions and pursuits.

Students will be expected to write a major term paper, produce two
minor projects choosing among three possible options, and participate
in seminar activities. Each of these will be described in detail
below. The major paper will comprise 40% of the course grade and must
be written on a topic, problem, issue from one of the first three
domains. The minor project, of which the student may choose from among
three options, will comprise 25% of the course grade and will involve
applying social psychological research and concepts to particular
practices in education and counseling. The seminar participation
activities will span all four domains and will require preparation for
seminar discussions, lectures, group work, and so forth. This will
comprise 10% of your grade.

The major paper and minor projects are meant to be compliments of one
another. You will do one of these for each of the first three domains,
but you choose what you do for which domain. If you choose to write a
major paper for Domain Two, then you will do minor projects for domain
1 and 3.

Major Paper								
40% course grade

Each student will select a social psychological topic, problem, or
issue to research. This paper will require the student to conduct
out-of-class library work and/or field research and synthesize that
work with course concepts and constructs. It is important that the
paper reflect a thorough understanding of the content of the topic in
its empirical shape, the conceptual underpinning of the topic, and the
social psychological method and constructs of study related to the
topic. Suggestions for major paper topics were provided above. The
primary purpose of this assignment is to encourage high-level
reflection and thought in a particular area of social psychological
study, develop expertise in the content of the findings, locate gaps
in the field of study (blindspots or ignored interests), understand
the connection between method and findings as it relates to the topic.
Moreover, the process of being fluent in social psychological
discourses requires some experience. This paper is such an experience.

With respect to topics, it might be that you want to study something
you have previously examined from a more traditional psychological
frame of reference (personality characteristics like risk-taking, or
particular disorders like autism spectrum disorders, or experiences
with grief or constructs like intelligence, for examples) from a
social psychological point of view. Other topic ideas were provided

This paper must adhere to the APA stylistic manual in terms of
citations, headings, and so on. This major paper will probably be 25 -
30 pages in length and will employ the style of a formal paper. To
vary from this is fine with me, but you might want to work out the
idea ahead of time and share it with me.

Minor Projects							25%
each of course grade

These project gives the student an opportunity to apply research and
principles from the field of social psychology to specific educational
and/or counseling practices or problems. Students may choose a project
from among three options. These options are described below.

Annotated Bibliography

Students will review, summarize, and critique 5 articles on one topic
related to a specific field of educational and/or counseling
applications. For each article, the student will provide a:
" summary of the need and purpose of the study,
" brief description of the methodology (how the study was conducted,
who were the subjects, how were the data analyzed)
" report on the findings,
" critique (this doesn't mean "go on a hunt for negative things" it
means "critically analyze")
" reflection on the applications.

Short Paper

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the counseling and/or
educational applications of a particular field of research. This could
include using course concepts to evaluate a particular practice in the
field. For example, a student might want to study the practice of
"teen court" using social psychological research and concepts about
conformity and social justification. The way in which you apply the
concepts and research findings should be original to you. However, you
will be applying social psychological principles, etc. to a current
practice or problem in the fields of counseling or education.

This paper should use APA for stylistic decisions and reference
citations. It is a good idea to get used to using APA when you are in
the field of social psychology. The paper is likely to be around 6
pages in length.

Here are some ideas for paper topics/questions:

" How do school "Violence Prevention Plans" reflect or fail to reflect
research findings of social psychologists?
" Examine a particular intervention plan used to deal with family
" Examine the rhetoric in Indiana popular press on mandated school
achievement tests using the concepts related to mass media,
propaganda, and notions of conformity
" Look at public representations of family violence (billboards,
magazine article, movies - you can choose one genre) and see how
closely these representations match the research
" Examine the supreme court decisions during the most recent
presidential election using concepts of conformity.
" Constructivist classrooms encourage the active participation of
children in the power structure of the class. Children use democratic
principles to construct the rules and children help to employ those
rules through the course of the school day. What social psychological
findings and concepts can be applied to this practice?
" Many schools are using peer tutoring to enhance the academic
achievement of youngsters. What would a social psychologist think of
" Re-evaluation counseling (also called co-counseling) as a grassroots
movement for psychological healing - how does this work as both a
social movement and a counseling practice among lay people?

Class Presentation

The class presentation will consist of leading a class session on a
particular application of social psychological research and concepts
to the fields of education or counseling. The presentation should
extend knowledge available to us through the texts, lectures, and
regular seminar activities. The session should be well organized with
identifiable goals, include outside resources, and demonstrations,
illustrations, or examples of particular applications. The class
session will be scheduled within the Domain that it best fits as
negotiated amongst us. The student will submit a written document
containing any handouts, copies of overheads (or presentation
materials), reference lists, presentation notes, and a plan or outline
for the presentation. Topics should be approved by the class prior to
the 5th class session.

Research Proposal

A description of a plausible social scientific study that would
include references to similar studies, location of the need for the
study, description of the methodology, and possible benefits of the

Seminar Participation						10%
course grade

Recognizing the value of class participation and preparation, I want
to allot a total of 10% of the course grade on this feature of the
class. To assign a grade based on participation, we will compile
several bits of information. These are described below.

In-Class Leadership

Your participation through class leadership will be recorded and
appreciated. Below are some examples of in-class leadership. This list
is not exhaustive, just illustrative.

Discussion Leaders. There will be regular opportunities for students
to take responsibility for leading class discussion in a planned way:
questions will be provided that students use to lead class discussion.
More thorough preparation with respect to the assigned readings will
be required and the students will manage and support discussion
through their leadership.

Reference Lists. Students may prepare lists of external readings that
relate to a particular topic of discussion. These should be lists of
readings the student had been engaged with.

Media References. Students may bring in critiques and summaries of
popular media representations of topics covered in class. This could
include novels, films, magazine articles, websites, and so forth.

Activism. The student my engage in political or social activism
related to topics covered in class. Sharing opportunities for and
experiences with activism will be a nice way to participate in the

Meta-leadership. Sometimes it is very useful and appropriate to use
the course concepts and research to raise issues related to our class
interactions, choices, practices, and so forth as a way of applying
social psychology to our experiences as a social group. This kid of
leadership is important. This kind of meta-analytic discourse can be
planned ahead of time or raised in the moment.

Text or Lecture Notes. Sometimes students write up outlines of
chapters in texts or prepare lecture notes that they make available to
others. This gesture supports the learning and class participation.

Magus Applications. It would be helpful to use The Magus for direct
applications of social psychological constructs. This could be done
through the semester, but presented in a systematic way in an effort
to contribute to the integration of course material.


Students will complete self-evaluation forms at mid-term and in the
end that will ask you to describe your participation in the class,
preparation for the class, and experiences with the class.  The form
will also ask you to evaluate the class as a whole on these processes.
The midterm self-evaluation will not be assigned points, but will be
used to see how participation is being conceptualized and for us to
provide feedback to one another.


Attendance will be noted.