Psychology 2720A-001

Introduction to 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.


An introduction to the theories, findings, methods, 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, 2712F/G, 2780E


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.


Prerequisite: At least 60% in a 1000 level Psychology course

2 lecture hours and 2 tutorial hours, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


       Instructor:   Dr. Rachel Calogero                   

       Office and Phone Number: Room 6310, Social Science Centre, (519) 661-2111, extension 80403       

       Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and by appointment    



       Teaching Assistant: TBA                              


       Office Hours:                                              



       Time and Location of Classes:  Tuesday, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, NS 7


       Time and Location of Tutorials/Labs: TBA

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

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 wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

** Please note, if you cannot find the answer to your question in the course outline or on the course website, please feel free to contact Dr. Calogero or the TAs through email. 


In so doing, be sure to include Psyc 2720A in the subject line so that we can respond in a timely fashion.  We will try to respond to e-mails within 1 business day.  For example, if we receive an e-mail from you on Friday morning at 8:15 a.m., we will try to respond by Monday at 8:15 a.m. Remember e-mail is a professional correspondence. If you would like to receive a reply, please include a salutation (e.g., Hi Professor Calogero or Dear Dr. C, Hello Ms. X, Hi X) and a closing (e.g., Sincerely, Jane Johnson, Thanks, Will Ferrell) when you e-mail Dr. Calogero or the TA. This general etiquette applies to any academic and/or professional correspondence.


Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Fehr, B., & Akert, R. (2017). Social Psychology, Sixth Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson.



By the end of the course, students should have an understanding of the basic theories, methods, and findings in various areas of social psychology. The topics include social perception, social cognition, attitudes and attitude change, self-related processes, group-related processes, conformity, aggression, and anti-social and prosocial behaviour.


Lectures are intended to complement the textbook, which means I will present some information that is not included in the textbook. Class attendance will significantly increase how much you get out of this course. I will aim to post the power point slides presented at lecture in advance on the course website (by 8:00 pm on Monday) unless unforeseen extenuating circumstances prohibit me from posting in advance. Please note that the slides posted in advance will represent the framework of the lecture to be used for taking notes, if you wish, and will omit some material that will only be presented in the actual lecture.


Discussion of the lecture topic during lecture time is encouraged, so please feel free to ask questions at any point and to offer your thoughts about issues that are raised in the lectures.


The tutorial/lab meetings will focus on specific aspects of the week’s lecture topic. Each tutorial/lab section is limited to 25 students per section.


By the end of this course, the successful student should be able to:


  • • Identify key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in social psychology

     (assessed by multiple choice exam questions)


  • • Interpret and critically evaluate social psychological research

     (assessed by exams and tutorial discussions)


  • • Apply psychological principles to the understanding of everyday problems

     (assessed by exam questions)


  • • Communicate accurately, clearly and understandably to a non-specialist audience

     (assessed by short answer exam questions and tutorial discussions)



The course grade is comprised of four components:


1 – Attendance at tutorial sessions (10% of overall mark, based on 10/11 tutorials)


2 – Participation in tutorial sessions (10% of overall mark, based on TA ratings for 10/11 tutorials)


3 – Midterm Exam (40% of overall mark)


4 – Final Exam (40% of overall mark)


** Please note that I do not make grade adjustments (e.g., applying a bell curve to the distribution of marks on a test or paper). Also, I cannot adjust marks on the basis of need (e.g., because a certain mark is needed to get into a particular academic program).




The midterm and final exam will be comprised of multiple choice and short-answer questions. The exams will be two hours long. Material from the textbook and lectures will be covered. The midterm exam will cover five chapters and the corresponding lecture notes (Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5, 6). The final exam will cover six chapters and the corresponding lecture notes (Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).


**Please note that the final exam is not cumulative—that is, you are only responsible on the final exam for material covered after the midterm exam.


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 grounds, and must be substantiated with proper documentation. Any student who misses a regularly scheduled exam for other reasons, or who cannot justify the absence on valid grounds, will be assigned a 0 for the exam.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 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


       Tutorial/lab attendance and participation: will be evaluated by TAs throughout the term (20%)


       Midterm Exam: Tuesday, October 24, 11:30am to 1:30pm, NS 7 (40%)


       Final Exam: TBA, during exam period (December 10-21) (40%)


September 12:  Introduction to Social Psychology   Chapter 1


September 19:  Social Cognition                             Chapter 3


September 26:  Social Perception                           Chapter 4


October 3:        The Self                                         Chapter 5


October 10:      FALL BREAK – NO CLASS


October 17:      Attitudes and Attitude Change         Chapter 6


October 24:      MIDTERM EXAM


October 31:      Prejudice                                        Chapter 12


November 7:     Aggression                                     Chapter 11


November 14:   Conformity                                     Chapter 7


November 21:   Group Processes                            Chapter 8


November 28:   Interpersonal Attraction                   Chapter 9


December 5:     Prosocial Behaviour                        Chapter 10


(Dec 10-21):      FINAL EXAM (TBA)


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

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. 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

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


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

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


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.