Psychology 4790G-001


Special Topics in Social Psychology: Understanding the Social in 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.


Selected topics of current interest in social psychology.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E, or both of Psychology 2800E and 2810, plus registration in third or fourth year Honors Specialization in Psychology or Honors Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Other Psychology students and Psychology Special Students who receive 75% in the prerequisite courses may enrol in this course

3 seminar hours, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the prerequisites 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:            Rachel Calogero                                        

       Office and Phone Number:                           SSC 6304, 519-661-2111 ext 80403

       Office Hours:                                              



       Teaching Assistant:                                     


       Office Hours:                                              



       Time and Location of Lectures:  

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.


Augoustinos, M., Walker, I., & Donaghue, N. (2014). Social cognition: An integrated introduction (3rd ed.). Sage.


Sample of Primary Articles to Supplement Chapter Readings

Billig, M. (1988). Social representation, objectification and anchoring: A rhetorical analysis. Social Behaviour, 3, 1-16.


Moscovici, S. (2001). Why a theory of social representations? In K. Deaux & G. Philogene )Eds.). Representations of the social: Bridging theoretical transitions (pp. 8-36). Oxford: Blackwell.


Pratto, F. (1999). The puzzle of continuing group inequality: Piecing together psychological, social and cultural forces in social dominance theory. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 67, 741-763.


Ring, K. (1967).  Experimental social psychology: Some sober questions about some frivolous values. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 3, 113-123.


Riley, S. C. E. (2002). Constructions of equality and discrimination in professional men’s talk. British Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 443-461.


Rosenthal, R. (1969). Interpersonal expectations: Effects of the experimenter’s hypothesis. In R. Rosenthal & R.L. Rosnow (Eds.), Artifact in behavioral research (pp. 181-277). New York: Academic Press.


Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup relations. In S. Wordhel and W.G. Austin, (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7-24). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.





20%     Class participation in weekly discussions. Class attendance is required.


20%     Weekly quizzes consisting of five short answer questions. Ten quizzes total and lowest two quiz marks will be dropped.


30%     Class presentation. You will work in pairs to create and deliver a presentation to the class that applies two of the theoretical perspectives reviewed in this course to explain a real-world phenomenon relevant to social psychology that would fall under one of the six central topic areas covered. Presentation will be focused on explaining the topic from each perspective and a potential method for studying it; will work in pairs or triads depending on class size.


30%     Final paper. You will write a paper that applies the four perspectives to a real-world phenomenon relevant to social psychology and discuss implications for advancing insight into this phenomenon. The paper topic must be different from the presentation topic. The paper should be at least 10 pages and no more than 12 pages, double-spaced, excluding title page and references.

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



Tentative Class Schedule


Week 1:                  Organizational Meeting                                                                Chapter 1


Week 2:                  Theoretical Foundations                              Quiz 1                     Chapter 2


Week 3:                  Theoretical Foundations                              Quiz 2                     Chapter 2               


Week 4:                  Theoretical Foundations                              Quiz 3                     Chapter 2               


Week 5:                   Social Perception                                           Quiz 4                     Chapter 3


Week 6:                   Attitudes                                                        Quiz 5                     Chapter 4                                                               


Week 7:                   READING WEEK                                   


Week 8:                   Attributions                                                  Quiz 6                     Chapter 5


Week 9:                  Self & Identity                                               Quiz 7                     Chapter 6


Week 10:                Prejudice                                                        Quiz 8                     Chapter 7


Week 11:                Ideology                                                        Quiz 9                     Chapter 8


Week 12:                The Individual & Society                             Quiz 10                   Chapter 9


Week 13:                Presentations                                                                                


Week 14:                 Presentations


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
- 2018 Calendar References

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