Psychology 2720A 650 SU24

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.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Summer Distance 2024 


Psychology 2720A    Section 650 

Introduction to Social Psychology 



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

Prerequisites: A mark of at least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level. 

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. 


2 lecture hours, 2 tutorial hours; 0.5 course 




Instructor: Dr. Graeme Haynes  

Office Hours: By appointment, via Zoom  



Delivery Method: On-line (asynchronous)  


This is a fully online course that will use Western University’s learning platform, Brightspace, and other educational resources based on the needs of the course.  As such, all students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements.  Supplementary online Powerpoint slideshows (which correspond with the assigned weekly chapter readings) will be posted on Brightspace every Monday morning, and will remain available for the rest of the course. This class is designed to be asynchronous, meaning we will not have a regular, mandatory time when the entire class must be online.  However, there may be some synchronous activities that you will sign up for based on your own schedule, including office hour appointments with the professor. 


Email is the best way to contact me, and if you need to discuss anything with me face-to-face, we can arrange for a Zoom meeting at a mutually convenient time.   


When sending me an email, please make sure to use proper email etiquette (e.g., start with a greeting), and include the following information: your name, the course you are in (I’m teaching several different courses this semester), and your question.  


Sample email: 


Hi Prof. Haynes,  


This is [insert name here] from your Psychology 2720a class.  After reading the lecture slides on [insert topic here], I was wondering if you could explain [insert concept here] in greater detail?  






If you adhere to these guidelines, I promise to reply to all emails within 24 hours. 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


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 contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 



Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., Chen, S., & Nisbett, R. E. (2023). Social Psychology, Sixth Edition. New York: Norton. 


Note: If you use an older version of the textbook, although the general topic areas are the same, be aware that there may be some content from the newer version tested on the exams that does not appear in the older version.  




This course provides a broad introduction to theories and findings related to the scientific study of human social behavior. By the end of this course, you should be able to:  


  • Understand several ways in which social psychological processes occur in daily life, such as how people perceive themselves and others and how they interact with the surrounding environment, 


  • Examine social psychology from an empirically-based, scholarly perspective, rather than from an intuitive or speculative perspective based solely on personal experience and observations, 


  • Explain the scientific study of social psychology to a non-academic/non-psychologist, and  


  • Evaluate social psychological situations and make predictions about behavior. 





Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Define and describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in social psychology. 

Assigned textbook readings and supplementary slideshows 

Exams & discussion forums 

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Evaluate various research methods used by social psychologists, including the questions they ask and how multiple lines of research feed into our understanding of social behaviour.  

Assigned textbook readings and supplementary slideshows 

Exams & discussion forums 

Application of Knowledge.  

Apply psychological principles to 
understanding everyday social problems. 

Assigned textbook readings and supplementary slideshows 

Exams & discussion forums 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 


Analyze the merits and pitfalls of social psychological theories in isolation and as a whole. 

Assigned textbook readings and supplementary slideshows 

Exams & discussion forums 

Communication Skills. 


Explain ideas, insights, and implications of social psychological research to various audiences.  

Discussion forums 

Discussion forums 




The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 




  1. Exams (25%, 25% and 30%) 


All exams will take place synchronously on-line, and will be proctored remotely with Proctortrack. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service.  More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 


Exams are closed-book, and it is expected that all students will complete the exams independently with no communication between classmates.  The use of programs that translate from English to another language are not permitted.  You will have 120 minutes to complete the exams from start to finish (plus additional time for students who have documented accommodations which allow for extra time).  The exams will be linear, meaning you will not be able to return to earlier questions.  Once you start, you cannot stop or pause.  You will access this exam and submit your answers through the Proctortrack tab on our Brightspace site. 


Each exam is non-cumulative, and will consist of multiple choice and true / false questions.  For each exam, you are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in supplementary online lectures.   


The first midterm exam, covering material from Chapter 1-4, will take place on Monday, May 27th, from 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  


The second midterm exam, covering material from Chapter 6-8, will take place on Monday, June 24th, from 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  


The final examination, covering material from Chapter 9-10, and 12-14, will take place during the Summer Distance exam period (July 29 – Aug. 1, specific time TBA).    


  1. Discussion Forums (20%) 

Five of the weekly lessons will have a discussion question (see Section 6.0 and Section 7.0 for due dates), which you will access on Brightspace via the Assignments tab.  You only need to complete four of the five discussions (meaning you can skip one week and not lose any marks).  You may also choose to do all five discussion posts, in which case your lowest grade of the five will be dropped.  For each discussion you complete, you will be required to submit a post of a minimum of 250 words by Sunday at 11:59 P.M. of the week in which a discussion occurs (there is no maximum, but try to be concise in your posts).  The rubric below is meant to act as a general guideline, illustrating expectations for both the quantity and quality of participation. If, at any point in the term, you have questions about how you are doing in terms of your participation, please feel free to ask the professor via email. Each discussion is worth 5% of your final course grade (5% x 4 discussions). Late discussions will not be graded, so make sure that you give yourself time to construct your post and submit it in a timely fashion (i.e., don’t leave it until 11:47 P.M. on the day that it’s due.) 

Examples of quality posts include: 

  • providing clear, coherent responses that directly address the topic at hand; 
  • presenting explanations of concepts or methods from the textbook, supplementary lecture materials, or other sources to support your points; 
  • presenting reasons for or against a topic in a persuasive fashion; 
  • sharing your own personal experiences that relate to the topic; 

For each post, you will be assigned a grade out of 5, based on the following criteria:  

0–2.5 = Unsatisfactory Post is brief and uninformative, does not contribute any insight to the topic, the question is not answered fully. 

3-3.5 = Satisfactory Post is somewhat informative, demonstrates basic understanding of the material, but merits a more clear or further explanation. 

4-4.5 = Very Good Post is informative, demonstrates strong understanding of the material, and contributes substantial insight. 

5 = Outstanding Post goes beyond basic requirements, demonstrates excellent critical appraisal, shows evidence of considerable reading beyond course text. 

To earn the full five points, you must demonstrate that you have given the topic serious thought, resulting in interesting observations and/or questions. You don’t have to be right (in fact frequently there won’t be a “right” answer) but you do have to demonstrate that you have thought in depth about the issue. 




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 reasons, internet access issues (in the case that exams are on-line), and religious holidays, and must be substantiated by proper documentation (e.g., a medical certificate, obituary, accident report) which you must present to a counsellor from your home faculty’s academic counseling office.  A student who misses a regularly scheduled exam for other reasons, or who cannot justify a claim, will be assigned a 0 for the exam.  Students with approved absences for any exam must write a makeup exam, which will be scheduled by your prof.  

***Please refer to Section 10.0 for the full policy regarding make-up exams.*** 

Discussion Forums: As stated above, late discussion posts will not be graded.  Remember that you have the option of missing one of the forums without penalty, so use your discretion about which one you skip (e.g., if you know you have an event planned for a certain week, and likely won’t have time to make a post).    

Department Grading Policies: 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-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 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 


To ensure fairness, please be aware that final grades in this course are based exclusively on students’ performance on the three exams and the discussion posts. Exams may not be rewritten, nor will the exams or discussion grades be reweighted in calculating final grades. Grades will not be adjusted on the basis of need or a subjective evaluation of effort, and students will not be able to improve their marks by completing additional assignments.  








Material covered 


Midterm exam #1 

Mon. May 27, 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  


Chapters 1-4* 


Midterm exam #2 

Mon. June 24, 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  

Chapters 6-8* 


Final exam 

July 29 – Aug. 1 (Time TBA) 

Chapters 9-10, 12-14* 


Discussion questions 

Due May 19, June 9, June 16, July 14, July 28 (all at 11:59 PM Eastern Time) 



*and all related supplementary lecture material 







May 6 

Introducing Social Psychology 

Chapter 1 & 2 

May 13 

The Social Self** 


Chapter 3 

May 20 

Social Cognition &  

Social Attribution   

Chapter 4  

May 27,  

7:00 – 9:00 PM 

Midterm #1 

Chapters 1-4 

June 3 

Attitudes, Behaviour & Rationalization** 

Chapter 6 

June 10 


Chapter 7 

June 17 

Social Influence 

Chapter 8 

June 24 

7:00 – 9:00 PM 

Midterm #2 

Chapters 6-8 

July 1 

Interpersonal Attraction & Relationships 

Chapter 9 

July 8 

Stereotyping, Prejudice & Discrimination** 

Chapter 10 

July 15 

Groups & Aggression 

Chapter 12 & 13 

July 22 

Morality, Altruism, & Cooperation** 

Chapter 14 

July 29 – Aug. 1 



9-10, 12-14 

** denotes there is a discussion forum occurring this week, which is due on the Sunday at 11:59 P.M. (i.e., Sun. May 19th, Sun. June 9th, Sun. June 16th, Sun. July 14th, and Sun. July 28th) 


8.0 Academic Integrity  


Scholastic offences are taken seriously, and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: 


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


Statement on Use of Electronic Devices 


Exams may only be written using a single electronic device with a functioning webcam, which must remain on at all times.  You should not have any other electronic devices within sight aside from the one on which you are taking the exam.  While writing the exams, you are not permitted to access any course material on the device you’re using to write the exam, or on any other electronic device or printed source.  The use of programs which translate exam content from English to another language is not permitted.   


Use of AI 


The use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to produce written work is not permitted unless permission is granted by the instructor for specific circumstances. Any work submitted must be the work of the student in its entirety unless otherwise disclosed. When used, AI tools should be used ethically and responsibly, and students must cite or credit the tools used in line with the expectation to use AI as a tool to learn, not to produce content. 


Multiple Choice Exams  


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


Exam Proctoring Software 


Tests and examinations for online courses may be conducted using a remote proctoring service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote  

Proctoring website at: 



9.0 Academic Accommodations and Accessible Education 


View Western’s policy on academic accommodations for student with disabilities at this link. 


Accessible Education provides supports and services to students with disabilities at Western. 

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, visit Accessible Education for more information.  Email:  Phone: 519 661-2147 


10.0 Absence & Academic Consideration 


View Western’s policy on academic consideration for medical illnesses this link 


Find your academic counsellor here: 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain academic considerations. Students must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence. 


Medical Absences 


Submit a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for Academic Consideration. 


Nonmedical Absences 


Submit appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Religious Consideration 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 


11.0 Other Information  



Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness@Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 

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.  


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement  


Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


12.0 Land Acknowledgement 


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton. Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.