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Social Psychology and Social Influence

Instructor: Prof. Stefano Livi [see profile]
Disciplines: Psychology, Health Sciences

Social psychology is the scientific study of human social interaction and investigates how the presence of other people (actual or symbolic) affects our cognitions, emotions, and behaviors in the social world. This course will explore the application of social psychological theories and research to socially relevant domains such as social influence, education, romantic relationships, and education. Topics treated include research methods in social and behavioral science, perception of the social world and social cognition, implicit cognition and automaticity, prejudice and discrimination, self and identity, group dynamics and intergroup relations, social norms, attitudes and attitude-behavior relations, and persuasion.

Prior knowledge of basic psychological processes and of broader social science and humanities is welcome, although not essential; reference will also be made throughout the course to some of the major historical psychological approaches and perspectives such as behaviorism, gestalt psychology, social interactionism, and cognitivism.

Classes will also include small group work, viewing and discussing videos and movie excerpts, and computer-based exercises.


  • a midterm
  • an annotated bibliography¬†
  • a research paper (8-10 pages)
  • a final exam