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The only prerequisite to this course is Psychology 111: Introduction to Psychology.

Course Objectives

By completing this course, students will:

  1. Gain a basic understanding of the field of social psychology and of the areas and methods of research within the field.
  2. Develop an understanding of major theories of social interaction.
  3. Be conversant with important studies conducted in the various areas of social psychology.
  4. Gain an appreciation for the social forces operative in our interactions with others.

BYU Outcomes

  1. Identify the unique contribution of social psychology to social science, situating the discipline within the larger domain of psychology and contrasting it with related disciplines, such as sociology.
  2. Understand the use of surveys, laboratory and field experiments in conducting social psychological research, and understand the ethical principles of informed consent, deception and debriefing when conducting research with human participants.
  3. Identify substantive areas of social psychological inquiry, including the self, person perception, attitudes and persuasion, group processes, stereotyping and prejudice, interpersonal attraction, helping behavior and aggression.
  4. Identify and explain the contributions of major thinkers and contributors of classic and contemporary theory and research in social psychology, such as Leon Festinger and Stanley Milgram.
  5. Identify how social psychological theory and research have been applied to domains outside the discipline, such as in health settings and the law.

Textbook and Materials

The text for this course is Social Psychology, 9th or 10th edition, by David Myers, published by McGraw-Hill.

You can also go to the McGraw-Hill Social Psychology Website to use online resources there.

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The course consists of 14 lessons that follow closely the outline of the Myers text. Each lesson provides you with background and supplementary materials and activities to assist you in mastering the material covered in each chapter in the text.

Review Questions and Self Checks

Each textbook chapter includes review questions for you to assess your learning of the material. I suggest you respond to each of these questions because they will prepare you for the short answer questions on exams one and two. In addition, they will also encourage you to consider important distinctions that should be made among terms and ideas that will be important for you to successfully complete the multiple choice portions of the three exams. In addition to these open-ended review questions, you should also complete the Self Check exercises in the course. These exercises will prepare you for the multiple choice portions of the three exams.

Social Psychology Journal

To help you to recognize in your own lives the phenomena we will be studying in this class, you will be required to keep a social psychology journal. Your social psychology journal will consist of an entry for each lesson in the course (14 total entries). Each entry should consist of a one-page typed summary of an experience you have had that is descriptive of some aspect of each lesson. Each entry should adhere to the following format:

  1. Introduction: Your opening section should identify the aspect of the lesson of which your journal entry is descriptive and include your own definition of the phenomenon from the lesson you are addressing (i.e., do not simply copy the definition from the book).
  2. Incident: The body of your entry should include a description of the event you have experienced.
  3. Conclusion: You should close your entry by describing how the incident is an example of the phenomenon you have identified in your introduction (this section may well comprise the bulk of your entry).

For example, an entry describing an incident you experienced corresponding to the material for Lesson 2, “Concepts of the Self,” might address the issue of the self-serving bias. You would include in your introduction a definition of the phenomenon. In the body of your entry, you might include a description of a discussion you had with your spouse, or possibly a sibling, about how much more housework you do than they. In your conclusion, you would explain to me why this incident is an example of the self-serving bias.

You are free to choose the subject matter for each journal entry for each lesson, with the exception of Lesson 5, “Influences of Nature and Nurture.” For this lesson, you will be required to violate a social norm and then to address your experience in your journal. By “social norm,” I mean some rule of expected behavior in our society. PLEASE use good judgment. Do not do something that violates legal or moral norms. Your “violation” should be on a fairly small scale; just enough that it makes you uncomfortable to commit the violation. Good norms to violate might involve norms of personal space. For example, you might find someone at the library or a fast-food restaurant sitting alone at a table. Rather than sitting across from them or fairly far away from them, you might sit directly next to them. In your journal entry, you should describe the norm you violated, how you violated it, how others reacted to your violation, and how it felt to violate the norm. (More on this assignment will be found in lesson Four.)

Finally, have fun with your journal. This assignment is designed to help you realize how your social world works. Find humor in the events you experience.

Your grade on your journal will be assigned on the following basis:

Journal Submission Instructions

Each lesson will have a journal assignment you should complete as you work through the lessons; however, you won’t turn them in until after lesson 7 and after lesson 14. Please submit all journal entries as part of one portfolio document. To make sure that your journals can be opened and read, please save them as Word .DOC or .DOCX files.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, SOC350_JaneSmith_Journal1.docx.

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Exams will follow completion of Lessons 4, 8, and 14. Following completion of the material for Lessons 1 through 4, you may request the first exam. This exam covers the material from Lessons 1 through 4 and consists of five short answer questions and 50 multiple choice items. Following completion of Lessons 5 through 8, you may request the second exam. This exam covers the material from Lessons 5 through 8 and consists of four short answer questions and 60 multiple choice items. Following completion of the material from Lessons 9 through 14, you may request the final exam. This exam covers the material from Lessons 9 through 14 and consists of 100 multiple choice items.

All exams are closed book and notes and have no time limit. The average time to complete an exam is 90–120 minutes.

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Grades will be assigned on the following basis:

Midcourse Exam 1 25%
Journal Entries 1-7 10%
Midcourse Exam 2 25%
Journal Entries 8-14 10%
Final Exam 30%

Grade Scale

Letter grades will be assigned according to these percentages:

A 100 94
A- 93 90
B+ 89 87
B 86 83
B- 82 80
C+ 79 77
C 76 73
C- 72 70
D+ 69 67
D 66 63
D- 62 60

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


14 social-psychology journal entries submitted in two portfolios, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


2 midcourse exams (multiple choice and short-answer questions), 1 final exam (multiple-choice questions), may retake once for a fee.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514