This course is designed to familiarize students with the principal theories, concepts, and methods of social psychology. The material covers phenomena related to social behavior and social influences on behavior. Topics include social perception and cognition, attitudes and attitude change, attraction, helping, aggression, interpersonal influence, and group processes. The lectures and readings are designed to acquaint students with both classic and current research trends in these subject areas. It is my aim that students will apply course concepts to everyday life and develop critical thinking skills through analysis of research studies and questions.

Jody Davis | Social Psychology
Social Psychology Syllabus Outlines and PowerPoints Paper Assignment Online Presentation Studying Advice

321Social Psychology 321

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Course Objectives

  1. Understand theories about social behavior and thinking
  2. Learn specific methods and results of research studies and what they tell us about social behavior
  3. Become acquainted with types of methodology used in the field of social psychology
  4. Apply course concepts to your everyday life
  5. Read a journal article and write a coherent and thoughtful summary and response
  6. Learn APA style source citation and referencing
  7. Develop skills using technology for learning (e.g., independently learn to create an online presentation, use a google doc, view videos & lecture screencasts, take a quiz and two exams online, post in our Discussion Board)


Baron, R. A., & Branscombe, N. R. (2012). Social psychology (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Online Format

You are expected to check Blackboard regularly for announcements. As this is an online course, it is essential that you have reliable internet access, interest in maximizing learning in an online format, ability to learn new technology as needed for course assignments, and a willingness to trouble-shoot technological problems that you will face. Your success in this class will depend on your initiative and discipline.

Online lectures of PowerPoint slides with my voice-over will be posted in Blackboard at the start of each week, and you can choose any time to listen to them and take notes. However, due dates for assignments and exams are not flexible, and due dates and requirements for Discussion Board assignments will be announced as we go, so you’ll need to be actively engaged in the course each week.

Journal Article Reflection Paper

This assignment will give you an opportunity to use a primary source rather than the textbook. You will read one journal article from a selection I provide. Requirements include (1) a summary of the theory and research findings reported in the journal article and (2) your own hypothetical or real examples or ideas related to the research findings.

Online Presentation

The focus of the presentation will be (1) description and (2) creative examples of an assigned course concept. Using a program such as Jing or some other type of video (e.g., camera), you will create and share a 4-5 min presentation online. It will be your responsibility to learn how to create and post a screencast or video presentation.

Discussion Board

The Discussion Board will allow you to participate actively in class. Face-to-face, you would have an opportunity to participate in class discussions, sharing examples with classmates and learning from each other. To approximate that experience, you will post comments and responses to Discussion Board prompts throughout the semester. Prompts will be on various topics (e.g., applying course concepts, reacting to an online video, providing feedback to classmates’ comments). We’re all relying on you to provide thoughtful and interesting posts in our Discussion Board. Due dates, requirements, and point values will be announced as we go.


You will take a quiz, two midterm exams, and a cumulative final exam online. You must complete the online quiz and exams during a time period that will be announced ahead of time. Questions will be multiple choice (with possibly some short answer) and will cover content from the textbook as well as content from lectures. If you must delay taking an exam for a valid reason, you need to contact me to request approval prior to test day (unless a true emergency arises, in which case you should contact me as soon as possible). When you take the quiz and exams, you should work independently, without referring to course materials, other students' answers, or other resources. See VCU Honors Policy.

Grading Policy

Quiz 50 pts
Paper 25 pts
Online Presentation 25 pts
Discussion Board 50 pts
Midterm Exams (2 x 100) 200 pts
Final Exam 150 pts

Divide your points by the possible points:
A 90-100%
B 80-89%
C 70-79%
D 60-69%
F <60%

Note: No extra credit will be offered and no grades will be “dropped.” Also, unless you have a documented excuse like you would for missing an exam, no late assignments (paper, presentation, discussion board posts) will be accepted.