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Social Psychology




Admissions requirements

Preferred: Introduction to Psychology or comparable.


Humans are social animals. Social psychology addresses how the way we feel, think and behave is influenced by the real or imagined presence of others. Social psychology is related to sociology in this regard, but instead of focusing on group factors such as race and socioeconomic class, it focuses on the individual. Also, it relies on the empirical scientific research to generate theories of social behavior. This course covers social psychological theories and research regarding social cognition, social perception, identity, self-regulation, attitude change, conformity and obedience, interpersonal attraction, prosocial and antisocial behavior, prejudice and stereotyping and everyday social judgment. The theory will be illustrated by everyday examples from domains such as the workplace, consumer behavior, law, the environment, and health.

Course objectives

The student understands the key concepts of social and organizational psychology and is able to identify their applicability in a range of contexts.

The student:

  • knows the key concepts, approaches, theories and methods that comprise contemporary social psychology.

  • is able to communicate these in valid ways to others, both in speaking and writing.

  • is able to analyze social interactions in terms of social-psychological concepts.

  • is able to explain how his/her knowledge of key concepts, theories and findings of contemporary social psychology has led to greater self understanding and a greater understanding of others and events.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of 14 meetings which each cover a different topic central to social and organizational psychology. Each meeting begins with a 60 minutes lecture, during which the teacher will discuss the relevant theory. The second half of the meeting, which lasts for 50 minutes, consists of presentations by the students and classroom discussion of the relevant theory in relation to a real-life example. This can be a news-item, commercial, work of art, personal experience, etc.


Participation and weekly assignments
As of week 2, each week, students hand in an essay of a real life example of the theory discussed. This can be a news item, a commercial, or a personal experience, etc. The student describes the example and explains how it relates to the theory, or how the theory can explain the phenomenon. Number of words 300 – 500. In addition, students are expected to participate in classroom discussion about the presentations and student assignments.

Percentage of grade: 40%
Deadline: Ongoing weeks 1-7

As of week 2, each meeting, one or two of the students will give an in-depth presentation of their real life example of the relevant theory. Presentations last for 15 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion.

Percentage of grade: 20%
Deadline: Ongoing weeks 1-7

The final exam will consist of a multiple choice test of the assigned literature as well as the theory discussed in the lectures.

Percentage of grade: 40%
Deadline: TBA


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Baron, R. A., Branscombe, N. R. (2014). Social Psychology (13th edition). Pearson.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Lotte van Dillen,, +31 (0)71 527 1362.


Weekly overview:
Introduction (week 1)
Chapter 1: The mission and the method
Chapter 2: Culture and Nature

Social Cognition (week 2)
Chapter 5: Social Cognition
Chapter 6: Emotion and Affect

The Self (week 3)
Chapter 3: The Self
Chapter 4: Choices and Action

Attitudes & Social Influence (week 4)
Chapter 7: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Consistency
Chapter 8: Social Influence and Persuasion

Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior (week 5)
Chapter 9: Prosocial Behavior
Chapter 10: Aggression and Antisocial Behavior

Interpersonal Attraction and Social Rejection (week 6)
Chapter 11: Attraction and Exclusion
Chapter 12: Close relationships

Prejudice and Group Dynamics (week 7)
Chapter 13: Prejudice and intergroup Relations
Chapter 14: Groups