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Social Psychology: Self and Society

Course Summary

This course is based on Sociology 150A Social Psychology: Self and Society, Spring 2009 made available by University of California, Berkeley: Webcast.Berkeley under the Creative commons BY-NC-ND license.
This course offers a broad survey of the various theories and perspectives advanced in social psychology. Social psychology is a field which bridges sociology and psychology and is primarily concerned with how individuals view and interact with one another in everyday life. The class is organized around a survey of the great ideas from the history of social psychology. We will study social psychological research on a wide variety of topics including conformity, obedience, identity, power, status, and interpersonal perception. (A full set of video lectures is included.)

Reading Material

1. Science and Practice
Cialdini, Robert B. 2001. Influence: Science and Practice, 4th ed.

2. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancien Wisdom
Haidt, Jonathan. 2006. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.

3. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Wilson, Timothy D. 2002. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.

Course Material

Not available.

Other Resources

1. An Introduction to Social Psychology
William McDougall, An Introduction to Social Psychology, Courier Dover Publications, 2003, ISBN 9780486427119
A pioneering work in psychology, this enormously influential book, first published in 1908, served as a catalyst in the study of the foundations of social behavior. One of the first surveys to focus on human motivation, the volume assisted in laying the foundations of a new discipline, separating the field from sociology and general psychology.
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

2. Social psychology
Eliot R. Smith, Diane M. Mackie, Social psychology, Edition 2, Psychology Press, 2000, ISBN 9780863775871
The second edition of Social Psychology remains the only conceptually integrated book in the field, and provides a clear synthesis of the cognitive and social, individual and group influences that shape social behavior. The new edition takes account of the significant advances that have been made in the field over the past few years, and incorporates other improvements based on feedback from users of the first edition.
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

3. Social psychology
Kenneth S. Bordens, Irwin A. Horowitz, Social psychology, Edition 2, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001, ISBN 9780805835205
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

4. Positive psychology by Martin Seligman (Video)
Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It's a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures -- traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones. In his pioneering work, Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists.

5. Dan Gilbert on Why are we happy? (Video)
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong -- a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.

6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow (Video)
Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow" - a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.


Not available.

Discussion Forum

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