Psychology 580: Advanced Social Psychology

 Fall 2015 Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

E0165 Lagomarcino

Office Hours: Thursdays & Fridays, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Professor Craig A. Anderson

375B Science Hall I

Phone: (515) 294-3118


Web page:

Note: Changes to the syllabus will be announced in class, and the updated syllabus will be posted on the web site.

Prerequisites: 4 courses in psychology, including Psych 280 or equivalent.


There are four sources for the primary reading assignments, including one textbook available at the bookstore.

1. The first is a short introductory textbook on social psychology. Exploring Social Psychology, 6th Edition, by David G. Myers. We will cover this book rather quickly to be sure that everyone has a basic grasp of social psychology. For most students, most of this will be a  review.

2. The second is the 2012 Handbook of Psychology, Volume 5: Personality and Social Psychology, 2nd Edition, Irving B. Weiner (Editor-in-Chief), Howard A. Tennen & Jerry M. Suls, Volume 5 editors. It is available for free electronically through the ISU library. Go to the library home page, search for "Handbook of Psychology (Second Edition)", then click your way through to the online access version. You may have to set up an "ebrary" account (I did).


            3. The third source is the 2010 Handbook of Social Psychology, 5th Edition, edited by Susan Fiske, Daniel Gilbert, and Gardner Lindzey. Our library has the complete electronic version; you can download it for free. The following instructions worked last year:

i. Using the “Quick Search” box on the Ellis Library e-Library page: enter "Handbook social psychology"
ii. Then in the pull-down menus underneath – highlight “everything but articles"
iii. And on the furthest pull-down menu – highlight “in the title”
iv. From there, select the book, find the chapters you want, download and print them.


4. A number of additional articles are required reading. Links to them are in this syllabus (see below). I've also linked a number of optional supplemental readings, in case you want to explore a topic further. There will be no exam questions from the optional supplemental readings.


Class structure:

Regular class meetings will involve 3 different types of class activities.

1. Summary. This consists of a brief summary of the assigned reading material, about 10 minutes per chapter or article. I will randomly choose students to present the summaries at the beginning of each class. The best way to do this is to prepare outlines of the main points for each reading, and bring them to class with you.

2. Discussion. We will discuss questions about the material brought in by all class members. Starting with Week 4, each student is to prepare 2 discussion-type questions for each chapter/article assigned for that week.  These questions may be about something you didn't understand in the reading, something you disagree with, possible connections to other phenomena, or something that might lead to interesting speculations. These questions are to be emailed to me at least two hours prior to the class meeting, with the subject line consisting of the course number, meeting date (month and day) and your last name. For example, if the questions are for the readings to be covered on September 15 and your last name is Bagadonuts, the subject line would be “580Sep15Bagadonuts.” You may use your questions to help with the discussion, or you may choose not to use them. You may share them with other class members.

3. Update. Beginning with Week 4, two students will review 2 recent (2013-in press) empirical articles (1 per student) related to the topics covered in the reading assignment. The review should include the following parts: (a) Summary of how these studies relate to the assigned reading (e.g., support, contradict, extend...); (b) Detailed description of 1 study (10 minutes, oral) to illustrate how such research is conducted; (c) Outline of the article, each of which is to include full reference, design (IVs, DVs, MVs), brief methods, results & implications. Parts a & c are to be printed and distributed to all class members including instructor (electronic distribution is acceptable if done at least 24 hours prior to the class meeting). Parts a & b are to be presented orally (PowerPoint is optional. If you want to use PowerPoint, bring your laptop or a USB flash drive with the PowerPoint file.). To sign up for specific date, go to this Doodle page:   Note: If sign-ups are not complete by September 15, I will randomly assign those who have not yet picked a date to one of the empty slots.


Tuesday individual meetings will begin in Week 4, September 15. From Week 4 throughout the rest of the semester, I will hold 3 individual meetings of about 25 minutes each in my office to discuss your research ideas, projects, and papers. You can sign up for your meetings at the following Doodle calendar: . Your first meeting will be to discuss your interest in taking this class, your career goals, possible paper topics, and how these may be related. Later meetings will focus on your research paper. I will be available for additional appointments either during my office hours or by appointment.



Evaluation will be based on five parts. There will be 2 exams composed of short answer and medium length essay questions; each will be worth 20% of your grade. Your term paper will be worth 25%. Your in-class summaries will be worth a total 10%. Your update presentation will be worth 10%. The remaining 15% will be based on your discussion questions and general participation in class activities. (Note that I will not take off points for asking specific questions about the readings; if you don't understand something be sure to ask about it in class and in your written questions. In other words, you need not make every discussion question a major theoretical crisis.)


Research paper:

You should select a research topic and clear it with me by Week 10. To clear your topic, you must present me with a 1 page (double spaced) proposal along with at least 15 references (on a separate page) that you have read and believe will be relevant to your final paper. The final research paper itself should be a research proposal in social psychology (broadly defined). It should include an abstract, a review of the relevant literature, a clear statement of the problem to be addressed, and a concrete proposal designed to test or demonstrate the idea proposed. It may include results from a few pilot participants or hypothetical results. Ideally, the proposed research will actually be carried out at some point in your graduate career. You should feel free to have your classmates or others read and comment on early drafts. I will be happy to comment on an early draft if it is submitted to me by Week 12. The research paper is due at noon on Friday of Week 15.


I dislike giving page limits, but I know that some idea of what is expected will be useful. I do not think an adequate paper can be produced in less than 15 pages (including references); I do not want to read an overly lengthy one (i.e., more than 25 pages). Exceptionally concise writing and thinking, or exceptionally interesting writing and ideas may, of course, warrant shorter or longer papers. The paper should be in APA style.


Student Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course you will be able to:

·      Understand and discuss the main concepts and theories of social psychology

·      Give brief oral summaries of empirical journal articles in social psychology

·      Write research proposals which summarize a specific area of social psychology and proposal original research that is designed to advance that area

·      Present research proposals to other psychologists in a clear a concise manner.



Disability accommodations:

If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor or the Course Information Office early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to contact the Disability Resources (DR) office, located on the main floor of the Student Services Building, Room 1076, 515-294-6624 to obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request (SAAR) that describes the needed accommodations. Students are responsible to make arrangements with the Course Information Office (W004 Lago) before each exam for individual accommodations.




Reading Assignments

Week 1:

Aug. 25



p. 1 through Module 8


Week 2:

Sept. 1



Modules 9 - 20


Week 3:


Sept. 8



Modules 21 - 31


Week 4:

Sept. 15




Begin Tuesday individual/team meetings. Remember to submit Discussion questions by 7:30 a.m. each Thursday for full credit.
A Century of Social Psychology… G. R. Goethals

Chap. 21: Evolutionary Social Psychology. Neuberg, Kenrick, & Schaller

        Optional: Cosmides & Tooby (2013) on evolutionary psychology

Week 5:

Sept. 22






Banich, (2009). Executive Function….  ONLY pp. 89-90.

Schmeichel & Tang (2015). Individual differences in executive functioning…

        Optional supplemental reading: Diamond (2013) on Executive Functions
Chap. 11: Social Cognition and Perception.  Bodenhausen & Morales.

Week 6:

Sept. 29



Chap. 16: Prejudice.  Biernat & Danaher.

Chap. 12: The Social Self. Baumeister et al.

      Optional supplemental reading: Joshi & Fast, 2013

Week 7:

Oct. 6




Leary, M.R. (2007). Motivational and emotional...

Chap. 10: Attitudes Banaji & Heiphetz
       Optional: Chap. 13: Maio, Olson, & Cheung

       Optional: Tracy, Klonsky, & Proudfit on affective science and clinical science

Week 8:

Oct. 13


Exam 1 on Thursday

Week 9:

Oct. 20



Saleem & Anderson, (2013). Arabs as terrorists…
Blankenship & Wegener, (2008). Opening the mind...
Slusher, M.P., & Anderson, C.A. (1996). Using causal persuasive...

     Optional: Parks-Leduc et al., 2015. Personality traits & personal values

Week 10:

Oct. 27



Chap. 9: Emotion. Keltner & Lerner.

      Optional supplemental reading: Barrett et al., 2011, Context in emotion perception
Anderson et al. (1996). Explanations: Processes and consequences.
Krizan & Johar (2015). Narcissistic rage revisited
Research paper topic to be cleared by the end of this week.

Week 11:


Nov. 3



Chap. 22: Altruism and Prosocial Behavior. Snyder & Dwyer.
Warburton & Anderson, 2015. Social psychology of aggression.

     Optional supplemental reading: Gilbert & Daffern, 2011, Personality disorder & violence

Week 12:

Nov. 10




Chap. 15: Close Relationships. Clark & Grote.
Chap. 18: Personality in social psychology. Funder & Fast

     Optional: Madon, Guyll, et al., 2008 on self-fulfilling prophecy effects…alcohol use

     Optional: Cohen et. al, 2015. Hugging…stress-buffering
Deadline for preliminary draft of your research paper, if you want feedback, is Friday, midnight. Optional.

Week 13:

Nov. 17




Markon, K. E., Krueger, R. F., & Watson, D. (2005). Delineating...
Cross et al. (2014). Cultural prototypes & dimensions of honor

       Optional: Heine Chap. 37 on Cultural Psychology

       Optional: Kitayama et al. on genes and social orientation

Week 14:

Dec. 1



Chap. 14: Social Influence and Group Behavior. Forsyth.
Chap. 20: Social Conflict, Harmony, and Integration. Dovidio, Gaertner, Mayville, & Perry.

     Optional: Hewstone on Intergroup Contact and conflict

Week 15:

Dec. 8



Chap. 24: Culture and Social Psychology. Miller & Boyle.
Strack, F., & Deutsch, R. (2004).  Reflective and impulsive ...

    Optional supplemental reading: Evans & Stanovich, 2013, on Dual-process theories

Research paper due midnight on Friday.

Finals week


Exam 2. Wednesday, Dec. 16, 9:45 - 11:45