Bachelor of Applied Science

Applied Social Psychology

Fall Quarter 2010


Course Title & Number:  -Applied Social Psychology, ABS 320

Credits:   5                      Lecture Hours:     55                        Lab Hours: 0

Meeting Times:  Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00-8:30              Room:  2BE3189

Instructor:  Karen Strickland, M.S.

Office Location:  3195

Office Hours:  Mon. & Wed., 12:30-1:30; Tues. & Thurs., 12:30-1:30 & 5:30-6:00

Office Phone:   587-6911

E-mail:                         Web site:


Disabilities Accommodation: If you need course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with us, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment or talk with one of us as soon as possible

Teaching Methods and Instructor’s Educational Philosophy:  Learning is dynamic and interactive.  This course is not about memorization and recall, but critical thinking and analysis, application, and understanding of the content.  Teaching methods include lecture, discussion, application of material, and assignments intended for learning and assessment.  I believe that students learn best when they are actively involved with the course content.  I am also certain that all students can learn; there are barriers to learning that occur, however, and it is the responsibility of both the teacher and the student to eliminate these barriers.  I also believe that developing your ability to critically think through problems and information is an important part of your education. In this class I will ask you to be aware of your thinking processes; for example, are you considering all the relevant information? Are you clear about your understanding of the material? Are your ideas logical? When presented with a situation can you draw on the knowledge you have to problem-solve and make decisions?

Prerequisites:  PSYC 110 and admission to BAS Program

Course Description:  Applied Social Psychology examines the application of social psychological concepts in human service settings.  Systems theory informs the application of concepts in areas including prevention, policy analysis, group settings, professional and client relationships, and multi-cultural competence.  Social Psychological research methods will be explored and critiqued with an emphasis on the application of research to practice.

Course Goals: 

·        Provide course to meet the requirements of the BAS degree.

·        Prepare students to work effectively with clients utilizing the principles of Social  Psychology.

·        Infuse multi-cultural literacy into course curriculum and professional practice.

·        Convey the complexity of interactions between individuals, agencies, and the broader social context.

Learning Outcomes:

1.      Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic tenets of  the scientific nature of social psychology through the use of primary source research articles; students will be able to explain and give examples of relevant research in each of the core areas of the course.

2.      Students will identify how social psychological concepts apply to micro and macro systems.

3.      Students will apply the basic theories of social psychological research to their experiences in their professional and social environments.

4.      Students will demonstrate an understanding of how social psychological concepts are key to prevention strategies. 

5.      Students will be able to give examples of how cultural competence is influenced by social psychological concepts.

6.      Students will recognize how social cognition impacts client experiences resulting from discrepancies between American ideals and experienced reality.

7.      Students will identify examples of the influence of social psychological concepts on public values, professional perspective, public policy, and legislation.

8.      Students will develop their self concept as a source of influence in professional settings through articulation of opportunities to influence decision making that affects those with whom they work.

9.      Students will analyze and develop strategies to address our human tendency to include/exclude others based on perceived difference and apply this information to group settings such as residential treatment settings, classrooms, skills training, group counseling, etc.

10.    Students will further develop college-level mastery of information literacy and technology literacy as related to social psychological research and applied behavioral science.


Textbooks:  The Social Animal, 10th Edition, 2008, Aronson, Eliot.  Worth Publishers, ISBN:  13:978-1-4294-0316-6

Supplementary Readings:  A reading packet will be available in the Copy Center by the second week of the quarter.  You’ll find a bibliography of additional required readings included in this syllabus packet.

Assignments:  All assignments will be word processed, 12 point font and meet professional standards in terms of presentation and grammar.  Late assignments will be subject to a 10% deduction and will not be accepted more than one week late. 

Grading policy, criteria and scales:  Details will be provided for each assignment on a separate handout.  Course grade will follow the guideline below.












A handout for the Concept Application Log and Annotated Bibliography  is provided in this packet.  The handout details the expectations and grading criteria for each.

1.       Pre quizzesMost of our class time will be spent discussing, reviewing, and applying social psychological topics.  Your text and readings are designed to help facilitate this process.  Class time will be much more productive, and the quality of our discussion more illuminating when students come to class having read the material!  At the beginning of most topics, we’ll have a brief quiz based on the reading.  We’ll grade them immediately, so you’ll get quick feedback and clarification of basic concepts.  Quizzes can not be made up, nor taken at alternative times.  Scheduled quizzes are listed in your syllabus.  (10% of grade)

2.     Midterm and Final Case Studies -- I believe one of the best ways to demonstrate your understanding of the material is to apply it to case study examples.  A case study consists of a situation to which you can apply the Social Psychological principles we study this quarter.

Case study will be the method for our midterm and final assessment of your ability to recognize, use, and extend your knowledge of the course material. 

I also recognize that some of the best work in our field occurs when we collaborate with others! 

For the midterm and the final, you will be given a case study, and forty-five minutes in class to discuss the case study with your classmates.  For the midterm, you can compile one page of notes from this discussion and your independent studying to bring with you to the following class period.  You’ll have 45 minutes to respond to the case study during class.  The final will be similar, but it will be a take-home exam.

The midterm case study is worth 20% of your final grade.  The final case study is worth 20% of your final grade.

3.      Annotated bibliography – Select a topic related to Social Psychology and create an annotated bibliography with 7-10 articles, using APA style format.  (20% of grade)

4.      Concept Application Log – You will maintain a log throughout the quarter, identifying the concepts for the week and documenting how you see them applied in your work setting.  (20% of grade)


5.      Attendance/participation – You are expected to attend class having completed the reading assignments and ready to actively participate.  (10% of grade)




Plagiarism is defined as "taking and using another person's ideas and/or writing as one's own"  (Oxford American Dictionary).  It may be interpreted as the result of misunderstanding or of cheating.  It's becoming a greater problem as information is so readily available on the internet.  The forms of plagiarism we run into include quoting material from a source without identifying it as a quote and citing it and cutting and pasting material from other sources, as if written by the student.  Sometimes a student will cut and paste an entire paper and pass it off as their own work.  All of these examples are unacceptable.  If we notice that it looks like you include a quote in a paper without acknowledging it, we'll make a note on your paper and ask that you use your own words to explain the concept.  If we find that paragraphs or the entire paper are plagiarized you will receive no credit for the assignment.


Topic & Assignments                                                              Readings         

September 28

            What is Social Psychology


September 30

Social Psychology and Behavior Change – Planning for the quarter



Aronson – Ch. 1

Reading List:  “Social Psychological Factors in Lifestyle Change…”


October 5

            Quiz #1 - Ch. 1 and 9, reading

            Social Psychological Research Methods-General


October 7

Social Psychological Research Methods-Applied




Aronson – Ch 9



Reading List:  “Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems”


October 12

Quiz #2 – Ch. 2 and reading

Conformity, Compliance & Obedience


October 14

            Conformity, Compliance & Obedience

Concept Application Log due



Aronson – Ch 2

Reading List:  “Mentoring Marines to Prevent Sexist and Violent Behavior Against Women”


October 19

Quiz #3 - Ch. 4 & reading

             Social Cognition


October 21

Social Cognition



Aronson  –  Ch 4

Reading List: “Strangers to Ourselves…”


October 26

Self Justification

Quiz #4 – Ch. 5 and reading


October 28

Application of Social Cognition and Self Justification to Practice


45 minute prep for midterm case study



Aronson – Ch 5

Reading List:  “Dissonance, Hypocrisy, and the Self-Concept” 


November 2

Mid Term Exam - 45 minute case study                  

Human Aggression



November 4

Human Aggression

 Concept Application Log due



Aronson – Ch 6



Reading List:  “Bullying in Schools: A Plea for Measure of Human Rights”



November 9

Quiz #5 - Ch. 7 and reading

Human Aggression



November 11

 Veteran’s Day



Aronson – Ch 7

Reading List:  “Social Class is Dead. Long Live Social…”

Reading List:  “The Real Quality of Life Issue…”


November 16



November 18

            Quiz #6 – Ch. 3 and reading

            Mass Communication, Persuasion & Prevention





Aronson – Ch 3

Reading List:  “Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems”


November 23



November 25






November 30 

Quiz #7 - readings

            Social Identity


      Concept Application Log due


December 2

             Group Process



Reading List:  “Mentoring Marines…”

Immigration from the perspective of hosts and immigrants: Roles of psychological essentialism and social identity.


December 7

            Quiz #8 - readings

Group Process


December 9

Social Psychology and Policy Implications


60 minute Final exam preparation

Annotated Bibliography due



“Ingroup Rejection Among Women:  The role of Personal Inadequacy”


December 14 - Final Exam – 60 minute Case Study           



·        Students are expected to read the assignments for the week in advance.

·        This syllabi and course schedule are subject to change at the discretion of the instructors.

Additional reading assignments-in order of appearance on the calendar

Oskamp, Stuart (2007). Applying Psychology to Help Save the World: Reflections on a Career in Psychology.  Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy, 7(1), pp 121-136.

Maio, G., Verplanken, B., Manstead, A., Stroebe, W., Abraham, C., Sheeran, P. & Conner, M (2007).  Social Psychological Factors in Lifestyle Change and Their Relevance to Policy. Social Issues and Policy Review,  1(1), pp 99-137.

Moyer, Anne Ph.D., and Finney, John W. Ph.D. (2004/2005).  Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems:  Factors That Facilitate Implementation.  Alcohol Research & Health, 28(1), pp 44-50.

Winter, Metta (2006).  Mentoring Marines to Prevent Sexist and Violent Behavior Against Women.  Human Ecology, 34(1), pp 10-12.

Wilson, Timothy D. (2004).  Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.  Abridged version of Ch. 8 Instrospection and Self-Narratives.  Reprinted in Readings about the Social Animal. Aronson, ed., 2004, pp 214-224.

Aronson, E. (1997).  Dissonance, Hypocrisy, and the Self-Concept. Paper presentation for fortieth anniversary of the theory of cognitive dissonance, University of Texas at Arlington. Reprinted in Readings about the Social Animal, Aronson, ed. 2004, pp 227-244.

Greene, Michael B. (2006).  Bullying in Schools: A Plea for Measure of Human Rights.  Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2006, pp. 63—79.


Bettina Spencer & Emanuele Castano, 2007. Social Class is Dead. Long Live Social Class: Stereotype Threat among Low Socioeconomic Status Individuals.  Social Justice Research,  20, pp 418–432.

Wachsler, Sharon (2007).  The Real Quality of Life Issue for People with Disabilities.  Journal of Progressive Human Services, 18(2), pp 7-14.

Bastian, Brock; Haslam, Nick.  (2008) Immigration from the perspective of hosts and immigrants: Roles of psychological essentialism and social identity. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Jun2008, 11(2), p127-140.

Cowan, Gloria and Ullman, Jodie B. (2006).  “Ingroup Rejection Among Women:  The role of Personal Inadequacy.”  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, pp 399-409.


ABS 320-Applied Social Psychology
Concept Application Log and Annotated Bibliography

Concept Application Log

This assignment gives you the opportunity to look for evidence of the social psychology concepts we are studying in your day to day social and work life. 

Each week make note of the major concepts in the reading assignments.  Write a one sentence definition for each of the concepts in your own words. 

Then, as you go through your work day, consider the relevance of these concepts to your observations.  For example, when you are facilitating a group do you see evidence of conformity?  Do you see that people are persuaded more readily by someone with credibility versus someone without?  What are the precipitating factors to aggression you observe in yourself or others?  Frustration?  Role models that behave aggressively?  Physical discomfort?  Reflect on two to three concepts each week, explaining the examples you have observed.

Your concept application log should be word processed, 12 point font, double spaced and about two pages.  Turn in your logs three times throughout the quarter (due dates are listed on calendar).

Grading matrix




Accuracy (50%)

Major concepts are identified with clear definition in student’s words.  Examples reflect the concept, student explains concept and application clearly and accurately.

Thoughtfulness (40%)

Writing demonstrates student has reflected on the concept and the situation.

Mechanics (10%)

Student’s work is professionally presented, with few grammatical or typographical errors.



Annotated Bibliography
Due:  December 2, 2010

This assignment will give you the chance to explore the published literature on a topic related to Social Psychology and of special interest to you.  Using the Seattle Central electronic databases (or other scholarly journal sources), you will locate seven to ten peer reviewed articles, all related to a topic within Applied Social Psychology.  For example, you may decide to explore how social psychological principles are relevant to maintaining or challenging the “isms.”  Or perhaps you’re interested in prevention and want to study how social psychology can contribute to effective prevention programs.

After selecting your articles you will read them carefully and write a one to two page summary of each.  The abstract will include:

1.      The hypothesis and whether or not it was supported or question posed by the researchers

2.      Who the subjects are

3.      Conclusions that can be drawn

4.      Relevance of the article to applied Social Psychology

5.      Questions provoked by this research

6.      Limitations of the research (optional)

Your paper will be word processed, 12 point font and double spaced.  The following matrix will be used to evaluate your work.



Quality and relevance of articles (20%)

Articles are relevant, peer reviewed and thorough.  They reflect the current knowledge base and are of use to behavioral science practice.

Comprehension of Psychological Concepts (40%)

Student uses terms and concepts accurately and understands the purpose of the research.  Student understands the conclusions of the research and relevance of the information to behavioral science.

Critical Thinking (25%)

Student is able to identify strengths and weaknesses of the research.  Student poses meaningful questions about the topic.


Student’s work is professionally presented, with few grammatical or typographical errors.