PS410 Social Influence and Persuasion

for F1T 2008

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PS 410 Social Influence and Persuasion


F1T 2008 DL


Mandernach, B. Jean


Associate Professor of Psychology


PhD Social Psychology
MA Experimental Psychology
BA Comprehensive Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours

I respond to all emails within 48 hours (usually much sooner)

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours



Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Influence: Science and Practice. Published by Allyn & Bacon; ISBN 0-321-01147-3

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Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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Course Description:
This course will examine empirical evidence regarding the impact of social influence on individual behavior. Specifically, addressing the role of compliance, conformity, and obedience in shaping ideas, attitudes, and behavior. 3:0:3

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify key theories, principles, and strategies of social influence and persuasion.
  2. Analyze everyday contexts in which social influence takes place to highlight the psychological foundations of conformity, compliance, obedience and persuasion.
  3. Evaluate the value and application of empirical investigations on persuasion, social influence, and compliance-gaining tactics.
  4. Apply strategies and techniques of persuasion relating to a wide variety of real-life contexts, situations, settings, and communications.
Class Assessment:

Final Exam - The final exam will consist of a combination of multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank and short essay questions that focus on key concepts underlying social influence and persuasion.

Analysis Activities - Analysis activities will be integrated throughout the course to provide an opportunity to apply your understanding of social influence and persuasion.  

Discussion - Discussions will challenge attitudes and opinions concerning the use of social influence tactics, the ethical concerns of deliberate influence, and personal experiences with persuasion.

Personal Influence Journal - A major goal of this course is for you to examine the role of influence in your own life. In order to promote this type of reflective understanding, you are required to keep a personal influence journal. As you read the textbook and participate in class activities, you will examine how influence principles have been used to shape your attitudes and behaviors. Each journal entry should highlight an experience you have had with social influence tactics, the theory or rational behind how the tactic works, and a personal reaction to the experience.

Core Learning Assessment – Experiential Project in Social Influence:

Experiential projects will consist of an activity or experience that students design which allows them to interact personally with a concept relevant to social influence and persuasion. The best experiential projects are creative, interesting, well-designed, and effectively communicated. The experiential project will consist of two components: the experiential component and the research component.


  • Final project report must be a minimum of 10 pages in length (not including title page, abstract, or reference page)
  • Double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point Times or Arial font
  • Written in an interesting style, grammatically sound, spell checked="checked", APA Style
  • Include references to at least seven (7) different sources; a minimum of three (3) of these sources must be empirical journal articles


Course Grading Policy:

Grades will be determined by performance on a final exam, personal influence journal, social influence research project, and class participation. Points will be assigned as follows:

Final exam


100 points

Analysis activities

4@20 points each

 80 points


16@10 points each

160 points

Personal influence journal

4@15 points each

60 points

Core assessment


100 points

Total available


500 points


Letter Grade Policy:

Final course grades will be determined as follows:


90% and higher

448 points and higher


80% - 89%

398 – 447 points


70% - 79%

348 – 397 points


60% - 69%

298 – 347 points


59% and lower

297 points and lower

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work will only be accepted with written permission from the instructor.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Communication Modes:

·         Course interaction – Students are responsible for checking email, monitoring online discussion threads, and reading all course announcements on a regular basis. Online instructors will use email, discussion threads, and/or announcements to communicate important course information.

      • Email - Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. When sending email other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all email sent to your instructor and/or other members of our class. Online Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours. Email is the preferred form of communication for private, course-related communications.
      • Online threaded discussions – Online discussions are public messages and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members.
      • Announcements - Announcements will be posted to remind you of important information or to highlight course activities. Announcements can be found at the top of the Course Home.

·         Submission of electronic assignments - Create a back up file of every piece of work you submit for grading. This will ensure that a computer glitch or a glitch in cyberspace won't erase your efforts. When files are sent attached to an email, the files should be in either Microsoft Word, RTF, ASCII, txt, or PDF file formats.

Participation Standards:

You are expected to actively participate in this course. All your Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact.  Spelling and grammar are very important in an Online course.  What you put into an Online course reflects on your level of professionalism.  For more information, see writing online at and netiquette at

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Due Thursday

Due Sunday

Week 1

Chapter 1

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Personal introduction
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)
  • Personal Influence Journal #1 (15 points)

Week 2

Chapter 2

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)  
  • Analysis Activity #1 (20 points)

Week 3

Chapter 3

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)  
  • Personal Influence Journal #2 (15 points)

Week 4

Chapter 4

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion  (10 points per discussion)
  • Analysis Activity #2 (20 points)

Week 5

Chapter 5

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)  
  • Personal Influence Journal #3 (15 points)

Week 6

Chapter 6

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)
  • Analysis Activity #3 (20 points)

Week 7

Chapter 7

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)  
  • Personal Influence Journal #4 (15 points)
  • Core Assessment – Experiential Project in Social Influence (100 points)

Week 8

Chapter 8

  • Initial response to discussion topics
  • Peer responses (2 per discussion topic) to discussion (10 points per discussion)  
  • Analysis Activity #4 (20 points)
  • Final Exam (100 points)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:7/14/2008 9:28:41 AM