PS301 Social Psychology

for F1SS 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 301 Social Psychology


F1SS 2006 RA


Aspell, Dee Dee


Adjunct Faculty


M.A. Clinical Psychology

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 21, 2006 - October 15, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

7:40 - 10:20 PM

Credit Hours


Brehm, S. S., Kassin, S., & Fein, S. (2005). Social Psychology (6th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Additional Resources:

Ritzer, G. (2002). McDonaldization: The reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information hypertext/apa/interact/lit/index.html

Course Description:
( SO 301) A study of the impact of the real or imagined social environment on individuals; particular emphasis is placed on the role of social and cultural influences on individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

      Philosophy of Teaching and Learning: Transformational adult learning and lifelong Learning. I encourage you toward ongoing holistic development of an ability to reflect on and use your life experience to respond to the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

      Method of Facilitation: Lecturettes, question-and-answer, interactive and reflective dialogue.

      Practical Application: It is important to learn to effectively work with others and to surround yourself with people and situations that foster your development.

Course Structure and Process: Learner-centered. Information learned in a participative manner tends to be more meaningful and is retained longer.

      Course Rationale: Bridge the gap between theory and application by integrating personal experiences with textbook concepts.

Commitment: It is my goal to help you enhance your talents, abilities, and knowledge so that you will feel more personally and professionally fulfilled than you did at the beginning of this class. While this is MY goal, it is YOU who will get out of this course that which YOU invest.

Class Etiquette: I am committed to open, frank, and insightful dialogue. Diversity has many manifestations, including diversity of thought, opinions, and values. Class dialogue and behavior is expected to conform to social etiquette and to not distract from the learning environment. Guidelines:

(1) When disagreeing with someone, respond to the subject, not the person.

(2) Be respectful and refrain from inappropriate commentary and/or behavior in the learning environment. For example, no mastication, or otherwise orally processing of a substance, and spitting in a cup are allowed in the learning environment. (This is a real-life example.)

(3) Maintain confidentiality. Although this facilitator cannot enforce that confidentiality be maintained, you are asked to respect the privacy and dignity of each person in class and to treat fellow classmates and their input with the honor and respect that you would like to receive in return.


      (4) Turn off cell phones while in class. No electronic communication is allowed during class (except for assigned class presentations). Receiving a call or electronic communication while in class constitutes an absence. If you need to be present to communiqué during the class time-frame, you are deemed unable to be present in class. (Prior abuse has forfeited wise-use.)



While I encourage an atmosphere of reverence and respect as we talk about the wide array of human factors, I invite you to cultivate and nourish a healthy sense of humor. Inviting you to laugh is meant to enhance the learning experience and foster personal and professional development. No offense to any individual, group, occupation, or to any situation is intended.


Best wishes and thank you for being in the class!

Dee Dee Aspell



References for my Educational Philosophy:


Brookfield, S., & Preskill, S. (1999). Discussion as a way of teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cranton, P. (1992). Working with adult learners. Dayton, OH: Wall & Emerson, Inc.

Cross, P., & Carusetta, E. (2004). Perspectives on authenticity in teaching. Adult Education Quarterly, 55, 5-22.

Dominice, P. (2000). Learning from our lives: Using educational biographies with adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

English, L. M. (2001). Reclaiming our roots: Spirituality as an integral part of adult learning. Adult learning, 12(3), 2-3.

Lauzon, A. (2001). The challenges of spirituality in the everyday practice of the adult educator: Blurring the boundaries of the personal and professional. Adult learning, 12(3), 4-6.

Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Mezirow, J., & Associates. (1990). Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Mezirow, J., & Associates. (2000). Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define key theories and principles relevant to social psychology.
  2. Critically apply social psychological concepts to enhance one's understanding of their own behavior in a societal context.
  3. Identify and critique research methods in social psychology.
  4. Define and contrast key factors relevant in theories of group dynamics, conformity, leadership, obedience, and interpersonal attraction.

Core Assessment:

Literature Review

The purpose of the literature review is for students to research a topic relevant to social psychology, formulate a research question, and conduct a literature review to address their target question. A literature review is not simply a report or an annotated bibliography; a literature review is a summary of the available information on a specific topic organized by common themes, trends or findings.


  • Utilizes a minimum of 6 empirical, peer-reviewed, research articles as the basis of the literature review.
  • Information must be organized, presented and referenced using APA style.
  • Literature review should be approximately 10-12 pages (plus title and reference pages).
  • Includes an explicit section examining multicultural implications, findings, relevance and/or significance.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Mid-Term and Final Exams: The mid-term and final exam consist of 250-300 words on each chapter of the text(s). Choose one concept from each chapter and write 250 to 300 words explaining: (1) the concept; and (2) how the concept applies to your own actual life experience. The mid-term exam consists of the first half of the total number of chapters in the text(s). The final exam consists of the second half of the total number of chapters in the text (s). Use APA format. A sample template is provided.


Course Grades: Each student's feedback will be based solely on his/her performance.  Students will not compete against one another for grades (i.e., the instructor will not limit the number of As, Bs, etc.).  An individual's grade is based on his or her raw score points (i.e., the total number of points earned). Review the feedback rubrics. Multiply “per class” points by the number of classes. Sum “per assignment” points for all assignments. You are encouraged to monitor your own scores.


Letter Grade         Letter Grade         Raw Score (total raw score points earned)

Cutoff Table          A                             90% + of the Maximum Points

                           B                             89% - 80% of the Maximum Points

                           C                             79% - 70% of the Maximum Points

                           D                             69% - 60% and less of the Maximum Points

                           F                              59% and less of the Maximum Points


Class Participation: 10%

Mid-Term Exam: 10%

Final Exam: 10%

Literature Review: 50%

Presentation: 20%


A Note about Grades as Indicators of Performance: Remember that “C” represents average or typical performance and is achieved by “fulfilling” requirements. “B” represents above average performance and is achieved by “significantly exceeding” requirements. “A” indicates excellence in performance and is achieved by “far exceeding” requirements.


A Note about Grade Inquiries: You may inquire about your grades for assignments and/or for the course. I am open to dialogue. If you choose to contest a grade, I will review your attendance record and all of your work for the class. Then, if needed, I will adjust your grade higher or lower to accurately reflect your performance for the course.


Late Submission of Course Materials:

General Remarks about Motivational Methodology. (Note: Some proverbial common sense iterations contained herein are the result of previous issues encountered with learners.)


Turn in assignments on time. Use correct grammar and spelling. Regarding assignments done in class, write or print neatly and legibly. If I cannot read your writing or cannot piece your words together in a manner that makes sense, you will not be given credit for your response. Use Spelling and Grammar Checks. I strongly encourage you to have someone proof-read your work before you turn it in. Complete assignments carefully and conscientiously.

Late assignments and papers are graded according to the Grading Rubrics. Late presentations and/or late completion of projects will not be allowed or accepted. If you are absent from class when you are scheduled to present your paper or project, you will receive no credit for that assignment. No “make-up” work or “extra credit” opportunities are allowed.


Present your work as professionally as possible. Less than professional performance will be reflected in your grade.

Please note that you will be responsible for and may be graded on anything else that may be presented in the class that this instructor deems as helpful to the learning process.

This instructor reserves the right to amend any portion of this learner information statement as she sees fit. This includes the grading criteria, assignments and requirements.


Guidelines set forth here in are designed to: (a) enhance your professional performance in the workplace; (b)are directed at enhancing your ability to effectively understand, communicate, and relate to others; and (c) promote continuing professional education and lifelong learning.


Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Participation, Punctuality, & Attendance: Attendance and Oral Participation in class discussion is critical to getting maximum value out of the learning experience. The more active the participation, the greater is the learning. Individual contribution to class discussion is expected and valued. Class participation necessitates attendance. If you are not in class, both you and your classmates miss the opportunity to gain from your experience.

You are expected to attend class and it is your responsibility to sign the Attendance Sheet. The learning paradigms that I use for teaching this course necessitate attendance and participation. Tardiness is a form of absence. Arriving to class fifteen or more minutes late twice, leaving class fifteen or more minutes early twice, being outside of class fifteen minutes or more, or any combination of two or more of these – constitutes an absence.


        Absenting yourself from the class for more than fifteen minutes constitutes an absence even if your belongings are in the classroom and even though you may have signed the attendance sheet. Out of respect for yourself and others, you are expected to be on time so that distractions of late-comers can be avoided and not interrupt the class.

Oral Participation in class discussion is expected. Active learning requires proactive participation and contributing your insights. Furthermore, speaking in class can enhance your public speaking, interpersonal relationship, and communication skills. Learning to articulate and laser your thoughts into words may enhance your self-confidence, your personal and professional presentation, and ultimately, your self-esteem. Participate actively in class discussions.


        Important Notice: Choose a "buddy" to collect handouts or obtain information about the class proceedings in the event you need to be absent. I will distribute handouts and/or supplementary materials only once. I do not necessarily review what was covered in prior classes. "What did I miss?" questions are to be directed to your "buddy."


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:






Choose one concept from each chapter and write 250 to 300 words explaining: (1) the concept; and (2) how the concept applies to your own actual life experience. Bring your chapter reflections to class on the corresponding dates.




Course Overview

Do a Google search on how to conduct a literature review. You are encouraged to explore the websites that have an “edu” extension. (Note the links that are located directly preceding the “Course Description” section of this syllabus.) Bring at least three different print-outs on how to conduct a literature review to the next class.



Chapter 1

Share research findings and chapter reflections.



Chapter 2

Share chapter reflections.



Chapter 3

Share literature reviewed to date and chapter reflections.



Chapter 4

Share research findings and chapter reflections.



Chapter 5

Share literature reviewed to date and chapter reflections.



Chapter 6

Share research findings and chapter reflections.



Chapters 7 & 8

Share literature reviewed to date and chapter reflections.



Chapter 9

Mid-Term Exam Due

Share research findings and chapter reflections.



Chapters 10 & 11

Share literature reviewed to date and chapter reflections.



Chapter 12 & 13

Share research findings and chapter reflections.



Chapter 14

Share literature reviewed to date and chapter reflections.



Present Lit Review

Final Exam Due

Interactive Dialogue



Present Lit Review

Interactive Dialogue



Present Lit Review

Interactive Dialogue



Present Lit Review

Interactive Dialogue

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

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 2006-2007 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 "W".
  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.

Park University 2006-2007 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: .

Exam Template for Social Psych.rtf


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Identifies and incorporates 7 or more empirical, peer-reviewed research articles that directly address the target research question.

Identifies and incorporates 6 empirical, peer-reviewed research articles that are appropriate and relevant for addressing the target research question.

Utilizes 5 or fewer research articles OR fails to utilize empirical, peer-reviewed research articles OR research articles are inappropriate for addressing the target research question.

No references or empirical basis for paper.

1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Literature review provides a cohesive, accurate analysis of the target question by organizing current information into logical themes, trends and findings; literature review provides a clear portrait of the current research status on the target topic.

Literature review is organized according to common themes, trends and findings that address the target question.

Literature review is presented as a series of unrelated findings/summaries OR literature review does not address the target question OR information fails to show any cohesiveness to topic.

Fails to provide a review of literature; paper is editorial, opinion, or personal reference.

1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student accurately interprets and presents empirical findings while going beyond the presented information to highlight original gaps, errors, inadequacies or unanswered issues in the research base.

Student accurately interprets and presents empirical findings that correctly address the research question while summarizing reported gaps or inadequacies in the research base.  

Student inaccurately interprets or presents the empirical findings OR findings do not address the research question OR fails to note any gaps/inadeqacies in the research base.

No relationship between literature review and research question.

1, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Student accurately and consistenly utilizes appropriate social psychological concepts that demonstrate a clear understanding of terminology.

Student accurately utilizes social psychological concepts to discuss the research literature.

Student utilizes social psychological terminology inaccurately OR fails to consistently use social psychological terminology.

Utilizes no social psychological terminology.

1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student proposes an insightful, original research question that utilizes current social psychological information to extend our understanding of humans as social creatures.

Student provides an appropriate researchable question that can be addressed within the scope of social psychology.

Student provides a philosophical or unanswerable question OR utilizes a research question that cannot be addressed from a social psychological perspective.

Fails to provide a research question.

1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student shows a sophisticated knowledge of research methodology in their ability to critically evaluate the research question; addresses flaws or concerns with the research literature.

Student correctly applies their knowledge of research methodology to interpret and integrate empirical information in relation to their target question.

Student is inaccurate in their application of research methodology OR fails to apply their knowledge to accurately address the target question.

Student unable to understand or interpret research methodology OR fails to apply research knowledge to the review of literature.

Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student utilizes APA style throughout paper with fewer than 3 errors.

Student utilizes APA style for title page, citations, references and overall organization of information; student has 4-6 errors in technical use of APA style.

Student utilizes APA style but has 7 or more errors.

Student fails to use APA style.

1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Body of literature review is 13 or more double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional)

Body of literature review is 10-12 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional)

Body of literature review is 7-9 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional) OR missing title/reference page

Body of literature review is less than 6 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional)

M/LL Courses                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student provides insight beyond what is presented in the literature in examining the multicultural implications, findings and/or significance; highlights awareness of the research question in relation to contemporary issues.

Student accurately addresses the multicultural implications, findings and/or significance of their research question.

Student mentions multicultural implications but fails to elaborate on the implications, findings and/or significance OR student fails to show an accurate understanding of multicultural issues.

No mention of multicultural issues, implications or findings.



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Last Updated:9/18/2006 2:20:05 PM