PS301 Social Psychology

for F2T 2011

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PS 301 Social Psychology (online)


F2T 2011 DLB


Dr. Patricia A. Marsh


Associate Professor of Psychology


Ph.D. – Social/Personality Psychology
M.S. – Psychology; Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health Psychology
B.S. – Psychology

Office Location

Park Campus, MA 319D (inside the library in the Underground)

Office Hours

TR 9 – 11 a.m., W 2 – 4 p.m., or by appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6880


Web Page

Semester Dates

October 17 – December 10, 2011

Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours



Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2011). Social psychology (8th ed.) United States: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

ISBN-13: 978-0-495-81240-1; ISBN-10: 0-495-81240-4
*Please note that the previous edition's information may still be listed under the home page within eCollege.  Certain areas of the course are "locked" and cannot be quickly updated, but requests have been submitted to Park Online.

The previous edition is also acceptable; however, the MBS Bookstore might not have the older version so you would have to utilize other means to obtain the older edition.

Kassin, F., & Markus, H. R. (not sure of the year, because I only have the latest edition). Social psychology (7th ed.). United States: Houghton Mufflin.

ISBN-13: 978-0-618875665; ISBN-10: 0-618875662

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
Park Online Writing Help:
APA style (free) tutorial:
Help with APA style: (Learning More about Plagiarism
APA:  (one of the two national organizations in Psychology)
APS: (one of the two national organizations in Psychology)
Social Psychology Network:

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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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
PS 301 Social Psychology: 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 individuals thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

As a professional in the field of Psychology, I am dedicated to the mission of enhancing students’ learning. I set high expectations for myself and my students in our performance, professional behavior inside and outside of the classroom, and in the ethical and respectful manner in which we interact with each other. Learning can be fun and enjoyable process, AND it can thrive within established guidelines and preliminary boundaries. Although structure, organization, and details are intricate to my teaching philosophy, so are life stories, hands-on activities, “props” (e.g., the Bobo doll), some flexibility (when there is a need or meets an educational objective), and assignments/tests that require students to demonstrate their comprehension of material covered in the course. Some of these techniques are adjusted for the online environment (e.g., online courses, hybrid classes).

Because learning is an ongoing process, students receive multiple forms of feedback and opportunities to engage in the learning process throughout the course. People learn at different paces, through different styles, and from different cultural/societal/family experiences. However, because the course is confined by a set start and end date, students’ strategies for learning the course material will differ and this is to be expected.  Some students, who seek out additional assistance and/or advising with me will, extend the learning process beyond the scope of the course and into their professional development. Learning, mentoring, conducting and applying research, and providing my service to the profession are keys aspects of who I am as a social/personality psychologist. I am also very dedicated and passionate about my career and hope to inspire others to feel that way about their chosen profession. 

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will enhance their critical thinking skills and write at an advanced (junior-senior) level.
  2. Students will demonstrate their ability to make connections across multiple academic references.
  3. Students will increase their understanding of inter- and intra-personal factors on behavior. When observing behavior they will be able to identify how groups and individuals influence behavior.
  4. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of APA style (6th edition).
  5. Students will enhance their technological skills with Microsoft Word (e.g., Track Changes and Comments) and eCollege/eCompanion—the course management system (e.g., accessing and submitting assignments, quizzes, accessing grades and other documents, etc.).
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:

You will know in advance the standards for each assignment as described under each “Week” tab within eCollege. My goal is to provide you with prompt, clear, and useful feedback to help you critically analyze theories, concepts, and research designs along with communicating this knowledge in a professional manner. Each student is responsible for: 

  • Completing a Pre (by Week 1) and Post (by Week 8) Assessment Surveys
  • Completing weekly reading assignments
  • Completing weekly homework assignments
  • Completing weekly quizzes
  • Participating in weekly online class discussions (explore assignments with discussion threads)
  • Completing a literature review
  • Completing an application movie analysis
  • Completing a proctored final examination


You will be able to track your grade throughout the term via the Gradebook within eCollege. Grades will be determined by your performance on a final cumulative/comprehensive exam, literature review and movie application analysis papers, weekly homework assignments and quizzes, and participation in online exploration class discussions. Points will be assigned as follows:

Final exam (Week 8)

100 points

Literature review (and corresponding article critiques)

100 points

Weekly homework assignments

80 points

Weekly quizzes

70 points

Move application analysis

30 points

Participation in online exploration discussions

120 points


500 points

Final course grades will be determined as follows:


448 points and higher


398 – 447 points


348 – 397 points


298 – 347 points


297 points and lower

Extra credit points can be earned through the following methods:

·         Completing the Pre and Post Assessment Surveys (5 points for each survey). 

·         Students with 7 – 8 weeks of VERY active participation will earn an additional 20 points toward their total course points. Those with 5 – 6 weeks of VERY active participation will earn 10 points. Those with fewer than 5 weeks of active participation will not earn any extra points related to class participation.

“Very active participation” is define by: turning in assignments on time (weekly homework, quizzes, and associated literature review assignments by midnight CST on Sundays) and completing all aspects of the weekly explore activities (individual component posted by midnight CST each Thursday and responding meaningfully to at least two other students’ postings by midnight CST on Sundays). 

Meaningful posts and responses go beyond a single expressed thought, sentence, or incomplete idea. Distributed postings/responses are another marker of higher quality (e.g., commenting throughout the week not only on a single day such as at the end of the week). Meaningful/quality posts encourage others to participate, offer applications or additional examples, solicit additional information and insights from others in the course, and can involve answering questions but also posing new questions relevant to the topic/content being discussed. Hence, there are multiple creative ways this objective can be achieved. These types of posts should also enhance the learning experience within the course.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

The following quote is from the “Overview” link under Course Home. At the end of the quote I have added my late submission policies.

It is easy to get behind in this course. This is particularly troublesome because learning the course is designed to be sequential and cumulative. Your active participation throughout each week will be critical to your learning and critical to the health of the learning community. In other words, if you aren't online weekly, you will suffer and your colleagues will suffer. It is critical that you engage online with the class consistently across the semester.

The on-line environment requires us to complete the work for each week within the Monday to Sunday window. We will adhere to that rule. However, we have one cumulative project in this course, so it will be important for you to do the reading and the suggestions for preparation to succeed in the core assessment on a regular basis across the semester.

This course is based on reading, implementing strategies, and applying what you have learned. You cannot succeed without reading the material, reading it carefully, and taking notes on what you have read. Simply monitoring the discussion threads and reading the class facilitator notes will not be enough -- citations from the readings and comments on the class discussion are required, you cannot reach successful depth of understanding without reading. Please let me know if you are having trouble understanding the material. You will probably not be alone and you will provide me a clear opportunity to help all the students engage with the ideas.


Weekly quizzes and homework cannot be made-up after the deadline, unless approved by the professor (e.g., extreme illness, emergency/surprise military drill, etc.). Under these circumstances, students must contact the professor as soon as possible, 1-2 weeks later is not sufficient. Planned absences from the online environment should be conveyed to the professor BEFORE they occur.

Because the explore assignments require interaction with peers in the class, these are very difficult if not impossible to make-up. Contact the professor immediately if you will miss an entire week or the second half (Thursday-Sunday) of a week in which these activities take place.

The final versions of the papers such as the literature review and the movie analysis (due during the Weeks 6 and 7 respectively) will lose 10 points for every 24-hour block they are turned in late. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Time zone: All due times reflect Central Standard Time (CST), USA.

Drop Policy: In compliance with Park University’s policy. Students will be dropped from the course after two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences.

Email policy: Please use the Email tool/tab within eCollege. Unless I am sick or out of town, I will usually respond to emails within a 24-hour period during the weekdays (Mondays-Fridays) when classes are in session. 

·         I do not make this guarantee on the weekends (UNLESS you are enrolled in one of my online classes), when I’m ill, over holidays, or when I’m at conferences. 

·         Please do not be surprised or upset if you do not receive an immediate (i.e., less than 24-hour) response to your emails. 

·         When sending an email to me (or any of your professors), you need to include your first and last name, course name, and the class time or format (for online). Most professors/instructors teach multiple classes and, in some cases, multiple sections of the same course. Hence, this information facilitates a quick reponse.

·         MUST use your email to ensure I receive your communication; otherwise, I am not responsible for emails lost to the Park’s email spam filter.

Be Respectful
(both inside and outside of the online classroom): As a student in this class, you should know upfront that you will encounter new ideas, topics, images and discussions, which may challenge your worldview. Some students may find this information personally offensive, uncomfortable, distasteful, or upsetting. Because the field of psychology addresses positive, neutral, and negative aspects of human and animal behavior, we will discuss a broad range of topics that may not be pleasant for everyone. Please be respectful to your classmates and your instructor(s). Debates on relevant issues are encouraged, however no one should engage in personal attacks inside or outside of the online classroom environment.

Student Behavior: At the instructor’s discretion, student behavior deemed disruptive to the educational environment will result in disciplinary action consistent with the university’s academic policy. Consequences of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to, email discussions of the behavior and solutions, removal from the online classroom, and/or administrative withdrawal of the student from the course.

Students will receive a public or private warning (e.g., course announcement reminding the class about appropriate online behaviors) to cease the activity.  Depending on the severity and frequency, on the second occurrence the student will be instructed to modify their on/off-line statements. If such behavior persists or if a student feels that sufficient actions have not been taken, then additional actions will be taken that are in line with Park’s policies. See

Office Hours
: Specific times for office hours are listed on the front page of the course syllabus. These reflect times I will be in my physical office on the Parkville campus; meets the requirements for teaching f2f and online. I can be reached by my office phone and email during those times. I frequently make appointments with students outside of office hours (for both f2f and online students) to better facilitate their schedules. You can also reach me by posting questions within the virtual office (see the “Office” link under Course Home).

Please take advantage of appointments. These times are set aside so that questions or concerns can be addressed, assistance and resources discussed, or for meetings about your professional development (e.g., academic and career). 

Technical Problems: Expect technology (e.g., computers, software, email systems, internet connections, eCollege, Park’s website, etc.) to be unavailable during both predictable (e.g., scheduled maintenances) and non-predictable (e.g., servers malfunction) times. Make sure you keep a backup copy of ALL of your work, the emails we exchange, and make sure you have a secondary method of getting online (a local library, a friend or relative’s house, etc).

Create back-up plans for when technology becomes unavailable at the time you need it to work!

You are expected to be proactive. If you run into a computer-related problem which you cannot solve through your own resources or through the “Help and Resources” link under Course Home, then you may seek assistance through me.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The following overview provides some guidelines to assist you in planning your coursework and scheduling the major learning activities in the course:




Week 1

Chapters 1 and 2

  • Personal introduction (see “Introductions” link under Course Home)
  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload topic and research question for literature review to the Dropbox

Week 2

Chapters 3 and 4

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload two article reviews to the Dropbox

Week 3

Chapter 5

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload two article reviews to the Dropbox

Week 4

Chapters 6 and 7

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload two article reviews to the Dropbox

Week 5

Chapter 8

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz

Week 6

Chapter 9

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload complete literature review to the Dropbox

Week 7

Chapters 10 and 11

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Submit/upload complete movie application paper to the Dropbox

Week 8

Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 or Chapter 14

  • Explore activity with two peer responses
  • Homework
  • Final Exam

As you can see, there are two major projects in addition to the regular weekly assignments and the final exam. The first project is a literature review over a specific topic in social psychology, and the second project is an application of social psychological concepts to a movie. For more specific information on the paper requirements, see the "Projects" link found under the Course Home.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

(Additional) Policy on Cheating/Plagiarism: Cheating on examinations and/or plagiarism of written material will be handled in a manner consistent with the university's academic honesty and plagiarism policies. Students who are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or knowingly providing false information may be reprimanded with a (a) failure grade on assignments or exams, (b) failure of the course, or (c) potentially other disciplinary actions. These consequences can occur for unintentional, intentional, or other reasons for such acts.

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: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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: .

Additional Information:

Devoting Time: Students desiring to earn an "A" letter grade in this course will devote on average 6 - 9 hours per week; including online discussions, email correspondences with students and the professor, and preparing material to be posted within eCollege. This is the same amount of time I recommend to students who physically attend my f2f (face-to-face) classes.

Please plan your daily/weekly activities accordingly.

Depending on the number of Assumed Knowledge & Skills (see below) acquired by students PRIOR to entering this course, significantly more hours will be needed to achieve an "A" grade. 

Assumed Knowledge & Skills
(i.e., what students should have walking/logging into this course)

  • Basic understanding of psychological concepts and theories of behavior.
  • Some comprehension of research designs, statistical analyses, and findings conveyed in peer-review sources.
  • Intellectual inquiry and skepticism.
  • How to critically read a college level textbook; use of eCollege/eCompanion; ability to conduct database searchers for academic sources (e.g., use of Park’s library services), and knowledge of university policies.
  • Self-regulation of one’s learning (e.g., taking notes based on your methods of learning, identifying strengths and areas of improvement in your learning endeavors, receiving and incorporating constructive feedback into your learning process); ability to read/access and follow a course syllabus.

Junior level(assumed because the course is at the 300-level)

  • How to properly cite and reference the source(s) of ideas, concepts, theories, findings, and terminology using APA style 6th edition (e.g., title pages, header and page numbering, main and sub-headings, references page, etc.).
  • Avoid stealing, copying, or taking credit for information that you did not create (i.e., acts of plagiarism).
  • Ability to write in a professional (non-conversational) manner. Professional writing includes, but is not limited to, the use of complete sentences, clear topic statements and supporting sentences, research or evidenced based rationales instead of unsupported opinions, transition sentences across paragraphs, integrating information from multiple sources, demonstrating multiple applications of critical thinking, and a concluding paragraph.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in teams both f2f (face-to-face) and online.
  • Professionalism in one’s behavior and quality of work.


I am an Associate Professor of Psychology at Park University with a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Kansas State University. This (fall 2011) is my first semester at Park and using eCollege/eCompanion.  I have been teaching since the spring of 1999, and have used various course management tools such as Blackboard, WebCT, and Kansas State Online.  So if you are new to eCollege, please feel free to ask questions (see discussion thread below).  I have provided a brief work history below.  If you would like more information on my professional background, please let me know and I will email you my curriculum vitae (i.e., a type of academic resume).


Fall 2011 Associate Professor of Psychology, Park University, Parkville, MO

2006-2011 Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

2006-2007 Third Party/External Evaluator (quarter-time consultant), ELOA Grant, Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO

2005-2006 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO

2005-2006 Third Party/External Evaluator (quarter-time consultant), BLEND Project, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

2002-2005 Coordinator/Assistant Director, Office of Assessment, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

1999 – 2005 Part-time Instructor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

2000-2002 Part-time Instructor, Highland Community College (Branch location), Wamego, KS


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:10/4/2011 1:42:07 PM