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Social Psychology 1 2017/2018

  • 5 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


The course of Social Psychology 1 aims to contribute to an in-depth knowledge of substantive areas of social psychology, developing critical analysis and questioning skills.
At the end of the course, students should:
- Have acquired in-depth knowledge of the subject matter of social psychology;
- Have acquired in-depth knowledge of the historical background of social psychology;
- Know some of the main theories and research of social psychology;
- Position themselves actively and critically towards the major theories and research of social psychology;
- Develop the ability to use ideas and information;
- Develop critical capacity.

Recommended Prerequisites

Skills and knowledge acquired in the following Curricular Units: Research Methodology 1 and Research Methodology 2.

Teaching Metodology

Expository methods and active methods will be used. The first largely sit on the use of multimedia support. The second will be based on the development of practical activities, including brainstorming, analysis and discussion of texts and scientific articles, analysis and discussion of films and / or documentaries concerning relevant topics in social psychology, group assignments with presentation and discussion in classroom context.

Body of Work

1. The field of social psychology
1.1. Definition and object
1.2. Context and historical evolution
1.3. Paradigms in Social Psychology
1.4. Levels of analysis
1.5. Interdisciplinary relations

2. Social cognition and social thinking
2.1. Social representations: concept, functions and theoretical perspectives
2.2. Attitudes, attitude change and persuasion
2.3. Perception and causal attribution processes

3. Group structure and dynamics
3.1. Norms, status and roles
3.2. Group processes and effects: the presence of others
3.3. Social influence in groups: majority social influence and minority social influence.

Recommended Bibliography

Hogg, M. A. & Caughan, G. M. (2008). Social psychology. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Leyens, J.P. (1994). Psicologia Social. Lisboa: Edições 70.
Myers, D. G. (2009). Exploring Social Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Michener, H. A., Delamater, J. D., & Myers, D. J. (2005). Psicologia Social (tradução E. Fittipaldi & S. S. M. Cuccio). São Paulo: Pioneira Thomson Learning.
Neto, F. (2000). Psicologia Social. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta.
Vala, J. & Monteiro, M. B. (Eds.). (2013). Psicologia Social (9ª edição revista e actualizada). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Complementary Bibliography

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., e Akert, R. M. (2005). Social psychology (5ª ed). New York: Pearson
Castro, P. (2006). Applying social psychology to the study of environmental concern and environmental worldviews: Contributions from the social representations approach. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 16, 247-266.
Doise, W. (2002). Da psicologia social à psicologia societal. Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa, 18(1), 27-35.
Hewstone, M., Stroebe, W., & Jonas, K. (2008). Introduction to social psychology: A European perspective. New York: Blackwell.
Valentim, J. P. (2008). Identidade pessoal e social: Entre a semelhança e a diferença. Psychologica, 47, 109-123.
Valentim, J. P. (2011). Societal approaches in social psychology. Bern: Peter Lang.

Weekly Planning

Week 1: Presentation of the Curricular Unit; Social Psychology: Context, historical evolution, paradigms, levels of analysis and interdisciplinary relations

Week 2: Social representations: Concept, origins and socio-cognitive processes

Week 3: Social Representations: Approaches to the study of social representations

Week 4: Attitudes: Concepts, measurement and functions

Week 5: Attitudes: Formation, change and its relationship to behavior

Week 6: Causal attribution

Week 7: Syllabus review; Mini-test

Week 8: Group structure, processes and effects

Week 9: Majority social influence (Sherif's normalization experiments, Asch's conformity experiments)

Week 10: Majority social influence: Obedience and authority (Milgram's and Zimbardo's experiments)

Week 11: Minority social influence

Week 12: Documentaries/films that illustrate important issues in social psychology; Preparation of the group assignments for presentation

Week 13: Presentation and discussion of group assignments

Week 14: Presentation and discussion of group assignments

Week 15: Exam: answering questions/doubts

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

In order to promote students' knowledge for the study of social psychology object, the syllabus focuses on relevant areas of social psychology, presenting also a perspective of its development. By allowing the acquisition of knowledge on fundamental areas of study of social psychology, the present syllabus contributes to the construction of an interpretation-frame of social reality, helping to understand the person as a psychosocial being that, as such, both influences and is influenced by the social context in which he operates. In addition, the proposed contents allow students to start understanding the key processes and psychosocial factors in the construction of social thinking and group interactions. Finally, the program contents will allow students to use this information to develop their capacity for reflection and critical positioning.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

Combining methodologies of oral exposure, with active/participatory methodologies by the students, the overall strategy of teaching and learning will thus allow achieving the objectives defined for the course, as that will give students the basic knowledge on the main areas of knowledge in social psychology, and at the same time encourage students in critical analysis skills of psychosocial reality of contemporary societies.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYes 
Commitment to effectivenessYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Cultural awarenessYes 
Ethical and responsible behaviourYes 
Event organization, planning and managementYes 
Foreign language proficiencyYes 
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
IT and technology proficiencyYes 
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYes 
Research skillsYes 
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversityYes 
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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