Course Structure - Montana State University by xiangpeng


									                                                 Social Psychology
                                                   Psychology 452
                                                      Fall 2006
                                              6:10-9:00pm Wednesdays
                                                      Reid 104

Professor: Dr. Ian Handley
Office: 329 Traphagen Hall
Office hours: Tuesday 3-4, Wednesday 2-4pm or by appointment via Email. These times are subject to
change, see my webpage for any alterations.
Phone: 994-6508
Course Webpage:

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Margaret Freuen,

Text: Social Psychology, 8th Ed. Myers, 2005 (Required).
      3 Supplemental readings to be announced

                                                 Course objectives

        The purpose of this course is to acquaint you with major experimental methodologies,
theories, and findings of Social Psychology, both historic and current. Integrative thinking, not
just memorization, will be a key component of this course. You will need to be able to critically
evaluate research and theory and understand how theories and experimental results relate to one
another. You will also need to understand how social psychology relates to phenomena you
observe within your own life and within the world. You should leave this course with new
insights into social behavior, cognition, and perception and with a refined ability to notice and
understand, and hopefully theorize about, aspects of your social world.

        This is a fairly demanding course, but it is also one that students generally find very
interesting, enlightening, thought provoking, and fun. We will be touching on wide variety of
topics such as attitudes, conformity, stereotypes and prejudice, aggression, altruism, the self in a
social world, and how we form impressions of others. These topics tend to generate much
interest and class discussion, and our discussions will be an important learning device in this
course. You are encouraged to ask questions, share experiences, and offer your own personal
ideas and constructive criticisms about theories and research findings presented in either the
class or book; this is a great way to learn. Note, however, that some of the topics and discussions
we will have may make some individuals feel sensitive, uncomfortable, or perhaps even angry or
hurt, especially if we are not conscientious. So, please be respectful of others, including their
ideas and sensibilities, keep an open mind, and let’s enjoy many intellectual conversations.

                                                 Course Structure

        Lectures/Discussions: Lectures and discussions (i.e., in-class participation) are key
components of this course. I will make it a point to discuss material that is not covered in the
text. The information presented in the lectures will have a very high probability of being on the
exams. Although attendance will not be taken, regular class attendance will assure that you will
have all necessary information needed for exams. Irregular attendance will almost certainly hurt
your grade. (Note also that PowerPoint lecture outlines are just outlines, I will verbally
communicate much more than will appear in the slides.) Further, I strongly encourage students to
ask questions, offer ideas, point out theoretical problems, etc., as doing so will facilitate learning
and help to make this “our” class.

        Text: Read assigned chapters before the respective material is covered in class. Doing so
will help you better integrate and evaluate the information presented in lectures. The text is
required. There will be some information covered in the text that I will not discuss in class…this
information is still fair game for the exams.

         Exams: There will be 4, 1-hour long, exams. The exams will contain multiple-choice,
short-answer, and fill-in-the-blank items. The exams will test the text and lectures to an
approximately equal extent. However, if something is covered in class but not in the text, this
information will very likely be on the exam…it is highly recommended that you do not miss
         Exams will be held during the first hour (i.e., 6:10-7:10pm) of some class periods. You
can only take the exam at this time; if you arrive to class at 7:10 on an exam day, you have
missed the exam and will not be able to take a make-up exam. If you miss an exam for this, or
any other reason, you will earn zero points for that exam. Exceptions will be made sparingly for
highly unusual circumstances (e.g., family tragedy, medical emergency). However, I MUST be
contacted at least one hour BEFORE the exam for such an exception to occur, and before the
exam I MUST approve your reason for being unable to take the exam on time. (Make sure I
agree that you can miss the exam, do not just inform me of your situation and assume I will
approve your missing the exam.) Again, only extreme events will excuse you from an exam, and
I will judge whether that condition is met in your particular circumstance. In this case, a make-up
exam, which will differ from, and contain more short-answer questions than, the regular tests
will be administered. I can always be contacted via Email as a backup, but phone conversations
may be more conducive to explaining your situation to me. There will be no bonus assignments,
do not ask.

         Additional readings/Quizzes: There will be 3 quizzes covering 3 supplemental readings.
These readings will be of a non-cumbersome length and are intended to introduce you to
interesting material not covered in the text or lectures. These readings will be available for
download as a .pdf document from my webpage. The dates of quizzes will be announced in class
at least one week prior to the date I will administer the quiz, as will be the reading. I will choose
these readings as the class progresses and I may even ask about what topics the class would like
to read. These quizzes will be worth 10 points each.

       Cheating: Cheating on an exam will guarantee you a zero for that exam and a report of
your misconduct may be filed with the university. Please do not cheat; I do not want this to
happen to anyone. Talking is not permitted during exams. Hats with a lip (e.g., baseball caps,
cowboy hats, visors) may not be worn during exams, although baseball caps may be worn
       Grading: Grades will be based on the percent of total points earned. The final grade will
be calculated as follows:

Exam1 = 100 points
Exam2 = 100 points
Exam3 = 100 points
Exam4 = 100 points
Quiz = 10 points
Quiz = 10 points
Quiz = 10 points
Total = 430 points                    your grade (%) = total points earned/430

Percents correspond to the below letter grades.

93-100           A                    78-79               C+                  60-62                D-
90-92            A-                   73-77               C                   59-0                 F
88-89            B+                   70-72               C-
83-87            B                    68-69               D+
80-82            B-                   63-67               D

      (The order in which chapters are discussed may change [e.g., flip], but the material for exams will stay the same.)

Aug. 30          Go over Syllabus, Lecture/discussion on Chapter 1
Sept. 6          Lecture/discussion on Chapter 2
Sept. 13         Lecture/discussion on Chapter 3
Sept. 20         Exam 1 covering Chapters 1, 2, 3; Lecture/discussion on Chapter 4
Sept. 27         Lecture/discussion on Chapters 4 and 6
Oct. 4           Lecture/discussion on Chapters 6 and 7
Oct. 11          Lecture/discussion on Chapter 7
Oct. 18          Exam 2 covering Chapters 4, 6, 7; Lecture/discussion on Chapter 8
Oct. 25          Lecture/discussion on Chapters 8 and 9
Nov. 1           Lecture/discussion on Chapter 9
Nov. 8           Lecture/discussion on Compliance
Nov. 15          Exam 3 covering Chapters 8, 9, and Compliance;
                 Lecture/discussion on Chapter 10
Nov. 22          Lecture/discussion on Chapter 10 (Day before Thanksgiving)
Nov. 29          Lecture/discussion on Chapter 11
Dec. 6           Lecture/discussion on Chapter 12
Dec. 13          8:00-9:50pm Final Exam (a.k.a., Exam 4) covering Chapters 10, 11, 12

Quizzes will be announced in class at least one week in advanced.
                       Official Montana State University Syllabus Addition

Behavioral Expectations

Montana State University expects all students to conduct themselves as honest, responsible and law-
abiding members of the academic community and to respect the rights of other students, members of the
faculty and staff and the public to use, enjoy and participate in the University programs and facilities. For
additional information reference


University policy states that, unless otherwise specified, students may not collaborate on graded material.
Any exceptions to this policy will be stated explicitly for individual assignments. If you have any
questions about the limits of collaboration, you are expected to ask for clarification.


Paraphrasing or quoting another’s work without citing the source is a form of academic misconduct. Even
inadvertent or unintentional misuse or appropriation of another's work (such as relying heavily on source
material that is not expressly acknowledged) is considered plagiarism. If you have any questions about
using and citing sources, you are expected to ask for clarification.

Academic Expectations

Section 310.00 in the MSU Conduct Guidelines states that students must:
A. be prompt and regular in attending classes;
B. be well prepared for classes;
C. submit required assignments in a timely manner;
D. take exams when scheduled;
E. act in a respectful manner toward other students and the instructor and in a way that does not detract
from the learning experience; and
F. make and keep appointments when necessary to meet with the instructor.
In addition to the above items, students are expected to meet any additional course and behavioral
standards as defined by the instructor.

Withdrawal Deadlines

After November 17, 2006, I will only support requests to withdraw from this course with a “W” grade
where extraordinary circumstances exist.


If you have a documented disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation(s), you
are encouraged to contact your instructor and Disabled Student Services

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