Psychology 440 – Advanced Social Psychology
Fall 2009 - Winter 2010
St. Francis Xavier University
Instructor: Class Time and Location:
Dr. Christine Lomore Time: Tuesdays 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Room: TBA
Office: Nicholson Annex 114J
Office Hours: Monday 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday 1:00–3:00 p.m.,
Thursday 2:00-4:00 p.m.,
Or by appointment if you cannot make office hours.
For the first term we will focus primarily on the field of close relationships research. Topics to
be covered in the fall term will include: attraction, attachment styles, self-esteem in the context
of relationships, motivated social cognition, lay relationship theories, gender and conflict, day-
to-day disclosure of positive and negative events, forgiveness, and relationship dissolution. In
the second term, we will consider topics related to stereotyping and prejudice (e.g., automatic
and controlled processing, motivations, stereotype threat, interracial interactions, and prejudice
reduction), and cultural psychology (e.g., relationships, cognition, and motivations).
This course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the field of close relationships
research, cultural psychology, and stereotyping and prejudice. Social cognition as it relates to all
of these topics will be emphasized. This course will provide you with themes that will help you
to describe and understand what is going on in your own social worlds and in your relationships.
Importantly, I hope that this course will help you to think like a social psychologist, thinking
critically and skeptically about research.
Furthermore, this course will give you the opportunity to learn about the research process first
hand. You will design, conduct, analyze and write-up a lab report based on an original social
psychological study. Not only will this give you the opportunity to think about and conduct a
research project on a topic of your own interest, but it will also give you the opportunity to
practice writing about research.
Psych 440 Fall Course Pack; Psych 440 Winter Course Pack (will be available later in the fall
Evaluation and breakdown of grades:
Thought papers 20% Class Presentations 15%
Class Participation 10% December Exam 15%
Lab Reports 25% Final Exams 15%
We will be meeting once a week as a seminar class. Prior to class, you will be responsible for
writing a thought paper on the articles that you have read for class. Thought papers should be no
more than 2 pages (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins).
These papers can include your criticisms of the readings, ideas that you have for further research,
etc. They should not simply be summaries of the readings (summaries will receive grades of
50%), nor should they be primarily based on your own opinions. In your thought papers you can
write about a variety of different things. For example, you could 1) generate a hypothesis
relevant to the topic at hand and a study to test that hypothesis, explaining the theoretical
reasoning behind the hypothesis and justifying the proposed methodology, 2) discuss your own
critical observations or thoughts regarding the issues in the readings, clearly explaining your
observations, 3) evaluate the arguments in the readings for alternative explanations for the data,
or unwarranted assumptions in the authors‟ reasoning or 4) provide a question (or questions) for
class discussion, indicate why that question might be important and interesting to discuss, as well
as your own insights and perspectives in your exploration of the issue. Most importantly, go
beyond the readings-think critically, be skeptical and be creative. These papers will help to
prepare you for our discussions and will be a critical part of the seminars.
You need only complete 8 thought papers in the fall term and seven thought papers in the winter
term (total of 15 thought papers). Your lowest thought paper grade in each term will not be
considered when assigning your final grade.
Thought papers for each seminar are due at 12 noon, on the Monday prior to the Tuesday
seminar. In the event of a Monday holiday, your papers are due at 12 noon, the day of the
seminar. Please note that papers should be turned in either directly to me, or dated and timed by
Marion Stewart-MacDonald, in the Psychology Department Office, and left in my mailbox. DO
NOT slip your paper under my office door, or send it via email as an attachment.
Class participation makes up 10% of your final grade. This is not a lecture course (although,
there will be some lecturing). You will only benefit from the course by being prepared for each
class and by being willing to discuss the material. Be open to different perspectives and opinions
and to challenging ideas and theories presented in class.
In a seminar-style class, your participation and attendance are expected (your grade depends on it
too!). Your participation mark will start with a base grade of 75%. You will be able to maintain
this grade with near-perfect attendance. Over the term, I will keep track of both attendance and
participation and will add or deduct grades according to the following system:
Increments will be based on: 1) above average participation in discussions, 2) making an effort
to make your points concisely (i.e., not monopolizing discussion) and to stay on topic, 3)
showing respect to others‟ contributions, facilitating discussion, 4) paying careful attention to
others‟ presentations, offering constructive feedback, comments and questions, 5) actively
participating in group project presentations.
Deductions will be based on: 1) class absences (however, valid excuses will be taken into
account), 2) arriving to class late, or leaving early, 3) below average participation in
discussions, 4) talking with neighbors (when inappropriate), note-passing, text messaging, 5)
working on material for other courses during class-time, 6) monopolizing class discussions, 7)
interrupting or not showing sufficient respect to others‟ contributions, 8) being disrespectful to
classmates, and course content (e.g., telling irrelevant jokes during class time).
Each week, 2 students will be responsible for leading the seminar. Each student will present a
single article from the assigned reading list. However, both presenters will be expected to lead
the discussion of the readings. For your first presentation or two, you are expected to meet with
me prior to your presentation to determine which portion of the assigned article you will present
and to generally go over your presentation.
In your presentations, your task is to “tell the story” of the article in less than 15 minutes. That
is, start by outlining the authors‟ theoretical perspective and the past research (as cited by the
authors) in support of that perspective. Discuss the authors‟ hypotheses and the methods that
they use to test their hypotheses. You should clearly discuss the results of the study, making use
of graphs, tables or diagrams to make the results clear. Finally, discuss the conclusions that we
can draw from the research, the implications of the research for people in the real-world (i.e., the
practical implications of the work) and the implications of the work for social psychology in
general (i.e., the theoretical implications – that is, how does this research change how social
psychologists think about the issue at hand).
You will be responsible for leading the seminar a number of times over the year (the number of
presentations you will do depends on class enrollment). You are not expected to go beyond the
material assigned, but you may if you wish (please see me if you wish to go beyond the
material). Your job as presenter is to review the readings, get discussion going and to keep
it going. Grading guidelines for the presentations are attached.
In groups, you will be expected to design and run a study based on some social psychological
phenomenon and then to write-up the study in APA format. Although you will design and
conduct the study in groups, reports will be written individually (i.e., you may not collaborate
with your group members on writing the research proposal or final report or cut-and-paste from
the group‟s ethics application to write your proposal or final report). There is one exception to
this rule. You may write your results sections as a group (however, be aware that if your group
makes a mistake in the results section, the same penalty will be applied to all group members).
This exception is in place to assist those students who have not taken Psychology 390 and
therefore do not have a strong background in statistics.
A lab proposal, worth 10% of your final grade, will be due on February 23, 2010. This proposal
should include an introduction and a methods (with proposed analyses) section. I will grade and
comment on the proposal, and expect that you will use my comments to improve your final lab
Final lab reports should include the following sections: abstract, introduction, methods, results,
discussion, references, figures and/or tables, and appendicies. The final lab reports will make up
15% of your final grade. Reports are to be no longer than 20 pages in length (excluding
references, tables, figures, appendicies), with 12-15 references. Grading guidelines for the final
lab reports are attached.
In addition to the reports, you will present your project proposals and final results in your groups.
There will be two take-home exams in the course. These exams will be made up of broad
questions which will require you to generate a thesis statement and support it by synthesizing
material you have read for the course. Also, for both the December and Final exams, you will be
required, to propose and design a social psychological study. Information on due dates, format,
etc. will follow.
Courtesy and Conduct in Class
Please keep in mind that you are not the only student in class. Many of your classmates are
concerned about the high cost of their education and would like to get as much from class as they
can. Please observe the following guidelines in class:
Laptops: Students who wish to use a laptop during class time must seek permission from
the instructor in advance. If permission is granted, please note that your laptop is to be
used only for note-taking, not recreational purposes (e.g., Facebook, web-surfing, game
playing). Non-academic use of laptops might distract some of your classmates.
Inappropriate use of a laptop in the classroom will result in laptop privileges being
Cellular Phones: As they can be very disruptive, cell phones will not be tolerated in the
classroom. Please ensure that your phones are turned off or to vibrate prior to entering
the classroom. If you forget and your cell phone rings during class, do not answer it in
the classroom. Either leave the room quietly or turn the phone off immediately.
Similarly, text messaging during class time will not be tolerated.
Talking during lecture: Please do not carry on conversations with others during class
time. Talking during class disrupts not only the people around you, but can disrupt my
concentration during lecture. Instead of talking during class, you are encouraged to ask
questions to clarify any concept you may have missed.
University Policy on Class Attendance: University policies with respect to class attendance are
described in 3.7 of the University‟s Academic Calendar. Of particular relevance is the following
statement: “Faculty are required to report to the Dean all unexplained absences in excess of
three hours over at least two classes in a course in any term. Students who miss more than this
number of class hours in a course without reasonable cause may, after a warning letter has been
sent by the dean‟s office, be dismissed from the course.” This policy subsumes attendance in
lectures and labs.
Departmental Policy on Late Assignments: Students will be penalized 5% for each calendar
day that an assignment/paper is late. Once 10 days have passed, a mark of zero will be assigned.
Only valid excuses, such as illness or personal emergency (which must be substantiated), can
effect a renegotiation of the due date with the professor.
Note that disk failures, computer crashes, etc. are not valid excuses for failing to turn
assignments in on time, nor are they valid excuses for turning in substandard work. Back up
your work!!! Always be sure to keep hard and soft copies of each assignment for yourself, just
in case the copy you turn in does not find its way to me or the lab instructor. Always keep the
graded assignments, in the event that an error is made in recording your grade.
University Policy on Academic Integrity: St. Francis Xavier University values academic
integrity. Therefore, all students must understand the meaning and consequences of such
academic offenses as plagiarism, cheating, tampering, and falsification under Section 3.8 of the
Academic Calendar. I have a no tolerance policy for violations of academic integrity and report
all offenders to the Academic Discipline Committee. See the following website for more
information: http://libmain.stfx.ca/integrity/faculty/academicintegrityfaculty.htm. Information
on how to avoid plagiarism can be found at: http://library.stfx.ca/content/plagiarism.htm.
E-mail: You are expected to maintain a working St.FX e-mail account at all times; please check
that account regularly to ensure that it is not „full‟. Important notices will be sent to these e-mail
addresses (i.e., announcements about exams, etc.).
Please be advised that I do not send grades via e-mail. If you miss class the day that an exam is
handed back to you, do not e-mail me requesting your grade. E-mail is a very insecure form of
communication, so to ensure your privacy and the confidentiality of your grade, please see me
during office hours if you wish to view your grades.
Etiquette Rules for Communicating via E-mail: Writing to a course instructor is not the same
as writing to a friend. Although the communication is not on paper, you should follow similar
guidelines. Even though you are using e-mail, it is important to remember that you are
communicating with others who deserve clear communication and respect. In addition, you may
be expected to use e-mail in future employment situations, and it might be helpful to develop
good habits now. These are NOT listed in order of priority but in the order in which you would
need the information while writing an e-mail or other electronic message.
1. When writing an e-mail, please write something in the “subject” line. If your e-mail is
about a specific topic, write the name of it (e.g., fundamental attribution error question).
2. Begin the communication with a salutation such as “Dear Dr. XXX”, rather than “hey”.
3. Use Proper English. Write complete sentences. This includes the correct use of capital
letters to begin the sentence and a period to end the sentence. Every e-mail message
should be properly spelled and punctuated, and it should be grammatically correct. A
poorly written and misspelled e-mail reflects badly on the author.
4. Do not write in all capital letters or all lower-case letters. Write electronic messages the
same way you would write a formal paper.
5. Delineate separate ideas, thoughts, questions by using paragraphs.
6. RE-READ the message before sending and check for spelling errors, poor grammar,
unclear sentences, or other organizational errors that happened in the first draft.
7. Sign the communication with your first AND LAST name and the course in which you
are enrolled. It is helpful to have your e-mail address and ID number underneath your
name, but this is optional.
8. DO NOT e-mail your instructor to ask questions for which you could easily find an
answer yourself (e.g., date of exams, chapters to be covered on exam). Instead, try
checking your course syllabus, or the instructor‟s webpage first. Similarly, please avoid
e-mailing the instructor to ask for class notes or if you missed “anything important.”
Instead, please ask one of your colleagues in class for notes and announcements.
Tentative Class Schedule (Fall Term)
Week 1: Sept. 15 Introduction.
Week 2: Sept. 22 Research Methods
Crano, W. D., & Brewer, M. B. (2002). “Chapter 2: Fitting research design to research
purpose: Internal and external validity.” In Principles and Methods of Social Research.
Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Crano, W. D., & Brewer, M. B. (2002). “Chapter 8: Correlational design and causal analysis.”
In Principles and Methods of Social Research. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence
Jordan, C.H., & Zanna, M. P. (1999). “How to read a journal article in social psychology.” In
R. Baumeister (Ed.), The Self in Social Psychology. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
Week 3: Sept. 29 Attraction
Eastwick, P.W., & Finkel, E.J. (2008). Sex differences in mate preferences revisited: Do people
know what the initially desire in a romantic partner? Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 94(2), 245-264.
Montoya, R.M., Horton, R.S., & Kirchner, J. (2008). Is actual similarity necessary for
attraction? A meta-analysis of actual and perceived similarity. Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships, 25(6), 880-922.
Week 4: Oct. 6 Attachment Styles
Collins, N.L., & Feeney, B.C. (2004). Working models of attachment shape perceptions of
support: Evidence from experimental and observational studies. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 87(3), 363-383.
Campbell, L., Simpson, J.A., Boldry, J., & Kashy, D.A. (2005). Perceptions of conflict and
support in romantic relationships: The role of attachment anxiety. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 88(3), 510-531.
Week 5: Oct. 13 The Impact of Self-Esteem on Relationships
Murray, S.L., Holmes, J.G., MacDonald, G., & Ellsworth, P.C. (1998). Through the looking
glass darkly? When self-doubts turn into relationships insecurities. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 75(6), 1459-1480.
Lomore, C.D., Spencer, S.J., & Holmes, J.G. (2007). The role of shared values affirmation in
enhancing the feelings of low self-esteem women about their relationships. Self and
Identity, 6(4), 340-360.
Eisenberger, N.I., Lieberman, M.D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI
study of social exclusion. Science, 302, 290-292.
Week 6: Oct. 20 Social Cognition 1: Idealization vs. Understanding
Murray, S.L., Holmes, J.G., & Griffin, D.W. (1996). The benefits of positive illusions:
Idealization and the construction of satisfaction in close relationships. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 70(1), 79-98.
Swann, W.B., De La Ronde, C., & Hixon, J.G. (1994). Authenticity and positivity strivings in
marriage and courtship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(5), 857-869.
Week 7: Oct. 27 Social Cognition II: Lay Relationship Theories
Lomore, C.D., & Cohen, D. (2001). Soulmate and work-it-out theorists: Defensive and practical
strategies for coping with threatening relationship events. Unpublished manuscript,
University of Waterloo.
Knee, C.R., Nanayakkara, A., Vietor, N.A., Neighbors, C. & Patrick, H. (2001). Implicit
theories of relationships: Who cares if romantic partners are less than ideal? Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(7), 808-819.
Week 8: Nov. 3 Social Cognition III: Relationship Maintenance
Frye, N.E., & Karney, B.R. (2004). Revision in memories of relationship development: Do
biases persist over time? Personal Relationships, 11, 79-97.
Lydon, J.E., Menzies-Toman, D., Burton, K., & Bell, C. (2008). If-then contingencies and the
differential effects of the availability of an attractive alternative on relationship
maintenance for men and women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1),
Week 9: Nov. 10 Daily Disclosures of Positive and Negative Events
Hicks, A.M., & Diamond, L.M. (2008). How was your day? Couples‟ affect when telling and
hearing daily events. Personal Relationships, 15(2), 205-228.
Holmberg, D., Lomore, C.D., Price, E.L., & DuBois, D. (2009). Adult attachment styles as
predictors of amount and style of support-seeking behaviors. Manuscript submitted for
Week 10: Nov. 17 Gender and Conflict
Ickes, W. (1993). Traditional gender roles: Do they make, and then break, our relationships?
Journal of Social Issues, 49, 71-85.
Christensen, A., & Heavey, C.L. (1990). Gender and social structure in the demand/withdraw
pattern of marital conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(1), 73-81.
Heavey, C.L., Christensen, A., & Malamuth, N.M. (1995). The longitudinal impact of demand
and withdrawal during marital conflict. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,
Week 11: Nov. 24 Forgiveness
Fincham, F.,D., Paleari, F.G., & Regalia, C. (2002). Forgiveness in marriage: The role of
relationship quality, attributions and empathy. Personal Relationships, 9(1), 27-37.
Finkel, E.J., Burnette, J.L., & Scissors, L.E. (2007). Vengefully ever after: Destiny beliefs, state
attachment anxiety and forgiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92,
Week 12: Dec.1 Relationship Dissolution
Davis, D., Shaver, P.R., & Vernon, M.L. (2003). Physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions
to breaking up: The roles of gender, age, emotional involvement, and attachment style.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(7), 871-884.
Koenig Kellas, J., Bean, D., Cunningham, C., & Cheung, K.Y. (2008). The ex-files: Trajectories,
turning points, and adjustment in the development of post-dissolutional relationships.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25(1), 23-50.
Tashiro, T., & Frazier, P. (2003). “I‟ll never be in a relationship like that again”: Personal
growth following romantic relationship breakups. Personal Relationships, 10(1), 113-
Tentative Class Schedule (Winter Term)
Week 1: Jan. 5 Organizational Meeting, Group Work
Week 2: Jan. 12 Group Work - Research Project
Week 3: Jan. 19 Research Proposal Presentations
Week 4: Jan. 26 Stereotyping and Prejudice #1: Automatic vs. Controlled Processing
Bargh, J.A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social behavior: Direct effects of
trait construct and stereotype activation on action. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 71(2), 230-244.
Chen, M., & Bargh, J.A. (1997). Nonconscious behavioral confirmation processes: The self-
fulfilling consequences of automatic stereotype activation. Journal of Experimental
Social Psychology, 33(5), 541-560. (optional, but recommended)
Devine, P.G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(1), 5-18.
Week 5: Feb. 2 Stereotyping and Prejudice #2: Motivations
Fein, S., & Spencer, S.J. (1997). Prejudice as self-image maintenance: Affirming the self
through derogating others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(1), 31-44.
Sinclair, L., & Kunda, Z. (1999). Reactions to a black professional: Motivated inhibition and
activation of conflicting stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
Week 6: Feb. 9 Stereotyping and Prejudice #3: Stereotype Threat
Spencer, S.J., Steele, C.M., & Quinn, D. M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women‟s math
performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35(1), 4-28.
Davies, P.G., Spencer, S.J., & Steele, C.M. (2005). Clearing the air: Identity safety moderates
the effects of stereotype threat on women‟s leadership aspirations. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 88(2), 276-287.
Week 7: Feb. 16 Stereotyping and Prejudice #4: Interactions
Shelton, J.N., Richeson, J.A., & Salvatore, J. (2005). Expecting to the be the target of prejudice:
Implications for interethnic interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,
Sinclair, S., Huntsinger, J., Skorinko, J., & Hardin, C.D. (2005). Social tuning of the self:
Consequences for the self-evaluations of stereotype targets. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 89(2), 160-175.
Week 8: Feb. 23 Stereotyping and Prejudice #5: Reducing Prejudice
Wright, S.C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S.A. (1997). The extended contact
effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 73(1), 73-90.
Kawakami, K., Dovidio, J.F., Moll, J., Hermsen, S., & Russin, A. (2000). Just say no (to
stereotyping): Effects of training in the negation of stereotypic associations on stereotype
activation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(5), 871-888.
Kawakami, K., Dunn, E., Karmali, F., & Dovidio, J.F. (2009). Mispredicting affective and
behavioral responses to racism. Science, 323, 276-278.
***Feb. 23 - Draft of Introduction and Methods for Research Report Due
Week 9: March 9 Culture #1: Relationships
Kim, H.S., Sherman, D.K., Ko, D., & Taylor, S.E. (2006). Pursuit of comfort and pursuit of
harmony: Culture, relationships, and social support seeking. Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, 32(12), 1595-1607.
MacDonald, G., & Jessica, M. (2006). Family approval as a constraint in dependency regulation:
Evidence from Australia and Indonesia. Personal Relationships, 13(2), 183-194.
Week 10: March 16 Culture #2: Cognition - Thinking Styles
Peng, K., & Nisbett, R.E. (1999). Culture, dialectics, and reasoning about contradiction.
American Psychologist, 54(9), 741-754.
Masuda, T., & Nisbett, R.E. (2001). Attending holistically versus analytically: Comparing the
context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 81(5), 922-934.
Week 11: March 23 Culture #3: Motivations - Culture of Honor
Cohen, D., Nisbett, R.E., Bowdle, R.F., & Schwarz, N. (1996). Insult, aggression, and the
southern culture of honor: An “experimental ethnography”. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 70(5), 945-960.
Vandello, J.A., & Cohen, D. (2003). Male honor and female fidelity: Implicit cultural scripts
that perpetuate domestic violence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5),
Anderson, E. (1994). “The code of the streets” from Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 273, No. 5, pp. 81-
94. (no presenter)
Week 12: March 30 Social Psychology Film – TBA or Catch-up
Week 13: April 6 Research Project Presentations
Final Lab Reports Due: no longer than 20 pages in length (excluding references,
appendicies, tables and figures)
Marking Guidelines for Psychology 440 Presentations:
Introduction 12 points
-what problem did the research attempt to address?
-how did the research go beyond past research?
-what did the researchers hypothesize?
-why is this research interesting (i.e., why should we care)?
Methods 10 points
-is the study in question an experimental or correlational study?
-if this was a correlational study what variables were measured and how were
-if this was an experiment, what were the independent and dependent
variables (i.e., how were the variables manipulated/measured)?
-what procedures did the researchers use to test their ideas?
Results and Conclusions 10 points
-what were the primary results?
-what are the theoretical/practical implications of this research?
Stimulation of Discussion 10 points
-did the student stimulate/maintain discussion?
-did the student bring new ideas, criticisms, links to other work we‟ve read to
Presentation Style 8 points
-did the student speak clearly, audibly and at a reasonable pace?
-if the student used slides/overheads, were the slides legible and clear? Was
there too much information on the slides? Did the student avoid standing in
front of her/his audio-visual material?
Total 50 points
Marking Guidelines for Psychology 440 Research Papers
Abstract 5 points
*self-contained and clear summary of paper
Introduction 30 points
*clear, explicit description of narrow research question
-link to literature review
*makes topic interesting and important
-relevance of research literature reviewed
-adequate research (12-15 articles reviewed)
-presents an argument
Methods 15 points
*clear description of participants
*clear description of procedures: independent, dependent variables
*clear description of measures, apparatus
Results 20 points
*clear description of results - analyses + explanation of results
*appropriate statistical techniques used
*results are clearly laid out in a table, chart, or diagram
Discussion 20 points
*summary & explanation of results
*directions for future research
*practical and theoretical implications
Writing Style & Presentation 10 points
*spelling, grammar, punctuation, proofreading
*APA format (5 points) - citations and references
Total 100 points