Social Psychology: Theories and Methods (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Elena Trifiletti, Sabrina Berlanda
Elena Trifiletti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

1) Providing students with knowledge and understanding of psychological theories explaining attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups.
2) Providing students with knowledge and understanding of psychological theories that address the fundamental processes underlying the functioning and adjustment of individuals to the physical and social environment.
3) Providing students with knowledge and understanding of research methods and measurement of psychological processes at the individual, interpersonal and group levels.
4) Applying theories on individual, group, organizational functioning to the understanding and analysis of learning processes as well as of individual and social chance.
The specific aims of the course are a) providing students with knowledge and understanding of the main Social Psychology theories on social perception and cognition, individual and group attitudes and behaviors, their functioning and adjustment to the social context; b) applying theoretical constructs to the analysis and interpretation of individual and social changes (or stability); c) providing students with knowledge and understanding of Social Psychology research methods, with a focus on experimental research, and skills concerning the description and interpretation of social psychology research findings; d) developing skills of literature review, reading and interpretation of scientific articles for professional update in the social psychology domain.


Based on these aims, the course offers an introduction to Social Psychology, its areas of interest, theories and methodologies, with a focus on the study of human behaviour and how it is influenced by other individuals and groups, of social perception and cognition, of individual and group attitudes.
Students will be required to complete individual and group assignments concerning: a) the interpretation of real-life events in terms of key socio-psychological concepts concerning intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup processes; b) the knowledge of how research aims and hypotheses are translated into measures and instruments; c) search of scientific papers on specific topics, selection, reading, and synthesis of an article.

The course will cover the following topics.
Module Trifiletti, 6 CFU:
-hystory, methods, and approaches
-social cognition and attributional theories
-self-concept, personal and social identity
-social influence
-prejudice and stereotypes
-intergroup relations
Module Berlanda, 3 CFU:
-aggressiveness and prosocial behavior
-adult attachment and interpersonal relationships

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Crisp, R., & Turner, R. N. Psicologia Sociale (Edizione 2) UTET Università 2017

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be written and it will include six open-ended questions and three multiple-choice questions. Responses to each open-ended question will be evaluated by assigning a score between 0 and 4. For multiple-choice questions, the score is 0 (incorrect response) or 2 (correct response). Scores will be summed up to form a final score.
For responses to open-ended questions, the evaluation criteria include: relevance, quality and richness of arguments, appropriate language.