Social Psychology: Theories and Methods (2020/2021)

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

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

AIMS 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.


In line with its educational 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 (frontal teaching).
In addition, within the limits imposed by the Covid-19 emergency restrictions, 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.
-history of social psychology and definition of the disciplinary field
- research methods
- social awareness
-social influence
-concept of self, personal and social identity
- prosocial behavior
- membership and social exclusion
- prejudice and stereotypes
-theories of intergroup relations
- emerging areas of social psychology

- Andrighetto, L., & Riva, P. (2020). Psicologia sociale: Fondamenti teorici ed empirici. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Andrighetto, L., & Riva, P. Psicologia sociale: Fondamenti teorici ed empirici Il Mulino 2020 Tutti i capitoli

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be in the form of a test composed by 31 multiple choice questions; each question has 3 response alternatives only one of which is correct. Each correct answer will be awarded 1 point; 0 points will be assigned to every wrong answer or answer not given (there are no penalties for wrong answers or not given). Students will be asked to complete the test in 25 minutes.