Syllabus for PSY-379



Social Psychology explores how humans think and behave in social situations. The course examines concepts such as perception, cognition, and attitudes as they relate to understanding, thinking, and evaluating the social world. The course also discusses the application of social psychology to legal and health environments and to the world of work. A primary objective of the course is to analyze interpersonal communication and examine current events in the social world.


After completing this course, you should be able to:  


  1. Identify some of the major issues in social psychology.
  2. Discuss the role of social cognition and social perception in social functioning.
  3. Explain the dynamics of social influence and persuasion.
  4. Analyze theories about the self and self-esteem.
  5. Discuss experimental studies of prejudice and discrimination and their impact on identity.
  6. Evaluate the determinants of interpersonal attraction.
  7. Analyze the factors involved in the formation and maintenance of close relationships including friendships, romantic relationships, and marriage.
  8. Discuss laboratory experiments studying conformity, obedience, and aggression and their contributions to the field.
  9. Explain the dynamics of prosocial behavior.
  10. Discuss the nature, causes, and control of aggression.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0205205585


Social Psychology is a six-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include study materials and activities.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, take module quizzes, complete written assignments, and take two proctored online examinations: a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

The six graded online discussion forums in the course are built around associated readings in the textbooks. Be sure to complete all relevant readings before answering the discussion forum question.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Module Quizzes

Each module in the course includes an open-book quiz consisting of multiple-choice questions that will help you to review concepts and applications. You may take each quiz multiple times if you wish; just be aware that the grade of your most recent attempt will be the one entered into the gradebook. Quizzes are not proctored.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Be sure to complete all relevant readings before answering the written assignment questions.

Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Before you begin to write, you may wish to outline your answers, listing the points you wish to make and the examples you will use to support your ideas. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), and cite text materials where appropriate. Creative thinking and your own wording are important aspects of an effective answer.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm and a final. Both exams require that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures.

Please note that all exam questions will be comprehensive and thorough. Be sure you read all of the text assignments as well as the readings in preparation for the examinations.

Midterm Examination

The proctored online midterm exam covers all material assigned in Modules 1, 2, and 3 and is three hours long. The exam is open-book but not open notes and consists of three substantive essay questions relating to the objectives of this course.

Final Examination

The proctored online final exam covers all material assigned in Modules 4, 5, and 6 of the course and is three hours long. Like the midterm, the final exam is open-book but not open notes and consists of three substantive essay questions relating to the objectives of this course.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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