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PSYC2052 Social Psychology

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


2nd year

Credit points: 

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of delivery:





This unit is one of the core second year units in Psychology. This unit explores the role of the social environment in influencing attitudes and behaviour in the individual.

Unit description

This unit explores the roles of the social environment and the person in influencing the experience and behaviour in the individual. It begins with an analysis of working assumptions adopted by social psychologists in the systematic analysis of behaviour, differentiating and also associating the discipline with the assumptions and traditions of other systems of knowledge. Key theories and research methods in social psychology are examined across a broad spectrum of issues and topics. The unit explores the study of social knowledge, attribution theory, the nature and measurement of attitudes, social influence, group processes and decision-making, prejudice, interpersonal attraction, aggression, and pro-social behaviour. The unit concludes with applications of social psychology including the study of popular culture. The unit will particularly take a critical orientation to the discipline of psychology, examining the institutional culture of practice. It will also explore the process of socialising a person to become a proficient and productive social psychologist, able to contribute to the discipline and also to make a contribution to an understanding of contemporary and past society through the practice of the discipline.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Articulate the factors and the nature of their influence on attitudes, perceptions, and judgments of people in social situations
  • Identify and elaborate upon the factors that influence behaviour in relation to interpersonal attraction, conformity, prejudice, prosocial behaviour, conflict, and aggression
  • Critically evaluate research related to theories of social psychology identifying their weaknesses and strengths
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the self in developing attitudes and behaviour in social settings
  • Be aware of the epistemology and the sociology of social psychological inquiry that acts to determine the data that are acquired and the inferences that are drawn from them.
  • Be aware of the processes whereby facility and expertise in the discipline is acquired for the application of knowledge

Unit content

  • Introduction to social psychology; The self
  • Attributions
  • Social categorisation and prejudice
  • Attitudes
  • Persuasion
  • Conformity, compliance and obedience 
  • Group structure and function
  • Group performance 
  • Interpersonal attraction, prosocial behaviour and aggression
  • Applications of social psychology

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly three hour lectures and 9 weekly one hour Tutorials. Attendance at Tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

Assessment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space

Recommended text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester.


**you must have completed PSYC2012 or enrol into PSYC2012 at the same time.