Social Psychology (Summer 2016)

Course Description

This course is about the psychology of everyday life, about the numerous and interesting ways in which our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are affected by those around us and the situations we find ourselves in. You will learn about how and why we think about ourselves and other groups of people as we do, as well as about the scientific study of attitudes, persuasion, conformity, obedience, helping behaviour, group dynamics, aggression, prejudice, conflict and cooperation, and even genocide. Seriously, this is a great course. Not easy, but a whole lot of fun and incredible applicable to your daily life. There is no course that I enjoy teaching more.



Wednesdays from 1-4pm in Richmond Main 1830

Office hours

Both face-t0-face and virtual. Why? Because its 2016. Click here to book a meeting

How best to contact me

Email or Twitter

Required textbook

So here’s the thing. I don’t want you to spend $200 on a textbook if I can avoid it. And I can avoid it, because we will use a free and open textbook that I co-authored. It is available here in a variety of digital formats (entirely free for you to use or print as needed), but if you prefer you can also order a print copy. Note that I don’t receive any royalties because the textbooks are printed and bound by SFU at cost and shipped to our campus for free (if you select the campus pickup option). As you will find out, I am a passionate advocate for open education, including the use of open textbooks (I co-authored another one for Research Methods). It is very important to me that higher education be affordable to any student who wishes to access it.

Course Format

This course involves weekly interactive lectures (including demonstrations, exercises, and small and large group discussions) in addition to readings, tests, and assignments. The lectures cannot cover all of the material in the readings; rather, the goal of the lectures is to 1) highlight the more significant aspects of the readings, 2) discuss topics not well-covered by the readings in more detail, 3) focus on real-world applications of psychological theory, and 4) have a whole lot of fun as we engage in active learning.

Course Schedule

May 4: Revisiting the Stanford Prison study (online)

May 11: Social Cognition

May 18: Test 1; The Self

May 25: Attitudes & Persuasion

June 1: Test 2; Perceiving Others

June 8: Influencing & Conforming

June 15: Test 3; Helping & Altruism

June 22: Working Groups: Performance and Decision Making

June 29: Test 4; Aggression

July 6: Stereotypes, Prejudice, & Discrimination

July 13: Test 5; Conflict & Cooperation

July 20: Special topic: Social Psychology of Genocide

July 27: Test 6


Bi-weekly tests x 6 (10% each): 60%

There will be six non-cumulative tests during the semester. Each will include multiple-choice and a short answer question. The multiple-choice questions will predominantly assess your ability to apply concepts and theories from the preceding topics to a variety of real-world contexts.

Question writing assignment x 10 (2% each): 20%

Starting from week 2, you will write four original multiple-choice questions (2 factual and 2 applied questions) for each of the ten textbook chapters that you will read. See the Moodle site for more details.

Question evaluating assignment x 10 (2% each): 20%

In addition to writing questions, for each of the ten textbook chapters you will also evaluate three sets of multiple-choice questions that have been written and submitted by your peers. See the Moodle site for more details.

Course Policies


The good news? You are an adult. So if “life happens” or you are juggling too many things and need to miss a class, so be it. You don’t need my permission or even to inform me. The bad news? I will treat you as an adult. In other words, you are responsible for all material covered in class, whether or not you were present. If you do miss a class I recommend you try and obtain notes from at least two classmates.


I don’t mind you being a little late to class, but I do mind you being very late because it is disruptive to the learning environment. So if you realize that you will be more than 10 minutes late to class, please wait until the break to come in. Also, if you arrive late or must leave early please sit towards the rear of the classroom in order to minimize the disruption to the rest of the class.

Missed tests

I don’t usually reschedule tests except in the case of a medical emergency. If you are ill and have to miss a test, you or a caregiver must (1) notify me before the test start time and then (2) provide valid medical documentation within one week. Unless both conditions are met, you will receive a zero. If you are granted a make-up test, it may be of a different format than the regularly scheduled test.

YouTube playlist

When possible, I post the video clips that I show in class to the YouTube playlist I have set up for this course.

Email communication

Please type your course and section number in the subject line of any email you send to me. I would appreciate your emails to me beginning with something closer to “Dear Dr. Jhangiani” instead of “Hey Prof.” Note that questions appropriate for email are those that can be answered with 1-2 sentence replies. Anything longer than this (e.g., an explanation of a concept) requires a face-to-face or virtual meeting and should be brought to my office hours. I will try to reply to your emails in a timely fashion (i.e., within 48 hours), but please do not expect prompt replies to emails sent to me over the weekend or less than 24 hours before an exam. I have a life outside of KPU and a couple of awesome kids with whom I like to spend as much time as possible.

University email

From time to time I may send emails to your university email address. If you do not intend to check this email address, please make sure that you forward your email to an address that you check regularly. Failure to do so may mean that you miss essential information.

Student rights and responsibilities

You are responsible for being aware of your rights and responsibilities, including those specified in the policy on student conduct (C.21). These are posted online at and-responsibilities. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Any instances will result in penalties ranging from a grade of zero on the assignment to a failing grade in the course to expulsion from the university. You are responsible for understanding the university policies on cheating and plagiarism, available online at:

Wow, you read to the end. I am impressed.

Download a .pdf copy of this syllabus by clicking here.