A Nice Finish

This term I taught another graduate seminar in Applied Social Psychology at UBC. The group included nine students from counselling psychology, business, and language & literacy education. We covered a lot of ground over the semester and I was trying to think of a way to review our journey while providing some closure.

I ended up sticking post-it notes onto the double chalk-board, each listing a week’s topic (arranged chronologically). I then invited the students to use the chalk to write around those notes to list the concepts, theories, or ideas that stood out the most for them. I was thrilled to see the exercise work so well. This collective mind-mapping exercise vividly illustrated our journey (it is often easy to forget how much we accomplish over four months). By the end of it we all marvelled at the space and everyone began taking photographs of our intellectual journey (wish you were here?). The final step involved distilling seven general social psychological principles that ran through all of the topics. These were as follows:

1. The power of the situation

2. The power of the individual (to alter the situation for all)

3. Perceptions are often more important than reality

4. Dual processing (e.g., implicit vs. explicit levels)

5. Attitudes can lead to behaviour or vice versa

6. Culture and self are mutually constitutive

7. Multiple levels of analysis (e.g., individual, group, culture, etc.) and multiple forces impacting behaviour (e.g., biology, evolution, culture, social norms, personality, etc.)


Journey mapping exercise
Journey mapping exercise
Journey mapping exercise
Final class exercise
Journey mapping exercise


One thought on “A Nice Finish

  • Great article, and I agree we should be using open Text Books. We as Teachers are here for our Students, and we all have been (and still are) Students. It would be nice if our Students could get the same quality of Text at a reasonable price by using open Text. I for one remember well all the expensive Text Books I had to purchase, and it would have been nice to have available open Text. Dr. Joyce Dickens, Broward College Ft Lauderdale, FL


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