Social Psychology Overview


Topic 1 - Propaganda & Persuasion

1. Have a broad awareness of some historical examples of propaganda and persuasion (any exam questions will not require an in-depth knowledge of specific examples but knowing some can help you flesh out exam answers with real-world examples)

2. Be familiar with some of the techniques discussed by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) – name-calling, glittering generalities, euphemisms, false connections, transfer, testimonial, plain folks, bandwagon

3. Understand what makes fear appeals effective – for example, as outlined in Protection Motivation Theory

4. Be able to briefly discuss work from Linguistics and Journalism Studies on how language use, such as metaphors, can ‘frame’ meaning – e.g. Richard Keeble’s ideas about ‘Massacrespeak’ and the work of Lakoff and Chilton

5. Be able to describe the social cognition approach to persuasion, and the Elaboration Likelihood Model in particular, including the two routes to persuasion

6. Be able to describe the idea of heuristic processing and give some examples, such as scarcity

7. Be able to discuss briefly why it is important to take account of the cultural and historical context of persuasion

8. Become familiar with Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence – reciprocity, commitment, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity, and be able to give examples of each

9. Be able to briefly describe the empirical evidence for and against subliminal priming effects, such as the work of North, Hargreaves and McKendrick on background music and consumer behaviour

Topic 2 - Interactions between native and non-native speakers

1. Explicit and implicit prejudice and the relation between them

2. The role of expectations

3. The role of processing fluency

4. Emotion in a second language

Topic 3 - First impressions 

1. Understand the central theories of impression formation discussed in the lecture & how they apply to the various types of impressions we form of other people 

2. Be familiar with the different sources of our first impressions 

3. Be able to give examples of the types of first impressions that we form (and from which sources) & know for which of these we show accuracy 

4. Be able to describe the predictors of accuracy in first impression (i.e. what contributes to variations in accuracy) and understand the theoretical models of accuracy 

5. Understand how consistent vs malleable first impressions are, as well as why impressions may remain consistent and how some impressions can be changed 

6. Explain the downstream consequences of various first impressions, should be familiar with examples from multiple domains 

Topic 4 - Psychology of inequality 

1. Understand how social class is defined and measured in psychology

2. Understand how social class intersects with gender and race (theoretically, stereotypically, and actually)

3. Explain the downstream consequences…


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