PSYC 379 (Social Psychology) is a three-credit, upper level psychology course that is designed to introduce students to the field of social psychology—the scientific study of how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours influence and are influenced by other people in social situations. The course covers basic theories, concepts, and research about individual processes (e.g., attitude change), interpersonal processes (e.g., aggression), and group processes (e.g., intergroup relations). This course has no prerequisites, although PSYC 289 (Psychology as a Natural Science), PSYC 290 (General Psychology), or its equivalent is recommended.
Social Psychology is made up of eleven units, four quizzes worth five percent each, a course project worth forty percent, and a final examination for the remaining forty percent. The eleven units within this course cover several interesting topics such as attitudes, attraction, close relationships, stereotypes, discrimination, prejudice, group processes, and aggression. For students to receive credit for PSYC 379, they must complete all the course quizzes, the project, and the exam. Students must also achieve a composite course grade of at least “D,” which is equivalent to fifty percent, and a grade of at least fifty percent on the final examination.
Cleopatra Sarantakos is a second year AU student in the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Humanities program. She first enrolled in her program in September 2018 and she is approaching her second year of studies. She hopes of graduating in 2021. She briefly introduces herself, stating “My name is Cleopatra Sarantakos, and I was born and raised in Oakville, Ontario. I am 24 years old and am studying toward becoming a psychologist. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, sewing, and cooking. I am not currently working.”
I asked her which program she is enrolled in and if she likes the program, and she stated “I am currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Humanities. My favorite thing about my program is that there are a ton of courses to choose from. I dislike that many of the course textbooks are electronic. I think electronic textbooks are difficult to study with and I wish that students could opt for a reduced learning resource fee if they wanted to purchase a physical textbook independently.”
She continues, “My favorite thing about online learning is that it gives me the flexibility to travel while still pursuing my education from wherever I may be. I also like how I can study at my own pace without having deadlines to worry about.
When asked to explain PSYC 379 to students who have yet to take it, Cleopatra states “PSYC379 is a 3-credit introductory course to the field of social psychology. The course provides a brief history of social psychology and how it came to be. It also introduces students to major theories and concepts about how humans’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, are shaped and influenced by others. How people perceive each other, discrimination, attitudes, aggression, group processes, and assisting others are just some of the topics covered in this course.”
She then provides some insight into the structure of the course, stating “The course has eleven units, each corresponding to one chapter of reading in the textbook. There is an average of forty pages in each chapter. There are four quizzes in the course, each worth five percent. Each quiz consists of fourteen multiple choice questions and two short essay questions. The time limit for each quiz is ninety minutes and only one attempt is allowed. Each quiz is out of twenty marks.”
She continues “The course has one major assignment worth forty percent. Students are given an option between writing a 10-15-page report on television violence, a 10-15-page essay on ethical issues in social psychological research, and a 2500-3700 research paper on any topic covered in the course. The major assignment is in APA format.”
Cleopatra concludes “The course has no mid-term but has a 3-hour cumulative online exam that is worth forty percent. It consists of sixty multiple choice questions and four essay questions, totaling one hundred marks.”
When asked if she would recommend this course, she states “I would recommend this course to anyone interested in psychology, even those who are not pursuing a psychology major. In order to be successful, future students should have at least completed an introductory English course prior to enrolling, and have some experience with writing in APA, in my opinion.”
She explains that “The textbook is easy to read and consists of mostly definitions and examples of social psychological theories at work in daily life. Students who enjoy reading and are good at memorizing would find this aspect easy. The quizzes are open book which makes them easy.
Cleopatra believes that the most difficult part of the course is the major assignment. She states, “Students who do not have good writing skills or a good understanding of APA format will find it difficult. The final exam is also difficult because it is cumulative, so there is a lot of information to memorize.”
As for tips and tricks, she states “I would recommend to future students that they make use of the Athabasca Write Site program. It’s a great service that helped me revise and perfect my writing for many courses, especially PSYC379. I would also suggest that future students not hesitate to ask their tutors for clarification, they are there to assist students in any way needed.”
When asked how communication has been with her tutor, Cleopatra states “My tutor, Craig Blatz, was very helpful. On average, he took between two to four business days to mark the major assignment and the quizzes. For the incorrect answers for the quizzes he usually provided the answer and provided the page number in the textbook where the correct answer could be found. He also provided friendly feedback about aspects that could have been improved in the major assignment and complimented areas that were well written.”
She concludes, stating “I emailed my tutor multiple times regarding the major project and he usually replied within twenty-four hours. His responses always provided a solution to my questions and were easy to understand.”
Whether PSYC 379 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics mentioned above are if interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting content surrounding the topic of social psychology.