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PSS2713 - The individual in a Social Context

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


In this unit we investigate how the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals are influenced by other people. The influence of others is considered in a range of topics including impression formation, schemas, stereotyping, casual attributions, attitudes and attitude change, obedience, conformity, minority influences, group processes and group decision making, prejudice, aggression, attraction, helping behaviours, and environmental effects. The range of empirical methods used to obtain data on these topics will be addressed and the efficacy and ethics of such methods discussed.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand how social behaviour can be studied through a variety of perspectives involving different levels of analysis and varying research methods;
  2. describe the application of a range of key concepts such as schemata, stereotypes, categorisation, causal attribution, obedience, conformity and minority influence;
  3. appreciate how views of some concepts of social behaviour change over time;
  4. understand the powerful role group membership can exert on social behaviour and how outcomes such as aggression, racism, and sexism can be represented as interactions between groups


Laboratory report (1500 words): 30%
Two laboratory-based assignments (equivalent to 500 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour laboratory) per week


One of BHS1711, COG1111, PSS1711


BHS2713, GSC2713, PSY2042