Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedBerwick Second semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Mark Symmons


Previously coded PSS2713


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%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Mark Symmons

Contact hours

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Psychological studies


ATS1359 or equivalents


BHS2713, GSC2713, PSY2042