Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Malaysia Second semester 2015 (Day)
South Africa Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Denisa Goldhammer


This unit will cover key themes of social psychology and personality theory. The lectures and learning tasks build on the history and philosophy of different schools of social psychology and personality to highlight the changes in understanding social identity, meaning and relationships. Personality theories that are covered include: 1) psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung, 2) phenomenological theories of Kelly and Rogers, 3) Eysenck's trait approach to individual personality, 4) Costa and McCrae's five factor model of personality, and 5) social learning theories of Bandura. Social psychology theories will cover topics such as 1) people in groups, 2) aggression, 3) attraction, 4) dehumanisation, and 5) attitude change. In each case these theories will be applied and critiqued in light of contemporary behaviour and new knowledge. Lectures and labs draw on different modalities to help students apply psychological concepts to understand these issues, and to engage in critical analysis of everyday individual life and interpersonal behaviour.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Summarise, critically analyse and evaluate the major theoretical and research approaches within social psychology.
  2. Compare and contrast historical and current theory on basic social processes, and relate these to both individual factors and interpersonal relationships.
  3. Apply social psychology theories to a range of contemporary social questions, including belonging, identity, attraction, aggression, conflict and negotiation.
  4. Explain the origins and underlying assumptions of the personality theories of Jung, Eysenck, Costa and McCrae, Bandura, Kelly and Rogers.
  5. Critically evaluate and compare the above personality theories.
  6. Discuss the practical applications, experimental procedures and research interests associated with the above social psychological and personality theories.
  7. Critically assess social and personality theories and approaches in relation to gender, ethnicity, and cultural diversity.
  8. Demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills in various formats (e.g., debate, group discussion, presentation, critical, lab reports and essays).


Examination (Multiple-choice) (2 hours) (Personality: 25%, Social: 25%) (50%)
Two laboratory assignments (1,500 words each) (20% each) (40%)
Class presentations (10%)

Hurdle: Students must pass the examination to achieve a pass for this unit.

Workload requirements

One 2-hour lecture per week, plus one 2-hour laboratory per fortnight. The School strongly recommends attendance at lectures however, they are optional. Laboratory classes are compulsory in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

One day Weekend School classes are compulsory in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance. Please refer to the specific unit requirements for more detail. It is common practice, where possible, to timetable at least two Weekend School options in each core unit. Sessions may be held at Clayton or Caulfield campuses.

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



Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: