Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PSYC104 Research Design and Statistics I AND either PSYC200 Life Span Development , or PSYC213 Individual Differences , or PSYC214 Learning and Behaviour .

Teaching organisation

3 contact hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Social psychology is a fundamental topic within the discipline of psychology. It is the study of individuals in their social context. In order to identify the causes of real word behaviours and act accordingly, you must recognise the often invisible power of the situation.

Key topics in social psychology include intrapersonal processes like perception of self, and one's perception of and attitudes towards others and groups. Interpersonal processes include interpersonal interaction and attraction, group processes, aspects of social influence like conformity, and factors influencing aggression and prosocial behaviour. Drawing on topics such as these and their real word applications, this unit will provide an introduction to social psychology from its foundation to modern day. The unit will emphasise the theoretical and scientific basis of social psychology as well as its application in understanding real-world behaviour across a range of contexts.

The aim of this unit is to provide you with knowledge of the core theories, methods, and findings of social psychology, which in turn, will help you understand how the social context can affect human behaviour.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

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

LO1 - describe the major historical and contemporary themes in social psychology (GA4 & GA5); 

LO2 - identify the strengths and weaknesses of theoretical constructs and critically analyse empirical evidence in social psychology (GA4);

LO3 - identify key developments in social psychology including advancements arising from the use of technology and cross-cultural methods (GA4 & GA5);

LO4 - demonstrate skills in interpreting empirical evidence from social psychology research, and presenting findings using effective written communication skills (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 

  • Introduction to social psychology and social psychology research methods 
  • Models of self 
  • Person perception 
  • Stereotyping and prejudice 
  • Attitudes 
  • Conformity 
  • Group processes 
  • Interpersonal interaction and attraction 
  • Helping 
  • Aggression 
  • Applied social psychology 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is taught face-to-face in 12 weekly 2-hour lectures and 1-hour tutorials. Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, and reflective/critical thinking activities. This range of strategies will provide you with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content. These strategies will allow you to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. You will be expected to take responsibility for your learning and to participate actively within group activities

Mode:Lectures and tutorials 

Duration:3 hours contact per week over 12 weeks or equivalent 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable you to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used including: a written assignment that assesses your ability to summarise and critique an article from the social psychological literature, a lab report that assesses your ability to present the method and findings of a data collection in the context of the relevant social psychological literature, and an exam to assess your understanding of key theories and findings in social psychology.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Journal Article Critique and Summary –  

Enables you to demonstrate your ability to summarise and critique current research.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Lab Report –  

Provides an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to present the method and research findings of data collection with implications for social psychology.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Final Examination –  

Assesses your knowledge and understanding of course content.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R., McBain, K. A., & Williams, L. A. (2015) Social psychology: Australian & New Zealand Edition. Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning

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