PSYCH 204 : Social Psychology


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on humans as social beings. Covers topics such as social cognition, attitudes, group processes, interpersonal relationships, and language communication. The course may include participation in and completion of a research project.

Course Overview

This course examines the ways in which the social context (broadly construed) influences people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Within this overarching theme, the course covers four inter-related modules, including (a) attitudes, persuasion, values, and wellbeing, (b) attraction and intimacy, (c) altruism, social justice, social influence, and intergroup relations, and (d) Indigenous psychologies, epistemological violence, and Māori psychology. By covering these diverse topics, the course aims to provide a broad overview of the field and introduce students to core content areas in social psychology. Such an overview will also help to develop students' critical thinking skills and foster their ability to use social psychological theory to understand real world phenomena.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I Psychology

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain and apply social psychological theory to contemporary social issues, including: values and wellbeing, attraction and intimacy, altruism and social justice, and Indigenous psychologies. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  2. Learn and use social psychological methods to test and evaluate interpersonal processes. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Explore the ways in which social psychology can increase understanding of critical social phenomena. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  4. Actively participate in your own learning by conducting literature reviews and synthesising empirical research on core topics in social psychology. (Capability 5)
  5. Identify the ways in which the social context critically shapes how people think, feel and behave. (Capability 1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam

To be eligible for plussage, you must (a) complete and hand in the draft and final version of your research report, (b) attend four of the five tutorials, (c) obtain a passing grade for your overall coursework, and (d) complete the Experiential Learning Component of the course. If you satisfy all four of these requirements for plussage, your final mark will be based on either (a) the final exam and coursework or (b) just the final exam, whichever mark is higher.


Tuākana Study Space: Study space is available in Building 301- room 198 for Māori and Pacific Psychology students. Please feel welcome and encouraged to use this space, they have some great facilities and are a really good way to meet other students.

Special Requirements

The tutorials cover material that is directly relevant for the assignments. It will be very difficult to complete the assignments without attending tutorials. For these reasons, the tutorials are COMPULSORY. Students will not be eligible for plussage if they miss more than one of the tutorials.

Research is a vital part of psychology – it is how the field learns about human behaviour. Being a research participant also helps you come to a better understanding of the research process. As part of the Experiential Learning Component for PSYCH 204, students will be asked to either (a) participate in two units of research or (b) complete two alternative writing assignments. Completion of either option is part of the plussage requirement for the course (NOTE: you can also complete one alternative writing assignment and one unit of research to satisfy the ELC plussage requirement).

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, a 2 hour tutorial (approximately every fortnight), 2 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This course is available to offshore students and students who have been exempted from in-person attendance. Different conditions will apply for these students.

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

This course has the following required textbook:

Sutton, R., & Douglas, K. (2020). Social psychology (2nd ed.). Red Globe Press. 

Additional required readings will be made available via Talis reading lists associated with each lecturer.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Under the government’s Covid-19 Alert Levels, we anticipate using the following delivery modes. Note this is subject to change depending on the specific circumstances.
Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode .
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. 
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely .

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 16/02/2021 11:19 a.m.