The Social Psychology of Groups - SP619

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5)


SP302 Introduction to Social Psychology


Not available as a 'wild' module. Not available to short-term credit students.



This module introduces you to the major orientations and discoveries in the social psychology of group processes. The material covers both behaviour within groups (e.g. group structure, social influence, leadership, and group performance) and behaviour between groups (e.g. intergroup conflict and co-operation, social categorisation and social identity, and prejudice and its reduction). We analyse the basic mechanisms in groups that occupy the same position in the social structure in terms of power, status, and group size, as well as mechanisms that characterize asymmetric groups. There is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory being examined by systematic empirical research. Teaching is by lectures and seminars with additional practical demonstrations from time to time.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

1 two-hour lecture per week plus 2 one-hour seminars during the term

Method of assessment

40% coursework, 60% examination.

Indicative reading

The module reading list can be found online at

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Describe how group membership affects self-perception, the perception of others, and the ways individuals behave
8.2 Understand the basic cognitive, affective and behavioural mechanisms that lead to these outcomes
8.3 Understand how intra-group and inter-group structure affects social perception and behaviour
8.4 Provide evidence from empirical tests of the theories and models discussed
8.5 Link theory and research in the social psychology of group processes to current issues in society

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Use literacy, numeracy and writing skills to present, interpret and discuss concepts, theories, and findings based on the use of the relevant literature
9.2 Demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the diversity of theoretical and empirical approaches in psychology
9.3 Critically evaluate the quality of theories, methods and findings in published research
9.4 Express well-founded opinions, argue rationally, develop new perspectives and engage in critical thinking both orally and in written form
9.5 Demonstrate time management and organisation

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