Social Psychology

Ever wonder why people do what they do? This course offers some answers based on the latest research from social psychology.

About The Course

Coursera's largest class is back by popular demand!

Scheduled to begin July 14, 2014, Social Psychology will feature a fresh line-up of special events, guest experts, and material intended to delight psychology lovers around the world. 

Course Description from Professor Plous:

Each of us is dealt a different hand in life, but we all face similar questions when it comes to human behavior: What leads us to like one person and dislike another? How do conflicts and prejudices develop, and how can they be reduced? Can psychological research help protect the environment, and if so, how? This course offers an introduction to classic and contemporary social psychology, covering topics such as decision making, persuasion, group behavior, personal attraction, and factors that promote health and well-being.

Our focus will be on surprising, entertaining, and intriguing research findings that are easy to apply in daily life. As part of this focus, several homework assignments will encourage you to experiment with your life, observe the results, and analyze what took place. The course will also draw from the web sites of Social Psychology Network, the world's largest online community devoted to social psychology. I hope you'll join me for this course, have fun, and learn some useful information that enriches your life!    

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a free Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • Can I get an early start on the readings?

    Professor Plous will contact members of the class one week before the first day of class and share the first set of readings at that time (for reasons he'll explain in the first lecture, it's best not to read ahead more than that).

  • What else can I do to prepare for the course?

    No preparation is needed, but you're welcome to begin receiving Social Psychology Network news items and announcements from any of these sources if you use Twitter, Facebook, or RSS feeds:

    • Psychology Headlines from Around the World (Twitter)
    • Online Psychology Research Studies (Twitter)
    • Understand Prejudice: Social Justice News (Twitter)
    • Social Psychology Network (Facebook)
    • Psychology News Service (RSS Feed)

    These resources are open to everyone (whether you take the course or not) and will connect you with the latest news, studies, and other developments in social psychology and related fields.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    Thanks to the generosity of McGraw-Hill, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and other organizations listed below, all readings and videos will be provided at no charge. The only things needed are an Internet connection and a few hours each week to explore some fascinating topics.

    This course gratefully acknowledges:

Recommended Background

No background is required; all are welcome!