PSYC 460 01: Advanced Social Psychology

PSYC 460 - Advanced Social Psychology

2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 2278

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

TR 9:30am-10:45am in Columbia Hall 1360

Instructor Information

Travis Clark



Office: Columbia 2902

2023 Fall Office Hours:
Use this link to view my full schedule:

Office Phone: 7017773920

About the Professor

I have a PhD in general experimental psychology. My research interests are moral cognition, improving research methods, and effective instruction. I am always happy to talk about steps to get involved in psychology research or careers in psychology.

Course Description

In depth examination of the theoretical and empirical literature in social psychology focusing on attitudes, stereotyping and prejudice, interpersonal relationships, social cognition, personality and the self, and group behavior.

Psychology 460 is a survey of social psychology examining theoretical and empirical topics in the field. It is assumed that you have completed an introductory social psychology course, as well as a course in psychology research methods. 

In depth examination of the theoretical and empirical literature in social psychology focusing on attitudes, stereotyping and prejudice, interpersonal relationships, social cognition, personality and the self, and group behavior.

Learning Outcomes

This course fulfills the criteria for the Essential Studies special emphasis area of Advanced Communication. Advanced Communication courses are designed to enhance your communication skills so you are better able to communicate in civic, academic, and professional settings with a sense of purpose and audience. This course is designed to help you improve your written communication skills via several small writing assignments as well as a final paper. In this paper, you should present information and express ideas to an audience with a basic understanding of psychology. You will be encouraged to use the critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to choose a research question in social psychology and survey the literature to answer your question. Your final paper should be written in APA format, which requires you to present research, cite sources, and format your document based on the disciplinary standards for psychology. Because effective communication is learned through continued practice, this course will place a strong emphasis on practice and process. You will receive regular feedback via several smaller writing assignments designed to assist you with the development of your final paper. 

This is an Essential Studies Social Sciences course, and as such involves the study of the behavior and cultures of humans – individually or in groups. This course will involve empirical analysis in order to evaluate and make predictions or draw conclusions about human behavior; the interpretations you arrive at in this course will come via induction, deduction, or a combination of both.

Course Materials

Each of the books listed below is available in several printings and versions. You do NOT need the latest version of any of these books. Any printing or version is fine.

  • Cacioppo, J., & Patrick, W. (2008). Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection. W.W. Norton. ISBN: 0393061701
  • Tavris, C. & Aronson, E. (2007). Mistakes Were Made (but not by me). Orlando, FL: Harcourt. ISBN: 0358329612 
  • Principles of Social Psychology. (FREE textbook) 
  • Additional readings will be posted and available in Blackboard.

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

How is this course organized in Blackboard?

The "Weekly Folders" tab in Blackboard contains one folder for each week in the course. Each week contains assignments, reading lists, and course objectives. 

This class is organized into four sections, each being about four weeks long. In each section we will read a book, take quizzes on that book, have discussions about the book content, and end the section with a written exam connecting the book to social psychology.

What Should Students Do First?

Prior to the start of the first week you should have reviewed the syllabus, made a plan to obtain course books, and reviewed the schedule for the important final paper.

What can I expect to do every week? 

Because this is an upper division course, there will be minimal formal lecturing. Be prepared to read course materials and think carefully about these materials. Some materials are dense and will require you to read them more than once to really understand them. 


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Insert the course requirements/expectations. An example is posted below.

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

Insert responsibilities students can expect the instructor to meet. Example provided below.

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments within two weeks.
  • The instructor will be available during Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.



Please check course announcements at least once per week. Any changes to the schedule, updates on assignments, or other important information will be posted as an Announcement. Typically, posted Announcements will not be emailed unless the matter is important and timely.


You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs discussion board forum in the Blackboard site or raise them in class. The Blackboard discussion board is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays).

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.


Quizzes (12%)


Short quizzes on the reading material will be administered to ensure that you are completing the assigned reading. There will be a total of 9 short quizzes administered. You will have thirty minutes to complete each quiz. Your grade will be determined by dropping your lowest quiz grade.

Discussions (12%)


You will be expected to participate in discussions throughout the semester. You are expected to be an active participant in this process, sharing not only your own thoughts but also responding to others. To receive full credit for a discussion, you must speak up in class. I may utilize a system to ensure each student gets a chance to speak (if necessary). It is not sufficient to merely say, “I agree (or disagree) with what you said.” Instead, you should explain your point of view and elaborate on what has already been discussed. 

You may choose to focus on methodological issues (if applicable), good points, points of contention, integration with other topics or issues of interest to you, synthesis of divergent ideas, theory critiques, and/or future directions. Because some of you may be interested in different subfields of psychology (e.g. counseling, I/O psychology, etc.), you may choose to “spin” your work (in a reasonable fashion) toward your interests. The primary goal is to demonstrate that you have read and understood the material and that you have been thoughtful about the implications of, and interconnections among, the assigned materials. 

Discussions will be graded in three parts. First, you will submit a pre-discussion 321 outlined below that is worth 6 points. The day before class, I will use these pre-discussion 321s to prepare discussion points to help guide the in-class discussion. Second, you will receive a small group grade based on the contributions and activity of your self-organized in-class group. Each group will submit a written summary of their discussion that is worth 8 points. Finally, each individual student will receive a score based on group contribution that is worth 6 points. 

The pre-discussion 321 should be submitted to Blackboard 24 hours before the discussion takes place (which is typically Thursday during class time but is occasionally during class on Tuesday). Your pre-discussion 321 should include: 

·                  3 ideas you found interesting in the weekly reading material. 

·                  2 discussion questions you might want to bring up during class discussion. 

·                  1 topic you might want to learn more about. 

These 321s should be very short, serving mostly to jump-start our discussions. 

The assignment will total 20 points and break down like this: 

·                  Pre-discussion 321: 6 points 

·                  Group score: 8 points 

·                  Individual score: 6 points 

This semester, I will be calculating your final grade with your best 8 discussions. This means that if life events or illness cause you to miss a few discussions it will not impact your grade. If you are not able to attend more discussions, please still turn in the pre-discussion 321 and a written individual response (500+ words) and you can earn partial credit (up to 70%) toward the discussion day.

Exams (30%)


There will be a total of four exams in the course. All of the exams are essay exams. All course materials are considered fair game for exams. These exams are similar to what we might call “take-home exams.” You will receive the questions ahead of time so that you can prepare your answers in a word processing program. Each exam must be completed by the due date to receive credit. These exams are not proctored, so there is no need for you to designate a proctor in this course.  

You may not work on exam materials with anyone else. This includes classmates, peers, colleagues, spouses, friends, children, siblings, etc. The material submitted for exams must be yours and yours alone. Your exam responses should reflect your understanding of the material. If I have any reason to believe you did not work on the material alone, I will take the matter very seriously. Cheating and/or collusion is grounds for failing the course or expulsion from the university. You should answer the questions ahead of time by composing your answers in a word processing program and should treat this as a formal writing assignment. As such, you should organize your thoughts carefully and proofread your work. You may prepare your responses ahead of time and simply cut and paste your responses into the exam completion area (and I recommend that you do so).

Integrative Final Paper (45%)

Integrative Final Paper600

Each student will write an integrative paper that addresses a specific question or controversy in social psychology. To facilitate this process, there will be a series of assignments to help you develop a research question, choose appropriate sources to address your question, and construct a final paper.  These assignments will include a topic proposal, a bibliography spreadsheet, and a rough draft. 

Points from all rough draft assignments will total 400; points for the final paper itself will total 200.

You should choose an area of social psychology based on your own interests and develop a specific focus question to answer. Your paper should consist of an overview of the question or controversy you are addressing, a review of relevant literature for your topic, and an analysis of what the literature implies. In other words, you should do your best to answer your initial question. To do this, you will need to compare and contrast previous research, address weaknesses or gaps in the literature, and make recommendations for future studies. 

The final paper must be written in APA format, typewritten, and double-spaced. The paper (the body) should be 10 to 15 pages in length and include 10-20 references. Please don’t add irrelevant information or flowery language to your paper for the sake of adding length. Parsimony is highly valued in psychology. 

Assignments (0%)


With the focus of this class being on verbal and written communication, we do not need very many “homework” assignments. We will occasionally have a supplementary assignment to practice specific skills you might use as a social psychologist. These assignments will typically involve incorporating theory into your writing or adding analysis techniques into your toolbox for discussions. I vary these assignments by semester based on what the class needs or is interested in; I try to assign an average of less than one per month. Instructions will be downloadable from Blackboard.

Assessment Summary

Assignment                                               Final Grade

  1. Quizzes (8 @ 20 pts each)                                   160 Points
  2. Weekly Discussions (8 @ 20 pts each)                160 Points
  3. Exams                                                                 400 Points
  4. Final Paper Rough Draft Parts                            400 Points
  5. Final Integrative Paper                                        200 Points                                                                                                                    Total: 1320 Points

Final Grade Scale

A 89.99% – 100.00;

B 79.99 – 89.98;

C 69.99 – 79.98;

D 59.99 – 69.98;

F < 59.99  

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
8/22 Cacioppo Part 1 The Lonely Heart Class Welcome
Quiz on Cacioppo Part 1
Discussion Thursday
8/29 Cacioppo Part 2 From selfish genes to social being Loneliness Quiz on Cacioppo Part 2
Discussion Thursday
9/5 Cacioppo Part 3 Finding meaning in connection Loneliness Quiz on Cacioppo Part 3
Discussion Thursday
Topic Proposal due 9/5
9/12 Exam: Cacioppo
9/19 Theories (see Blackboard) Theories Quiz: Theories Part 1
9/26 Theories (see Blackboard) Theories Quiz: Theories Part 2
10/3 Theories (see Blackboard) Theories Quiz: Theories Part 3
10/10 Exam: Theories
10/17 Tavris & Aronson Intro, 1, 2 Mistakes Were Made Quiz: Tavris & Aronson Intro, 1, 2
Bibliography due 10/17
10/24 Tavris & Aronson 3-5 Mistakes Were Made Quiz: Tavris & Aronson 3-5
10/31 Tavris & Aronson 6-end Mistakes Were Made Quiz: Tavris & Aronson 6-end
11/7 Exam: Mistakes Were Made
11/14 See Blackboard APA Writing Full Rough Draft due 11/15
11/21 See Blackboard APA Writing
11/28 See Blackboard APA Writing
12/5 Final Paper due 12/6
12/12 Final Exam: Connections


This is a place to add things like resources, rubrics, etc.

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard. All written assignments are due at 11:59 p.m.

Late Work

Quizzes are not accepted late. Written work can be turned in on-time for an extra credit bonus of 1%. Written work can be turned in up to two days late with no penalty. After the grace period, written work will be accepted up to ten days late with a penalty of 5% per day.

Class Participation

Students are required to login regularly to Blackboard to view announcements and weekly content. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as discussions.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem is not resolved, please contact my department chair. If the problem continues to be unresolved, you may wish to speak to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.


When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the course, if at any point during the course you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

Technology Statement

In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material.  We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).