Comprehensive Exam in Social Psychology

Type of instruction

comprehensive exam

Part of degree program
Typically offered in

Autumn/spring semester

Course description

Aim of the course: the exam gives a chance to summarize the content of previous courses in
social psychology (Social Psychology 1-2, Lecture and Practical)

Learning outcome, competences

  • Demonstrate a structured knowledge of the most important terms and theories of social psychology
  • Solid understanding and critical examination of research methods used in social psychology


  • Able to restructure previous knowledge from a different perspective
  • Sensitive to perceive social psychological phenomena and problems


  • Able to communicate in an effective and convincing way
  • Approaches the literature of social psychology from a methodological perspective

Topics of the course
1. Foundations of social psychology: principles, methodological and ethical issues
2. Social cognition: attributions and forming impressions
3. Social aspects of the self: self-concept, self-esteem, social comparison, self-presentation,
self-monitoring and self-regulation
4. Group perception: establishing, using and changing stereotypes
5. Attitudes: concept, measurement, functions, attitudes and behavior, persuasion
6. Interpersonal relations: from initial attraction to close relationships
7. Helping and aggression, cooperation and competition
8. Group influence: group norms, group decision making, conformity, group consensus,
groupthink, minority influence
9. Group processes: group dynamics, power, leadership, obedience and resistance,
interdependence, group performance, social dilemmas
10. Intergroup relations: social identity, prejudice, intergroup conflict, and conflict
resolution. Social dominance, collective action


1. The roots and history of modern social psychology. Dominant approaches in Europe
and in the US
2. Gestalt School in social psychology
3. Behaviorism in social psychology
4. Cognitive social psychology: information processing and motivated social cognition
5. Economic approach in social psychology: rational choice, social exchange and game
6. Societal, cross-cultural and cultural social psychology
7. Evolutionary approach in social psychology


Compulsory reading list
Smith, E.R., Mackie, D.M, Claypool, H.M. (2015) Social Psychology. Fourth Edition, Psychology
Besides the textbook you are required to be acquainted with the materials covered during lectures,
practicals and methodology classes.