The Past of Social Psychology and Trends: Research Paradigms in Social Psychology and Related Disciplines



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The course discusses various scientific methods, modes of dissemination, and the issue of social responsibility in science from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. We analyse these questions within the framework of the history of Social Psychology, but also looking at the connections with other scientific disciplines, particularly at the influence of social and natural sciences. The dilemma of scientific methods and social change are discussed in connection with the specific activities of social psychological research – finding a research question, choosing a research method, method of data analysis, dissemination of results. We pay a special attention to the problematic of social change, the social psychological motivations for change, and the role of the researcher and research findings in achieving social

The research projects of participating students are critically analysed and positioned among social science paradigms during the course. We discuss the theoretical questions raised during the course in connection with the work of students. The curriculum of the course reflects the actual activities of the researcher, and discusses
related theoretical and practical considerations.

  • Abrams, D. (2014) Reality check: Rigor, relevance, and the value of social psychological research, Forward, 251, 1-6,
  • Henry, P. J. (2008). College sophomores in the laboratory redux: Influences of a narrow data base on social psychology's view of the nature of prejudice. Psychological Inquiry, 19, 49-71.
  • Massey, S. G., & Barreras, R. E. (2013). Introducing “impact validity”. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 615-632. doi: 10.1111/josi.12032
  • McGuire, W. J. (1967) Some impending reorinetations in social psychology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 3, 124-139.
  • Merton, R. K. (1973) The normative structure of science. In N. W. Storer (Ed.) The sociology of science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, (pp. 267-278). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.