HISTORY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - 2018/9

Module code: PSYM111

Module Overview

The module introduces students to diverse perspectives on the tension between social psychologists’ search for generalizable laws of social behaviour and historians’ emphasis on the particular nature of social change.  The module will prepare students to engage the problems and possibilities created by this interdisciplinary tension by (1) developing an understanding of the history of the tension between history and social psychology, (2) conducting critical historical analysis of concepts in social psychology and (3) developing empirical projects to address historical change and continuity in the past and present.

Module provider

Psychology

Module Leader

HEGARTY PJ Prof (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C880

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

The module will consist of 2-hour sessions divided between lecture and seminar formats which will focus on the following topics:



The Crisis in Social Psychology and the Problem of History.


Genealogy and Ethics.


Making People Measurable: The History of Attitudes and Personality Traits


Defining “Difference” and “Similarity”: The History of Statistical Significance Testing in Social Psychology.


Race and Racism: The History of Applying Social Psychology to Real Social Issues


The History of Being Well-Adjusted


The History of Culture in Social Psychology


Studying Lives in Changing Historical Times


Rechoning with the Past in Contemporary Intergroup Relations


The Empirical Study of Historical Memory


Using Records of Language use: Digital History and Social Behavior


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework A 2500 WORD GENEALOGICAL ANALYSIS OF A SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPT 50
Coursework A 2000 WORD RESEARCH PROPOSAL 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

Assessment 1

Genealogical Analysis (2500 words, 50%, submission deadline in Week 8)

Students will write a genealogical essay that describes historical discontinuities in the definition and understanding of a social psychological concept. Students will examine three pivotal theoretical or empirical papers that have defined or employed the concept that have been published in different decades. Drawing on the critical examination of concepts in weeks 1-7 of the module, students will critical analyse the historical change in the concept and critically evaluate its relevance for the present.    

Learning Outcomes Assessed: 

Subject Knowledge



The intellectual history of social psychology

Cognitive/Analytical Skills


Critical thinking skills


Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis

Transferable Skills


Communication skills


Critical analysis of concepts and historical processes

Professional/ Practical skills


Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis


Familiarity with contemporary information science resources.

Assessment 2

Research proposal (2000 words, 50%, submission deadline in Week 12)

 

Students will propose an original feasible study that examines a process of historical change as its object. Students will draw on some of the materials and methods showcased in weeks 8-11 to propose an original study that asks an original research question. The research proposal will be supported by an account of relevant literature that evidences the originality of the proposal, a detailed account of the study’s methodology, and a description of the theoretical significance of its possible results. 

 

Learning Outcomes Assessed: 

 

Subject Knowledge


Contemporary social psychological research on historical processes

Cognitive/Analytical Skills


Critical thinking skills


Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis


Research development skills

Transferable Skills


Communication skills


Statistical and analytical skills


Critical analysis of concepts and historical processes

Professional/ Practical skills


Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis


Familiarity with contemporary information science resources.

 

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will be provided to students during each workshop through discussion focussed on students’ understanding of the essential reading.

Feedback

Students will be invited to submit 1-page proposals of both assignments for formative feedback 2-3 weeks in advance of the assignment deadline.


Module aims

  • To equip students to engage with historical and social psychological scholarship, and to understand and appreciate the differences and overlaps between them.
  • To develop students' capacity to research and to think critically about the historicity of the social psychological constructs that they employ and research.
  • To develop students' capacity to develop original research proposals about historical change and continuity.
  • To develop students' capacity for independent research on social psychology and history.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 The intellectual history of social psychology K
2 Contemporary social psychological research on historical processes K
3 Critical thinking skills C
4 Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis C
5 Research development skills C
6 Communication skills T
7 Statistical and analytical skills T
8 Critical analysis of concepts and historical processes T
9 Skills of interdisciplinary thinking, argumentation, and analysis P
10 Familiarity with contemporary information science resources. P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Develop an understanding of the differences in conceptual understanding of key concepts in social psychology over the historical life of the field.
Acquire knowledge about the history of social psychology
Enhance students’ capacity to engage in interdisciplinary debate
Develop verbal and written skills of analysis, critique and argumentation.
Sharpen students’ appreciation of the nature of social psychological research and problem formation.
Expand students’ capacity to use historical material in their research in regard to historical processes.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for HISTORY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/psym111

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Social Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Research Methods in Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.