Learn Social Psychology
4.4 (1,532 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
11,781 students enrolled

Learn Social Psychology

Understand How People Think, Feel, and Behave in this Complete Introduction to Social Psychology
4.4 (1,532 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
11,781 students enrolled
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $65.99 Original price: $94.99 Discount: 31% off
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This course includes
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand research in psychology
  • See social influences on everyday behaviors
  • Develop greater understanding of other people
  • Implement psychological research to meet one's own goals
  • Perform better in a social psychology class
  • A willingness to learn and apply research in psychology to your own everyday life.

Your life will change for the better once you better understand yourself and the people in your life. This course will teach you the ins and outs of human psychology in a fun and comprehensive guide to the mind.

You'll Learn Psychology from Every Angle

In this course, we cover five core areas of social psychology:

  1. Thinking Socially - How we think about other people, make judgments, and explain others' behavior
  2. Thinking About Ourselves - How people come to know who they are, deal with information about themselves, and situate their self-concepts in the culture they've grown up
  3. Social Influence - How and when we conform to what other people think and do, how authority has such power, and the elements of effective persuasion
  4. Cognitive Dissonance - A classic topic in social psychology dealing with how people grapple with inconsistent beliefs
  5. Working with Others - How people deal with others in everyday interactions, including relationships, group decisions, aggression, and helping

Through comprehensive videos, slide presentations, exercises, and quizzes, you will learn about the fascinating science of social psychology. This course is modeled on university curricula that you could spend thousands of dollars on.

You'll Learn from an Expert

This course was designed, top to bottom, by an experienced instructor who is an expert in the field of social psychology. The information is presented in an engaging, easy-to-understand format, and you will be able to connect these concepts to your everyday life. I'm also on call to answer any questions you have as you move through the course.

This course features more than 5 hours of video content, including helpful thought exercises, outside resources, and quizzes to keep you on track.

It's Time to Change the Way You See People

If you're interested in psychology, this is the course for you. If you are currently taking a social psychology class and want to see the same material from a different perspective, this is also the course for you! You're bound to come away with a new appreciation for for your social world after learning about the compelling research in this field of psychology.

Who this course is for:
  • Salespeople, teachers, customer service representatives...if you work with people, an understanding of psychology is essential.
  • If you are currently taking a class in social psychology, this course could help you do better by providing a secondary instructor with an engaging teaching style.
  • Anyone who is interested in people and power of social situations should take this course to better understand their social world
Course content
Expand all 68 lectures 05:10:44
+ Introduction
5 lectures 10:31

In this quick lecture, I'll give you a sense of what this course is like and how it's organized.

Preview 02:51

In case you were curious about whether I'm at all qualified to teach this course, allow me to explain myself.

Preview 01:35
Accessing Links and Bonus Resources
A Quick Word About Reviews

To get us started, we'll go through Gordon Allport's classic definition of social psychology to give us a sense of what this field of study is all about.

Defining Social Psychology
+ PART I: Thinking Socially
1 lecture 02:02

What I call "Thinking Socially" other psychologists call "Social Cognition." Before we get to deep into it, let me explain what this section is all about.

Preview 02:02
+ Schemas & Accessibility: The Structure of the Mind
6 lectures 32:15

A schema is a "mental framework" that organizes social information into easy-to-remember and easy-to-use chunks. In this lecture, we discuss more about what schemas are, why we have them, and what effects they can have.


We see schemas at work all the time. In the last lecture, I briefly mentioned the kinds of effects that schemas can have, but in this follow-up video, I'll describe the one particularly pervasive consequence of schemas: self-fulfilling prophecy. I'll go over a classic study that showed how the self-fulfilling prophecy indirectly changed the grades of real students in the 60s and mention a few other instances of this effect at work.

If you're interested in knowing more about the study about self-fulfilling prophecy and attractive (vs. unattractive) people, you can find more details in a free course I have on Udemy featuring 5 experiments in social psychology.

VIDEO: Schemas & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Different schemas come to mind for various reasons. Here we'll discuss what it means for a schema to be "accessible" and how a schema can become accessible. Through this, we'll come to understand the phenomenon of "priming."

Accessibility & Priming 01 - What is it?

To further understand the power of priming a particular schema, we'll look at some classic studies in social psychology that demonstrate how simple priming can be and what effects it can have.

Accessibility & Priming 02 - Classic Experiments

Although I mentioned in the previous lessons that priming can be "subliminal," you may wonder how that works, exactly, and whether it's really effective. In this video, I explain how psychologists have been able to prime schemas subliminally and document the subtle, real effects that it can have.

Preview 03:47
EXERCISE: Priming Experience
+ Heuristics & Biases
7 lectures 16:30

Moving right along in our social thinking patterns, in this lecture we bring up the notion of "heuristics," which are mental shortcuts that ease social judgments and decisions. In particular, we discuss the availability heuristic, the representativeness heuristic, and the anchoring heuristic. I'll give an example of each and talk about how they can bias our judgments of other things and people even though they're generally helpful.


When we estimate how much something happens in the world, the availability heuristic can make us come to irrational conclusions. This heuristic is all about using how easily things come to mind as a signal for how frequently they occur in the world.

Heuristic #1: The Availability Heuristic

The availability heuristic can be a little tricky to get a grasp on. Here's another example of how people depend on this heuristic to make judgments, and it comes from my own life.

VIDEO: Example of Availability Heuristic (Skydiving)

You can think of representativeness as a kind of "reverse stereotyping." This heuristic is how we judge the probability of something being true. Because people use this heuristic, they often ignore real probability information and instead rely on simple stereotypical cues to make estimates.

Heuristic #2: The Representativeness Heuristic

As with a lot of heuristics, representativeness becomes easier to understand with some examples. In this quick video, I use the example of a coin toss to show you how people depend on the representativeness heuristic to make judgments.

VIDEO: Example of the Representativeness Heuristic (Coin Toss)

Although anchoring can be useful, people often come to biased answers because of it. This heuristic is how people make numerical estimates, and surprisingly, they over-rely on meaningless "anchor" numbers when making their final guesses.

Heuristic #3: The Anchoring Heuristic
EXERCISE: Anchoring Experience
+ Attribution
3 lectures 19:38

"Attribution" is all about how we explain other people's behaviors. In this lecture, we'll see that people can explain behavior by looking for personal causes ("dispositional attributions") or by looking for envrionmental causes ("situational attributions"). According to the fundamental attribution error, people are pretty quick to go the route of drawing dispositional attributions.

Attribution, Part I

We can understand the fundamental attribution by looking at some relevant examples, including people's perceptions of actors. Because people tend to mistakenly assume that actors have the same qualities as the characters they play, it's further proof of how automatically people draw dispositional attributions.

VIDEO: Example of the Fundamental Attribution Error (Actors vs. Characters)

Now that we know the two main types of attributions that people can draw, we'll ask the question: do people always draw dispositional attributions? Surely people can see that there are external influences on behavior! Yes, that's true, and in this lesson we'll look at Gilbert's 3-Stage Model to understand which conditions are most liklely to bring out situational attributions. Then we'll cover two common biases in attribution that can sometimes lead people to account for the situation: the actor-observer effect and self-serving attributions.

Attribution, Part II

Let's review what we've covered in section 1.

Thinking Socially QUIZ
4 questions
+ PART II: Thinking About Ourselves
1 lecture 02:11

I'll take a quick second to introduce the idea of social psychological research on "the self."

Introduction to Thinking About Ourselves
+ The Self-Concept
4 lectures 13:31

Before we get started talking about psychological research on "The Self," let's do a quick exercise so you can know what it's like to think deeply about yourself.

EXERCISE: "I am..." Statements

We'll discuss what the previous exercise was all about and then launch into an understanding of the "self-concept."

DISCUSSION: "I am..." Statements

The "self-concept" is really just a schema we have about ourselves. It includes the various bits of self-knowledge that we've come to understand. In this lesson, we talk about what a self-concept can be and how a self-concept originates over one's early development.


In this lesson, we go further in understanding the self-concept by looking at some ways in which people come to know information about themselves. How do our self-concepts come to contain all of that information? We'll look specifically at the role of introspection, self-perception, and social comparison.

Developing Self-Knowledge
+ Self-Esteem
2 lectures 10:54

No doubt you've heard of "self-esteem" before. In this lesson, after quickly defining how psychologists think about self-esteem, I'll let you in on two key attributes of a person's self-esteem that you may not have considered before. The first of these is the stability of self-esteem, and the other is the contingencies (or bases) of self-esteem. Each of these is important to understand when it comes to knowing how people react to negative things that happen in their lives.

Preview 07:37

A person can say that he has high self-esteem but at a more implicit, "subconscious" level, he might have lower self-esteem than he expressed. And he might not even know it consciously! In this video, I explain the notion of implicit self-esteem, how psychologists can measure it, and how something as simple as how much someone likes her name can signal implicit self-esteem.

VIDEO: Implicit Self-Esteem and Name-Liking
+ Self-Motives
3 lectures 15:48

Although it would be great if people always looked objectively for information about themselves, people tend to be motivated by a need to maintain high self-esteem. We'll talk about a handful of behaviors that people engage in so that they keep a positive self-view: downward social comparisons, self-serving attributions, self-handicapping, basking in reflected glory, and outgroup derogation. We'll also talk about self-verification which can happen when someone with low self-esteem really just wants to confirm his or her pre-existing negative self-view (rather than hear good things about him/herself).


My own personal experience may shed light on "Basking in Reflected Glory" and show you just how pervasive it is. What's an experience from your own life in which you felt that you were BIRGing?

VIDEO: Example of Basking in Reflected Glory (Hometown Success)

In this quick video, I'll give you another example of "self-handicapping," and once you hear it, you'll start seeing instances of it everywhere.

VIDEO: Example of Self-Handicapping (Self-Derogating Statements & Athletics)
+ Culture & the Self
2 lectures 10:06

There's a whole world out there--does "psychology" look the same everywhere? A lot research has shown that the culture we live in plays a huge role in social psychological outcomes. One of the big ones is "the self." We'll talk about two broad types of cultures that exist in the world: individualist and collectivist cultures. Then I'll describe some evidence that these two cultures encourage very different kinds of self-concepts in the people who grow up in them. In particular, these are independent and interdependent self-concepts.

Culture & The Self

In this lecture, you'll find a link to a TED Talk by Alana Conner, who co-wrote the book "Clash!: How to Thrive in a Multicultural World." If you want to know more about independence vs. interdependence, you can check out that video or her great book on the topic.

BONUS RESOURCE: Independence vs. Interdependence

Let's review what we've covered in this section with a quick quiz.

Thinking About Ourselves Quiz
4 questions