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:
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.
In this quick lecture, I'll give you a sense of what this course is like and how it's organized.
In case you were curious about whether I'm at all qualified to teach this course, allow me to explain myself.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Let's review what we've covered in section 1.
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.
We'll discuss what the previous exercise was all about and then launch into an understanding of the "self-concept."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Let's review what we've covered in this section with a quick quiz.
I am a social psychologist. My expertise is in the domain of attitudes and persuasion, but I have extensive experience with all corners of the social psychology world. The research in this field is so interesting that I can't help but want to share it! I look forward to the chance to share the world of social psychology with you.