Learning Objectives

1.1 Define social psychology and contrast it with the other social sciences and psychology subdisciplines.

1.2 Identify the six fundamental questions of human existence and explain their relevance to social psychology.

1.3 Outline how social psychology has evolved since the early 20th century; explain how the first textbooks contributed to the development of social psychology; describe Kurt Lewin’s contri­bution to understanding social behavior; discuss the three levels of explanation and illustrate how they can help us understand social behavior.

1.4 Identify the four principles of social psychology and provide an example to illustrate each.

1.5 Discuss the hindsight bias and its relevance to the study of social psychology; describe the four essential characteristics of science as a process; identify the three goals of science.

1.6 Explain what hypotheses and theories are and show their role in scientific research; contrast correlational and causal relation­ships; define experiment, independent variable, dependent variable, experimental group, control group, and confound, and discuss what is meant by experimental con­trol and why it is important.