Psychology of Social Behaviour

Paper Code: 
PSY 321
Contact Hours: 
Max. Marks: 

Course Objectives (COs):

This course will enable the students to –


  1. To familiarize students with some of the major theoretical perspectives in social psychology
  2. To appreciate interpersonal and group level psychological processes in the cultural context.
  3. To acquaint students with the processes involved in cognition and to develop critical understanding about cognitive processes.

Course Outcomes (COs):


Learning Outcomes

(at course level)

Learning and teaching strategies

Assessment Strategies

Paper Code

Paper Title







PSY 321






Psychology of Social Behaviour

The students will be able to –

CO86: Understand the historical and cultural context of social psychology as a discipline internationally and India

CO87: Examine theoretical frameworks underlying social interaction and its relationship to social identity

CO88: Relate knowledge of theory as well as current and past research in social psychology to situations in everyday life such as interpersonal and group relations.

CO89: Understand the nature, dynamics and dimensions of interpersonal behaviour

CO90: Examine their own attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, and biases to developing culturally aware social beings.

Approach in teaching:

Interactive Lectures, Discussion, Tutorials, Reading assignments, Demonstration, Team teaching

Learning activities for the students:

Self-learning assignments, Effective questions, Simulation, Seminar presentation, Giving tasks, Field practical

Class test, Semester end examinations, Quiz, Solving problems in tutorials, Assignments, Presentation, Individual and group projects


Unit I: 
Historical Background:
  • Growth of Social Psychology as a Modern Discipline
  •  Tradition of Social Psychology-Psychological, Sociological, Societal and Applied
  • Culture and Social Psychology - Relationship with Other Social Sciences


Unit II: 
Theoretical Perspectives:
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Social Comparison
  • Reactance
  • Social Identity
  • Field
  • Psycho-Dynamic
  • Social Constructionism
  • Social Representation
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour  
Unit III: 
Social Thinking:
  • Self in a Social World – Self Concept
  • Self – Esteem
  • Perceived Self-control
  • Self-serving Bias
  • Social Beliefs and Judgments – Social Cognition
  • Priming
  • Heuristics
  • Attribution – Theories of Attribution
  • Errors in Attribution
Unit IV: 
Social Influence:
  • Attitudes-Attitude & Behaviour
  • Attitude Formation
  • Persuasion-Resistance to Persuasion
  • Group Influence-Social Facilitation
  • Social Loafing
  • Deindividuation
  • Group Polarization
  • Influence of Minority; Groupthink


Unit V: 
  • Nature
  • Surces of Prejudice
  • Methods for Reducing Prejudice
  • Aggression-Theories
  • Causes and Controlling Aggression
  • Interpersonal Attraction- Factors and Theories
  • Prosocial Behaviour
Essential Readings: 
  • Baron, R. A., Branscombe, N. R. (2012). Social Psychology. (13th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Baron, Robert A. Branscombe, Nyla R. Donn, Byrne, Bhardwaj, Gopa (2010). Social Psychology. (12th ed.) Delhi: Pearson.
  • Baumeister, R. F., Bushman, B. J. (2014). Social Psychology and Human Nature (3rd ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 
  • Feldman, R.S. (1995). Social Psychology : N.J. Prentice Hall.
  • Myers, David G., Sahajpal, P., Behera, P. (2010). Social Psychology (10th ed). New Delhi: McGraw Hill.
  • Schneider, Frank W., Gruman, Jamie A. & Coutts, Larry M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology. New Delhi: Sage.
  • Schneider, Frank W., Gruman, Jamie A. & Coutts, Larry M. (2017). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems.(3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Sinha D. (1990). Interventions for Development Out of Poverty. New Delhi: Sage.


  • Aronson, E. Ellsworth, P. , Calsmith, J.M. & Gonzales, M.H. (1990). Methods of Research in Social Psychology. NY: McGraw Hill.
  • Farr, R.M. (1996). The Roots of Modern Social Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell. 
  • Delamater, J. (2003). Handbook of Social Psychology. New York: Kluswer Academic.
  • Fisher, R.J (1982). Social Psychology: An Applied Approach. NY: St. Martin’s.
  • Ruscher, J.B. (2001). Prejudiced Communication: A Social Psychological Perspective. New York: The Guilford Press.
  • Semin, G.R. and Fiedler, K. (1996). Applied Social Psychology. Delhi: Sage.
  • Vago, S. (1990). Social Change. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


Academic Year: