Archived Versions

9.70 Social Psychology

As taught in: Spring 2009

Photograph of students in conversation.

Social Psychology is about human behavior in groups. (Photograph courtesy of Dr. Jovan Ristic. Used with permission.)

Level:

Undergraduate

Instructors:

Prof. Stephan Chorover

Course Features

Course Description

Our conjoint participation in the 9.70 learning system places us in a consensually-shared social situation. (All of the foregoing words are important. Do you understand their meaning in this context?) We will endeavor to organize ourselves into a community of discourse that approximates (albeit in an altogether partial way) a meaningful, real-world research enterprise: Like all scientific communities, we will work with limited resources. Unlike "real" scientific communities, ours will operate under the constraint of predetermined project duration and contractually agreed-upon limits in the amount of time and effort to be contributed to it by the individual participants.

Toward this end, we randomly divide the membership of the class – at the outset — into subsystems – study groups — intended to operate interdependently with others while each remains together as a stable subsystem for the duration of the term, unless or until the participants determine otherwise. This approach creates a "level playing field." The coursework will provide everyone with first hand opportunities to experience and to exchange ideas about what it means to scientifically investigate (experimentally/experientially) the subject before us on individual, small group and large group levels.