Global Opportunities

PSY3047 : The Social Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of this module are to further students understanding of prejudice and discrimination, the theories that underpin it, the experimental methods used to investigate it and the issues surrounding these methods. Students will also gain an understanding of the open science framework and its importance within social psychology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will cover a broad range of contemporary topics throughout the module which will be reviewed annually to ensure that students are studying the most up-to-date theories and advancements from literature with a strong emphasis on up-to-date research methods. Indicative Syllabus Plan:
•       Introduction to stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and dehumanisation
•       How social psychologists study prejudice
•       Theories of prejudice and discrimination
•       Old fashion vs. contemporary forms of prejudice
•       Individual differences and prejudice
•       The development of prejudice
•       Reducing prejudice and discrimination
•       Understanding implicit approaches to the study of prejudice, e.g. unconscious bias

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Directed reading that accompanies each lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion175:0075:00Wider reading, revision and preparation for the written examination and poster
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Present in person: Skills practice - in-class presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00Synchronous online: Workshops related to intended skills outcomes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops33:009:00Present in person: Computer lab sessions
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity130:0030:00Developmental and/or modification of an experimental task designed to measure implicit bias
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures: These will provide the theory for the module and information necessary for the intended knowledge outcomes and will be augmented by assigned reading set for students. They also provide opportunities for students to seek clarification and will expose students to a variety of social psychological studies and designs that can be utilised to study prejudice. Lectures will also introduce students to theoretical debate, e.g. over the effectiveness of modern techniques in prejudice reduction as well as conceptual arguments as to what implicit tests actually measure.

Workshops: These sessions will allow the students the opportunity to build on the aforementioned intended skills outcomes through a more hands-on approach as well as via deeper discussion of theory from an applied perspective. Students will gain practical skills related to social psychology methodologies in practical sessions, e.g. they will gain hands on experience of using reaction time software as well as more traditional experimental methods using questionnaires. For the former, students will learn how to modify existing software to fit with their research design. Students will also be introduced to resources that allow them to create a simple experimental task, e.g. the Stroop task. For the latter, students will use the workshops to understand how social psychologists assess blatant prejudice. Students can also use the workshops to discuss findings from recent and seminal research papers and apply these findings in a real-world context.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80Part 1: answer 1 essay question out of 3. Part 2: write a pre-registration protocol. Unseen, present in person.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster2M20Individual poster detailing the rationale for the software task and a description of the task and study design (approx 1,000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj2MStudents work in groups to design or modify a novel experimental task. Task takes approx 5 mins to run and approx 25 hours to create
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment consists of an examination worth 80% and a Poster worth 20%.

The written (unseen) exam will assess the students’ ability to critically evaluate the material and write academically. To do well, students will have to synthesise material from across the module, both the theoretical and applied aspects, rather than focusing on one lecture topic. The use of a seen exam allows for deeper critical evaluation of the key theories and concepts introduced. In part 1 of the written exam, students will answer 1 question from a choice of three, thereby ensuring that have sufficient knowledge of both traditional approaches to the study of prejudice in addition to novel implicit methods. In part 2 of the written exam, students design a novel task and complete a mock pre-registration protocol. Students will need to think of a novel study design and consider in detail how the study would be conducted, e.g. specific predictions, measures to be used, sample size requirements, and statistical analysis. It is not necessary for students to memorise exact values (e.g. with regards to statistical calculations) but they do need to offer a rationale for their choices.

Prior to the pre-registration protocol written exam, students will engage in formative group work that will provide a more realistic view of working on a research project and encourage collaborative thinking and discussion. Each group will complete a pre-registration protocol template that introduces key aspects of research design that need to be considered before data collection. Students will be given a template of an open science framework protocol and work together to design a novel study related to prejudice and discrimination. This formative task allows for creativity as students can choose a topic of study that they find compelling. The use of group work allows for the pre-registration protocol to be divided into separate areas of responsibility if necessary. Students that are unable to work in groups may submit the task independently if necessary; however, group work is encouraged as this simulates a real-world research environment.

Students will also work in small groups on a formative assessment to create or modify an experimental reaction time task using open source software. Groups will submit a working software test and receive formative feedback. Students are encouraged to be creative and design a novel task based on recent research in the field. Each group is required to submit a working version of their task. Each individual student is required to submit a summative poster that explains their design choice. This assessment introduces students to the concept of designing an implicit task and will give students hand on experience of using reaction time software.

The inclusion of a summative written exam and poster and formative group work and assessment ensures that the module has a mix of assessment styles and is in line with the assessment tariff.

Reading Lists