Why do you follow the rules—and more importantly, what can we do to make you
break them? This course examines the application of the scientific method to the
study of social and political psychology, with an emphasis on mainly quantitative
experimental methods used to conduct research in this area. We’ll learn about
things like why people follow the leader, why we form groups and yell into the
echo chambers of social media, and why your Thanksgiving dinner conversations
won’t get better any time soon. Students will learn about both content- and
methodologically-based issues encountered in this area and gain experience in
searching for, reading, and discussing empirical work in the field. Students will
demonstrate their overall proficiency by conducting a semester-long research
project that will be presented in oral or written form and as a poster at the end-of-the-semester poster session.