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Learn social psychology with online courses and programs

Uncover valuable insights into human behavior and help to explain and address real-world phenomena and challenges. Learn about social psychology with edX today.

What is social psychology?

Social psychology is a branch of psychology that studies how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the social environment in which they live. It employs a range of research methods, including laboratory experiments, surveys, field studies, and observational research, to investigate the complex interactions between individuals and their social context.

Some areas of study in social psychology include:

  • Social perception: How individuals perceive and interpret social information, including how they form impressions of others, make judgments, and attribute causes to behavior.

  • Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination: The study of how individuals develop and hold stereotypes (generalized beliefs about groups), prejudice (negative attitudes towards particular groups), and discrimination (unfair or unequal treatment of individuals based on their group membership).

  • Group behavior: How individuals behave in groups, including topics such as cooperation, competition, leadership, and decision-making processes.

Social Psychology | Introduction Image Description

Social psychology course curriculum

In an introductory social psychology course, learners can study the foundational concepts and theories related to the study of human behavior in social contexts. Some examples of such concepts could include:

  • Overview of the field, its history, and major theories

  • Social perception and cognition

  • Exploration of self-concept, self-esteem, self-presentation, and social identity

  • Formation of attitudes and persuasion

  • Stereotypes, their formation, the impact of prejudice, and the consequences of discrimination

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the social psychology field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore social psychology jobs

Learning social psychology and how it applies to us all can be important for professionals in any career as they navigate relationships with colleagues, leadership, and customers. There are also a diverse range of careers that have a stronger focus on the study and use of social psychology in communities and organizations. Some examples of such jobs and fields could include:

  • Social researcher: Conduct studies to understand social behavior, attitudes, and group dynamics. They may work in research institutes, universities, or market research firms, providing valuable insights to inform policy-making, social interventions, or marketing strategies.

  • Human resources specialist: Apply an understanding of social dynamics to areas such as employee motivation, group dynamics, organizational behavior, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

  • Marketing and advertising specialist: Develop an understanding of consumer behavior, persuasion techniques, and the impact of social influence to inform effective marketing campaigns and consumer research.

  • Community outreach and engagement coordinator: Engage with diverse populations to address community needs, promote social programs, and foster community cohesion.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in psychology depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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