Social Psychology Course - EXPLO

Social Psychology

How does your environment determine who you are and how you act?

In this course, discover the effects of environment and socialization on identity. Coursework will include a study of historical group behavior experiments, such as the Jane Elliott exercise, the Clark Doll experiment, and the Implicit Association Task. In addition, engage with a number of theories of social psychology. Making use of Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, examine why we’re attracted to certain people as friends and others as mates. Incorporating aspects of Myers-Briggs, learn to differentiate the various personality types that exist in the world. In discovering how social norms influence our entire society, learn the ways in which social psychology plays a powerful role in our lives, impacting our choices, feelings, and behavior.

Who Should Take This Course?

You are interested in the ways society can influence how you think and act–both positively and negatively. Develop sound scientific practices while you study the psychology of people in social situations and conduct experiments on individual and group behavior. This course is best suited for students with an interest in psychology and research development, and a desire to better understand human behavior.

Advisors + Past Speakers

  • Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine
  • Dr. Merve Emre, Associate Professor + Fellow, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University
  • Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg, Media Psychologist, Fielding Graduate University
  • Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University
  • Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Psychologist

Plan your summer


Course Highlights

  • Research Study Analysis

    Review historical group experiments, compare their results, and think critically about their ethical implications on the greater population.

  • Experimentation

    As a researcher, test an hypothesis, and through simulations, case studies, and experiments, determine the validity of your theories on different groups of people.

  • Theoretical Understanding

    Examine the theories and frameworks that guide the field of social psychology, such as Attribution Theory and Social Learning Theory.

  • Career Exploration

    Social psychologists study a vast array of topics that impact and inform our daily lives — from persuasion and propaganda, to gender issues, to bystander intervention, to social cognition.

To explore how labels and stereotypes impact how we treat each other, we held notecards with adjectives on them on our foreheads and treated one another based on the adjectives. I think we all left the classroom thinking about how to be kinder and more open-minded.

Advisors + Past Speakers

Dr. Marvin Chun

Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Chun leads a cognitive neuroscience laboratory at the Yale University School of Medicine. Also an award-winning professor, Chun’s undergraduate course Introduction to Psychology is one of the largest at Yale College and has been recognized many times. Chun has authored psychology textbooks, serves on several Boards, and acts as an advisor on the Nike Performance Council.

Dr. Merve Emre

Associate Professor + Fellow, University of Oxford

Dr. Merve Emre is associate professor of English at Oxford University and fellow of Worcester College. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale. She is the author of two books: Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, November 2017); and The Personality Brokers (New York: Doubleday, September 2018), which investigates the strange, secret history of personality testing. Her essays and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, The Walrus, Bookforum, Boston Review, The Baffler, n+1, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she is senior humanities editor.

Dr. Paul Bloom

Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University

Dr. Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with a special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. Bloom has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, and has written for the science journals Nature and Science, as well as for The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg

Media Psychologist, Fielding Graduate University

Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg is a media psychologist and Director of the Media Psychology program at Fielding Graduate University. Hogg presents internationally on the cultural influence of human behavior and digital media, and she recently worked for the United States Department of Defense Global Operations on an anti-terrorism simulation where she used narrative psychology to counter terrorist messaging in Iraq, Syria, and North Africa.

Dr. Laurie Santos

Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University

Dr. Laurie Santos is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University and the Head of Silliman College, as well as the Director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory. An award-winning professor at Yale for the last 15 years, Santos teaches the most popular class in the university’s history: Psychology and the Good Life.

Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter


Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter is a clinically trained psychologist with over 30 years experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. She is the former Chair of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee and the Massachusetts Board of Licensure for Psychologists. Currently, Moorehead-Slaughter is the Psychologist at The Park School, an independent school in Brookline, Massachusetts serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students.