00870 - Social Psychology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student should be able to: a) understanding the link between social cognition and social behaviour; b) understanding the role of social factors (values, ideology, group membership) in the development of social cognition; c) understanding the positive and negative facets of the self-other-social context relation; d) understanding how social cognition affects social behaviour.

Course contents


- Brief history of social psychology and its underlined epistemological approaches.

- Methods of social psychological research. 

- Social cognition: knowing the social world, impression formation, social categorization.

- Social influence: conformity, minority influence, obedience.

- Attitudes: formation, transmission and persuasion.

- The self: self-concept, self-efficacy, identity.

- Aggressive behaviours: individual and social explanations, influence of media, reduction strategies. 

- Pro-social behaviours: motivations, emphaty.

- Belonging and exclusion: motivation to belong, exclusion from groups and its conseguences.

- Intergruoup discrimination: experiments, realistic conflict, social identity. 


- Social psychology in the digital era: consequences of digital technology, social relations and social media.

-Enviromental psychology: perception of phisycal environment, sustainable environments)

- Political psychology: political ideology, perception of political leader and political communication. 



Andrighetto, L. e Riva, P. (2020). Psicologia Sociale. Fondamenti teorici ed empirici. Il Mulino.

- not to do: paragraphs 3, 4 e 5 of chapter X; chapter XIV).

Palmonari, A., Cavazza, N. ( A cura di), (2012). Ricerche e Protagonisti della Psicologia Sociale. Il Mulino.

- Not to do: chapters 1 e 2.


Menegatti, M. & Rubini, M. (2006). Processi psico-sociali e linguaggio. Psicologia Sociale, 2, 1-29. (only the parts indicated during the course)

Maricchiolo, F. (2017). La comunicazione non verbale. Caratteristiche e funzioni. The Inquisitive Mind, 12.


Teaching methods

The course will be taught trough frontal lessons. Videoclips/movies will be used to explain how psychological processes and behaviours happen in daily life, and to illustrate the most important experiments of social psychology in both their original form and modern adaptation. Comments and discussion will be strongly encouraged in order to understand how social-psychological process explain real and daily life phenomena, and facilitate the links with other psychological domains.

The frequency to the lessons will not be measured but it is strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

The exam aims at verifying the acquisition of the knowledge in the four areas described above. The questions, although in close format, do not ask to simply memorize the key concepts, but to deeply understand the contents of social psychology and the ability to make connections among them.

The final exam is in written form. It comprises 31 close-format questions to be answered in 30 minutes. The exam concerns the entire program of the course and it is not divided according to the two modules.

Students who will follow all classes could do a specific exam at the end of the course (middle of December).

Students could present group-work or do an individual essay on issues decided by the student or the professor. This work will be evaluated from 0 to 3 points to add at the final mark.

Oral exam could be requested in the following cases: difficulties in writing and reading, difficulties linked to the Italian language, several failed attempts to do the exam.


Signing up on AlmaEsami is mandatory. Any problem to sign up should be reported to the office as soon as possible.

Teaching tools

Teaching material will be made available on IOL platform (in accordance with copyright norms).

Office hours

See the website of Michela Menegatti

See the website of Francesca Prati