First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
SFM0014279, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SF1330, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Department of reference Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge INES TESTONI M-PSI/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses M-PSI/05 Social Psychology 9.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 65 160.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Basic skills related to the psychology of relationships
Basic English for watching documentaries and reading scientific texts.
Target skills and knowledge: Psychology is the study of the individual and relational causes of human thought and behaviour, as well as of the methods for analysing this territory. It is a science empirically founded, so it is necessary to know the methods and be able to critically evaluate the contents of his investigations.
The course gives students the opportunity to acquire a competence in the following content fields:
History of Psychology in Western thought: research methodology for the study of the mind and of the human psychological dimensions, epistemological aspects of scientific research and reliability of psychological knowledge: experimental method and descriptive methods. Social research and action research;
History elements of the major learning theories to understand the relationship between behaviour, motivation and change, with reference to the contribution of cognitive psychology to behavioural and learning problems.
a) The frontal lessons will be accompanied by projections of films in Italian and English
b) Students will be divided into groups to facilitate their communication and peer learning. The groups will have the task of ensuring that all achieve the objectives set by the course. Each group will have a coordinator who will inform the teacher of any problems or difficulties of the members;
c) the group should choose a gender discrimination issue, which should be further explored and how the problem could be solved;
d) the photo-voice technique is used to facilitate the students' self expression dynamics.
Elements of psychophysiology of behavior, concerning certain aspects of the nervous system, to understand: perception, emotions, learning and memory;
History of Psychology and birth of Social Psychology. Relations between experimental psychology and research action in innovation by Kurt Lewin.
Attitudes and social cognition: functions, structure (tripartite model), change;
Social relations and the development of the Self: fundamental organizative factors of relationships, primary and secondary dimensions, development of the Self, self-esteem, peer relations;
Communication: linear, circular, dialogical models;
Social influence: information regulations, conformism and conversion, nomic minorities, crimes of obedience; deviant vs. pro-social behaviour;
Group processes and group relationships: primary and secondary groups; intra-group and intergroup relationships, bias, social identity
Social and cultural psychology: history of social thought and historical and cultural perspective

The course aims to operationalize the acquired competences to motivate students to know the fundamental contents that Social Psychology can make available in their future work as social workers. To do this, the application of the psychosocial action research method on project is presented. Students will then need to acquire skills in recognising and addressing problems related to social discrimination. In particular, importance is given to gender discrimination and violence against women.
Examination methods: The exam is divided into two parts:
a) The first form of evaluation concerns the students' ability to address the psychosocial problem of gender discrimination, in particular violence against women, through teamwork and peer learning. The ability to cooperate with the team-mates is evaluated, as well as the commitment to produce a final review (documented with a paper) that also presents the project idea.
(b) the second form of evaluation will be a written test with open questions. Questions will be related to the core nodes indicated in Syllabus. There are 4 questions for the part related to methodological/expitemological and historical aspects; 4 questions for the psychosocial part. Notionalist questions are not presented but questions that allow students to demonstrate their competence in a critical way.
Both evaluations are in thirtieths.
The mathematical mean between the two assessments corresponds to the final result of the examination.
c) For those who do not attend the examination will be conducted in writing, with open questions about all the texts that they will have to study. The questions are not notional but will require the student to demonstrate the ability to think critically and to make connections between different conceptual aspects.
Assessment criteria: The first part of the examination involves assessing the degree of rigour with which the document is prepared through teamwork. Groups are asked to make an internal assessment of the level of participation in the activities. Each group must present the value of each person's contribution to the group activities by unanimous agreement. Any problems arising from this self-evaluation phase are dealt with together with the teacher.
The criteria for the evaluation of the written examination are: correctness of the answers and ability to present what illustrated by literature and during the lessons with correct and rigorous language; critical ability to deal with the proposed themes; originality of the answers.
Course unit contents: After an introduction to the funtamental topics of General psychology and of history of psychology, this course is designed to introduce students to the complex interrelationship among individual psychological life, society and culture, as well as an of understanding human identity and behavior in its sociocultural context. Takes the perspective that psychosocial processes offers and has a particular focus on how identities are constructed, especially identities of groups and individuals. Class discussions focus around social problems and inter-group relations will be planned.
The course aims to provide students with knowledge of the basic elements of the methodology of research in psychology and in particular in social psychology so that they acquire the skills related to the theoretical and methodological tools of psychosocial analysis, through the study of the main processes that regulate the interaction between the individual and his environment.
The course also aims to frame psychology in the history of Western thought, analyzing some historically relevant aspects related to the birth of psychology as a science, with particular attention to the problem of psychological identity of the individual immersed in society.
Particular attention is paid to: a) analysis of the epistemological dimension of psychology; b) forms of individual and social behaviour: the problem of mental distress and dysfunctional behaviour; c) social construction of collective violence and dynamics of acquiescence and de-humanisation; d) recent history of mental illness management in Italy. The course will also consider the topic of social violence and ways to prevent and understand it.
The topics will be covered:
Basic elements of social psychology and its research content: the field theory between general psychology and social psychology / the theory of Gestalt and Kurt Lewin; Leon Festinger and the theory of cognitive dissonance / Muzafer Sherif and autokinetic effect) ; World War II: Nazism and the problems of persuasion and propaganda, compliance and discrimination; the crimes of obedience (Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo)
Elements of psychosocial epistemology: Willem Doise's scheme: intrapersonal, interpersonal, intra- and inter-group dimensions; social factors and attitude building, stereotypes and discrimination; relational attitude formation, attitude structure and function; Social cognition: personal and social perception; causal attribution theory and misjudgments; heuristics; group dynamics and compliance.
Self: Self patterns, memory and experience; emotional and emotional factors; social identity and self concept; selfesteem; self efficacy; self-perception; motivation.
Theory of groups: social identity and membership; favouritism of the ingroup; bias towards the outgroup; polarization; deindividuation.
Research methods: empirical method and causality; descriptive and correlational research; qualitative research.
Specific attention is given to unconscious and social dynamics that produce discrimination and oppressive behaviour. To give a better example of this, the issue of violence against women is being examined.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course enhances peer learning and communication within working groups, because this strategy allows students to overcome the difficulties linked to the comparison and integration into the university environment.
To facilitate the understanding of anti-intuitive concepts that Psychology studies, audiovisual supports and film documentation are used that belongs to the history of Psychology.
The Moodle Platform is used to support group work through forums and chats, in order to eliminate logistical difficulties that make group work difficult. Many of the platform's functions are therefore enhanced, such as calendars, document sharing, sharing of audiovisual material, updates on work timelines in real time, and uploading of teaching material made available to the teacher.
There will be moments of in-depth study with experts and witnesses.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Hogg, Cooper, The sage handbook of Social Psychology. London: SAGE, --. ERASMUS STUDENS are supposed to study only thix text Cerca nel catalogo
  • Magro T., Muffolini E., Fondamenti di Psicologia generale volume 1. Milano: Led, --. TESTO OBBLIGATORIO PER TUTTI - Solo ai frequentanti saranno indicate le parti da studiare per l'esame
  • Zamperini A., Testoni I., Psicologia Sociale. Torino: Einaudi, --. TESTO OBBLIGATORIO PER TUTTI - Solo ai frequentanti saranno indicate le parti da studiare per l'esame Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giomi E., Magaraggia S., Relazioni brutali. Genere e violenza nella cultura mediale. Bologna: Il Mulino, --. TESTO OBBLIGATORIO PER TUTTI - Solo ai frequentanti saranno indicate le parti da studiare per l'esame Cerca nel catalogo
  • Leone, Prezza, Costruire e valutare i progetti nel sociale. Milano: Franco Angeli, --. TESTO OBBLIGATORIO SOLO PER NON FREQUENTANTI Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Story telling
  • Art Based methods
  • Work-integrated learning
  • Video shooting made by the teacher/the students
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Video shooting in studio (Open set of the DLM Office, Lightboard, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being Gender Equality Reduced Inequalities