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Social Psychology Coursework Essay Questions


Please note that copies of past PS407 MCQ papers are not available on the website or in the library. Instead, self-test multiple-choice questions are available for all chapters through the module textbook’s companion website:

As part of your assessment, you will be asked to write one long-form essay, demonstrating your ability to define and describe theoretical concepts and empirical research in a particular area of social psychology covered in this module. Additionally, you will be expected to demonstrate a level of sophistication with your chosen essay material by (when appropriate) applying the theoretical concept to situations that extend beyond the lab-based results presented in lecture and/or in the textbook. You will choose one essay from the three options below.

Here are the three essay questions (w/associated topic, lecture, and chapter):

Imagine you work for an advertising company that has been contracted to create a marketing campaign for a company that produces a range of camping equipment. The company wishes particularly to promote its sales of camping equipment directed at young people. Describe your proposed marketing campaign aimed at young people. You may focus on whatever equipment you choose and ensure that it is clear how and why your campaign will be effective in reaching and persuading young people to make more purchases. Justify your marketing approach with reference to Petty and Cacioppo's (1986) Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion.

Josie, Hana and Caitlyn have just started new jobs and all three are keen to do well. Josie laughs a lot at the jokes her colleagues tell, even though she does not always find them very funny. Hana observes her colleagues closely and makes sure that she completes the work in the same way that they do, so that she does not make any mistakes. Caitlyn prefers to learn through trial and error. She believes that by trying and by making mistakes, she will really understand what she is doing. Which girl’s behaviour is being influenced by normative social influence and which girl’s behaviour is being influenced by informational social influence? Justify both choices in the context of describing each distinct form of influence along with the research that supports that distinction.

a) Name a stereotype: Identify a stereotype that you hold. (Remember: everyone has stereotypes – it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! What we need to watch out for is that our stereotypes don’t lead to prejudicial behaviour.)

b) Explain why you hold the stereotype: Explain two theory-based reasons why your personal experiences may have contributed to you holding the stereotype.

c) Consider how to counteract the stereotype: Describe two theory-based, specific actions that you could take to ensure that your stereotype doesn’t result in prejudicial behaviour.

Make sure your analysis is backed up by theory (e.g., topics from the textbook/lecture); specify what theory you are using, and how exactly that theory applies. Also, be as specific as possible in describing the personal experiences that led to the stereotype and the actions you could take to counteract the stereotype. 

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