Archived Versions

9.70 Social Psychology

As taught in: Spring 2009

Photograph of students in conversation.

Social Psychology is about human behavior in groups. (Photograph courtesy of Dr. Jovan Ristic. Used with permission.)




Prof. Stephan Chorover

Course Features

Course Description

Our conjoint participation in the 9.70 learning system places us in a consensually-shared social situation. (All of the foregoing words are important. Do you understand their meaning in this context?) We will endeavor to organize ourselves into a community of discourse that approximates (albeit in an altogether partial way) a meaningful, real-world research enterprise: Like all scientific communities, we will work with limited resources. Unlike "real" scientific communities, ours will operate under the constraint of predetermined project duration and contractually agreed-upon limits in the amount of time and effort to be contributed to it by the individual participants.

Toward this end, we randomly divide the membership of the class – at the outset — into subsystems – study groups — intended to operate interdependently with others while each remains together as a stable subsystem for the duration of the term, unless or until the participants determine otherwise. This approach creates a "level playing field." The coursework will provide everyone with first hand opportunities to experience and to exchange ideas about what it means to scientifically investigate (experimentally/experientially) the subject before us on individual, small group and large group levels.