Psychology 615 - Issues in Personality & Social Psychology
Winter 2002, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:50, 156 Straub Hall

Sara Hodges (331 Straub, 346-4919,
Office hours: Wednesday, 9:30 - 11:30 and by appointment
Course webpage:


The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the major topics and issues of personality and social psychology, including individual differences in social behavior, social influence, the self in a social context, and interpersonal perception and interaction. An attempt has been made to place these topics in a larger context, providing an overview of major themes and highlighting current debates.

Reading and Responding

For each class, there are required readings available in Straub 337. You are expected to read the required articles prior to class. You are also asked to generate one or more questions or ideas in response to the readings for MOST classes (7 out of 10). Email your comments to all members of the class (let me know if you need an email list) and me ( If there is a guest speaker, please email your comments to the speaker too (emails are provided on the class schedule, below). Please send these emails by or before 11:00 a.m. on the day of class. These questions will be a part of our discussion each week. Your responses to the readings may also help you to develop possible ideas for your paper (described below). If the questions and ideas students bring in do not generate sufficient discussion, I will assign students to lead class discussions.


You will write a term paper (approximately 6-15 pages) for this section of Issues that can take one of two formats: a research proposal, or an original theoretical treatment of some topic covered in this course. If you are undecided, I suggest the research proposal, as it may be difficult for you to cover enough background reading in a 5-week overview class to write a theoretical paper (and the study or studies you propose could be the start of rewarding line of research!). The paper should reflect that you have been enrolled in this class (i.e., it should somehow reflect the subject matter, readings or discussions), but feel free to incorporate ideas from your own research or from other areas of psychology. A one-page (or more) plan for the paper is due by 5 pm Friday, March 1. The final papers are due by 5 pm Wednesday, March 20. Papers should be written in APA style. I encourage you to discuss paper ideas with me.


There are two components of your grade, class participation (100 points) and the term paper (200 points). Your participation grade will be based on your contributions in class, which requires your presence, and your emailed questions and ideas.


If you have feedback about the course, especially negative feedback, please try to deliver it to me early on (by email, during office hours, in anonymous notes), so I have a better opportunity to address it and potentially improve the course.

Schedule of Readings

Tuesday, February 12 - Introduction

Kenrick, D. T & Funder, D. C. (1988). Profiting from controversy: Lessons from the person-situation debate. American Psychologist, 43, 23-34.

Rozin, P. (2001). Social psychology and science: Some lessons from Solomon Asch. Personality & Social Psychology Review, 5, 2-14.


Thursday, February 14 - Stable Individual Differences
Guest Speaker - Gerard Saucier (gsaucier@oregon)

Saucier, G. & Goldberg, L. R. (in press). The structure of personality attributes. Chapter prepared for M. Barrick and A. M. Ryan (Eds.), Personality and Work. New York: Jossey-Bass-Pfeiffer.

Funder, D. C. (2001). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 197-221.

Tuesday, February 19 - Templates and Early Experiences

Andersen, S. M., & Berk, M. S. (1998). The social-cognitive model of transference: Experiencing past relationships in the present. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 109-115.

Buss, D. M. Cognitive biases and emotional wisdom in the evolution of conflict between the sexes. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 10, 219-223.

Fraley, R. C., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Airport separations: A naturalistic study of adult attachment dynamics in separating couples. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 75, 1198-1212.

Thursday, February 21 - Culture and Roles

Heine, S. J., & Lehman, D. R. (1999). Culture, self-discrepancies, and self-satisfaction. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin. 25, 915-925.

Snodgrass, S. E., Hecht, M. A., & Ploutz-Snyder, R. (1998). Interpersonal sensitivity: Expressivity or perceptivity? Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 74, 238-249.


Tuesday, February 26 - Social Influence
Guest Speaker - Mick Rothbart (mickroth@oregon)

Readings TBA

Thursday, February 28 - Making Sense: Attributions and Explanations

Malle, B. F. (1999). How people explain behavior: A new theoretical framework. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 23-48.

Pennebaker, J. W., & Graybeal, A. (2001). Patterns of natural language use: Disclosure, personality, and social integration. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 90-93.

Aronson, E. (1999). Dissonance, hypocrisy, and the self-concept. In E. Harmon-Jones & J. Mills (Eds.), Cognitive dissonance: Progress on a pivotal theory in social psychology (pp. 103-126). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Tuesday, March 5 - Intergroup relations

Lowery, B. S., Hardin, C. D., & Sinclair, S. (2001). Social influence effects on automatic racial prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 842-855.

Check out the IAT web site here to help with your understanding of this article.

Shelton, J. N. (2000). A reconceptualization of how we study issues of racial prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4, 374-390.

Thursday, March 7 - Groups
Guest Speaker - Holly Arrow (harrow@darkwing)

Readings TBA


Tuesday, March 12 - Biases and Accuracy, Self and Otherwise

Gilovich, T., & Savitsky, K. (1999). The spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency: Egocentric assessments of how we are seen by others. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 165-168.

Hodges, S. D., Bruininks, P., & Ivy, L. (2002). It's different when I do it: Feature matching in self-other comparisons. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 40-53.

Kenny, D. A., & DePaulo, B. M. (1993). Do people know how others view them? An empirical and theoretical account. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 145-161.

Thursday March 14 - Out of Control: Automaticity and Affect

Bargh, J. A., & Chartrand, T. L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54, 462-479.

Loewenstein, G. (1996). Out of control: Visceral influences on behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 65, 272-292.