AP Psychology

Unit 14: Social Psychology

This part of the course focuses on how individuals relate to one another in social situations. Social psychologists study social attitudes, social in uence, and other social phenomena.

AP students in psychology should be able to do the following:

Dirk Willems faced a moment of decision in 1569. Threatened with torture and death as a member of a persecuted religious minority, he escaped from his Asperen, Holland, prison and fled across an ice-covered pond. His stronger and heavier jailer pursued him but fell through the ice and, unable to climb out, pled for help. With his freedom in front of him, Willems acted with ultimate selflessness. He turned back and rescued his pursuer, who, under orders, took him back to captivity. A few weeks later Willems was condemned to be “executed with fire, until death ensues.” For his martyrdom, present-day Asperen has named a street in honor of its folk hero (Toews, 2004).

What drives people to feel contempt for religious minorities such as Dirk Willems, and to act so spitefully? And what motivated the selflessness of Willems' response, and of so many who have died trying to save others? Indeed, what motivates any of us when we volunteer kindness and generosity toward others?

As such examples demonstrate, we are social animals. We may assume the best or the worst in others. We may approach them with closed fists or open arms. But as the novelist Herman Melville remarked, “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.” Social psychologists explore these connections by scientifically studying how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.

 74Attribution, Attitudes, and Actions
 75Conformity and Obedience
 76Group Behavior
 77Prejudice and Discrimination
 80Altruism, Conflict, and Peacemaking

PowerPoint: Chapter Slides 14 | Chapter Definitions 14
Study Guide 14 (and Answers 14)
Textbook (sort of an “e-book”)