PSYE202 Social Psychology: Cognitive Processes


The aim of the course is to introduce to the students the discipline of social psychology. Special attention is paid to the methodology of social-psychological research. The accent in the course is on the specific cognitive processes during the person-situation interaction. Lectures are followed by seminars giving the students opportunity to analyze and discuss different empirical data.

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Psychology (in English)


Assoc. Prof. Elena Paspalanova, PhD
Assoc. Prof. Penka Hristova, PhD

Course Description:


1) знаят:

- the basic theoretical approaches for understanding the social behavior of the individual;

- the methodology of social-psychological research;

- the fundamental theories and constructs in the field of social cognition.

2) могат:

- to analyze and critically evaluate data from social-psychological studies;

- to present verbally results of social-psychological experiments and their interpretation.

Sufficient listening, reading and writing skills in English (level C1) as well as introductory courses in Psychology from the 1st year of their education.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. The subject matter of social psychology. Social behavior – definition and level of analysis. Social psychology and other disciplines. Fundamental paradigms – social learning approach, social exchange theories, attribution approach, and cognitive consistency approach.
  2. Rise and historical development of social psychology. Psychological and sociological domain.
  3. Methods – correlation, experiment (dependant, independent variable, experimental manipulation), quasi-experiment. Laboratory and field studies.
  4. Sources of contamination in social-psychological research. Research ethics.
  5. Social perception – impression formation (static and dynamic keys). Primacy and recency effect. Implicit personality theories.
  6. Perception of the other and knowing the other. The distinction between implicit and learned personality theories. Accepting social models vs. creating own models of personality theory.
  7. Social perception – evaluation of emotions. Facial expression and nonverbal behavior. Nonverbal indexes for the perception of the nature of the interaction.
  8. Mimics and gestures. Decoding nonverbal messages. Detecting lies. Consistency/discrepancy between verbal and nonverbal messages.
  9. Theories of attribution. The logic of attribution (Fritz Heider). Theory of dispositional inference (Edward Jones & Keith Davis). Covariation model -attribution cube (Harold Kelley)
  10. Individual differences in attribution processes.
  11. Fundamental attribution error. Actor vs. observer effect. Motivational biases in attribution processes. Attribution of success and failure.
  12. Analysis of fundamental attribution error in everyday situations – in family, school, workplace, interactions with friends and strangers.
  13. Social cognition. Cognitive schemas and their influence on cognitive processes and behavior.
  14. Analysis of research findings. Detecting the influence of cognitive schemas on social interaction.
  15. Test and verbal presentation of scientific texts of previous issues.


• Aronson, E, Wilson, T., Sommers, S., Akert, R. (2018) Social Psychology. Tenth edition. | New York, NY: Pearson.

• Fiske, S. T. (2018). Social beings: Core motives in social psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

• Wyer Jr, R. S., & Carlston, D. E. (2018). Social cognition, inference, and attribution. Psychology Press.


50% test

25% presentation and participation in class discussions

25% course work and class attendance