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Social Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course


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Social Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BPS205 CLD
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Social Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course

Social Psychology I course online. 

Social psychology affects us all in our social and work interactions, even if we don't know it, so it is important to be able to know how we relate to the people around us. By knowing this, professionals can understand how to help others to develop better social skills.  Therefore, this course will be invaluable to those working in, or looking to work in:

  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Social work
  • Personnel management
  • Nursing
  • Caring roles
  • Health professions
  • Research
  • Education


ACCPH logo This course is accredited at Level 3 by ACCPH and allows you to join as a professional member after completion. Membership allows you to add the letters MACCPH after your name (post-nominals).


CMA Complimentary Medical Association

This course has been accredited by the CMA - The Complimentary Medical Association. On completion of any qualifying module, you can join as a "Fully Qualified Practitioner" and be entitled to use the post-nominal latters "MCMA" after your name. CMA Full Membership is a privileged position and the fact that you have been accepted for CMA Membership demonstrates that you have a clear commitment to standards and professionalism. CMA Members in all categories are recognised as the elite in their field.


Learning Goals: Social Psychology I BPS205
  • To determine how physical characteristics and non-verbal behaviour affect our formation of impressions of others, and how that information is processed;
  • To understand the sociological perspective of the self and how we relate to others;
  • To discuss attribution theory, the internal and external causes, and its role in self-perception and the perception of others;
  • To understand the emergence of attitudes, changes in attitude, and the effect of attitudes upon behaviour and use as predictors of behaviour;
  • To discuss the emergence of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination from the perspective of social psychology and attitudes;
  • To understand the influence of physicality, similarity, familiarity and proximity on interpersonal relationships;
  • To understand helping behaviour through the influences of conformity, compliance, obedience and diffusion of responsibility;
  • To define social psychological theories of aggression and to apply those theories;
  • To understand the nature of group behaviour and to demonstrate awareness of group cognition;
  • To understand the effect of culture on behaviour of individuals and groups.



Lesson Structure: Social Psychology I BPS205

1  Social Cognition

  • Introduction to social psychology
  • What is social psychology
  • Impression formation
  • Behaviour
  • Appearance
  • Expectations
  • The primary affect
  • Attribution
  • Scemas and social perception
  • Central traits
  • Stereotypes
  • Social inference and decision making
  • Case Study: social psychology and law

2  The Self

  • Introduction
  • Self concept
  • Present and ideal selves
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Experiments into cognitive dissonance
  • Reducing cognitive dissonance
  • Self efficacy
  • How does the self develop
  • Self and social feedback
  • Socialisation
  • Types of socialisation
  • How are we socialised

3  Attribution and Perception of Others

  • Attribution theory
  • Attribution and Concensus, consistency, distinctiveness
  • Attribution errors
  • Culture and attributional style
  • Criticisms of the theory
  • Practical uses of attribution theory

4  Attitudes and Attitude Change

  • Defining attitude
  • Characteristics of attitudes
  • ABC of attitudes
  • Affective elements of attitude
  • Behavioural elements of attitude
  • Self attribution
  • Specificity
  • Constraints
  • Cognitive elements of attitude
  • Attitude formation
  • Factors affecting attitude change

5  Prejudice, Discrimination and Stereotypes

  • Introduction
  • What is prejudice
  • Functions of prejudice
  • How we measure prejudice
  • In groups and out groups
  • Reducing prejudice
  • Stereotypes
  • Functions of stereotypes
  • Dangers of using stereotypes
  • Changing stereotypes
  • Discrimination

6  Interpersonal Attraction

  • Introduction
  • Theories of attraction
  • The social exchange theory
  • The reinforcement affect model
  • Factors affecting interpersonal attraction
  • Physical appearance
  • Biological underpinnings
  • Similarity
  • Familiarity
  • Positive regard
  • Mis attribution of emotions
  • Proximity
  • Attachment styles
  • Cultural similarities
  • An evolutionary perspective
  • The cost of sex

7  Helping Behaviour

  • Bystander intervention
  • Diffusion of responsibility
  • Social facilitation
  • Compliance
  • Obedience
  • Conformity
  • Why do people conform
  • Factors affecting conformity
  • Desire for affiliation
  • Reinforcement and punishment
  • Obedience to authority
  • Why does social influence work

8  Aggression

  • Introduction
  • Types of aggression
  • Theoretical approaches to aggression: Freudian, Drive theories, Social learning theories, Biological and evolutionary theories
  • Aggrssion against outsiders
  • Aggression in a species
  • Aggression in humans
  • Environmental influences on human aggression
  • Imitation or modelling
  • Familiarity
  • Reinforcement
  • Aggression and Culture
  • Other factors

9  Groups

  • What is a group
  • Kinds of groups; recreational, social, work, family, sportingFeatures of groups
  • Factors relating to groups: productivity, social loafing, insufficient coordination, social facilitation
  • Group decision making: group think, group polarisation, minority influence
  • Deindividualisation

10 Cultural Influences

  • Defining culture
  • Culture and social exchange
  • Individualistc vs reciprocal societies
  • Cross cultural psychology vs cultural psychology
  • Culture bound syndromes
  • Trance and possession disorder



What you will be doing during this Course
  • Define €˜social cognition€™;
  • Determine the possible impression a jury might have of defendants and the social basis of those impressions;
  • List the three general biases that may affect the jury'€™s €œattributions and explanations€ and briefly describe each one;
  • Different types of schema;
  • Explain why people are motivated to justify their own actions belief and feelings;
  • Explain ‘cognitive dissonance;
  • Explain how can the desire for self-consistency influences our self-perception;
  • Determine the purposes served by dissonance -reducing behaviour;
  • Identify factors that form self-concept;
  • Describe attribution theory;
  • Describe how discounting principles relate to our perception of others;
  • Identify the fundamental attribution error;
  • Discuss how we use attribution to protect our self esteem;
  • Discuss how consistency, consensus and distinctiveness help to form our explanations of another person'€™s behaviour;
  • Explain how attitudes develop;
  • Discuss how attitudes affect behaviour;
  • Explain what makes people prejudiced;
  • Explain how physicality influences our behaviour;
  • Discuss the principle of similarity;
  • Explain how familiarity and proximity influence the development of friendship;
  • Explain why people conform;
  • Discuss Millgram'€™s experiment on obedience;
  • Explain why is a lone person more likely to help than a person in a group;
  • Discuss how conformity, compliance, obedience and diffusion of responsibility influence helping behaviour;
  • List the causes of aggression;
  • Explain the concept of group polarization;
  • Discuss how group decision-making influences conformity;
  • Examine the influence of culture and society on each other.



Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Iona Lister and your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout. Here are Iona's credentials:

Iona Lister
Licentiate, Speech and Language Therapy, UK, Diploma in Advanced Counselling Skills.

Iona has been a clinician and manager of health services for fifteen years, and a trainer for UK-based medical charities, focusing on psychosocial issues, mental health disorders, and also the promotion of communication skills for people in helping roles. She tutors and facilitates groups via workshops and teleconferences, and now specialises in Sight Loss. As a freelance writer, she contributes regular feature articles for magazines, has written five published books, as well as published courses relating to personal development and counselling skills.


Iona has aslo written published books, courses and articles across a wide range of subjects, mostly in the areas of health, counselling, psychology, crafts and wildlife.

She has drawn experience from clinical and managerial experience within the NHS as well as medical and humanitarian subjects. She has been a regular feature writer and expert panel member of a national magazine for six years.

Books include: A Guide to Living with Alzheimer's Disease (and associated dementias), The Psychology of Facial Disfigurement; a Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals, When a Medical Skin Condition Affects the Way you Look; A Guide to Managing Your Future, Facing Disfigurement with Confidence, Cross Stitch: A Guide to Creativity and Success for Beginners.
Courses written include: Mental Health and Social Work, Counselling Skills, Understanding and Responding to Substance Misuse, Journalling for Personal Development, Guided Imagery, Stress Management.
Current work includes: Tutor: Courses associated with Creative Writing, Counselling Skills, Psychology, Holistic Therapy, Certified Hypnotherapist and Hypnotension Practitioner. 
Facilitator of Teleconference Groups: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) 
Trainer (Skills for Seeing): Macular Society 
Reviewer of Books/Information: Macmillan Cancer Support 
Fundraiser: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Embroidery/Art Groups Facilitator, Board Member
Website Manager: The Strathcarron Project, Coordinator (Delaware & Tennessee) Human Writes



Excerpt from the Course


Attribution is the process of assigning causes for the behaviour of others and ourselves.  It is a theory within social psychology of how we explain the behaviour of others.  According to Heider’s (1958) attribution theory, when we offer explanations about why things happened, we attribute them to either situational factors causes (situation and circumstance) or dispositional factors (thinking, personality, attitude, motivation, effort etc).

Weiner further developed Heider’s theory and claimed that attribution is a three step process through which we perceive others as causal agents. 

Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why other people do what they do – that is, attribute a cause to their behaviour.  A person trying to understand why a person did something may attribute their behaviour to one or more causes.  There is therefore, a three stage process underlying the attribution. 

For example, you are walking along and someone throws some litter on the floor.  Three thoughts may cross our minds –

“I saw that” (perception of the action) – step 1

“You meant to do that” (judgement of intention) – step 2

“You are a litter lout” (attribution of disposition) – step 3

We must first observe or perceive the behaviour (step 1). We must then believe that the person did the behaviour intentionally (step 2) and finally determine if the person was forced to perform that behaviour – if they were forced to do it, the cause would be attributed to the situation, if they were not forced, the cause would be attributed to the person. 

So using the example above –

Person throws the litter

Step 1 – I saw that

Step 2 – You meant to do that.

Step 3 – The piece of litter was on fire – the person was forced to do it, so the cause is environmental. (external attribution)


Step 3 – You are a litter lout – the person was not forced to do it, so the cause was their own personality (internal attribution). 

Kelley (1967) used the terms external and internal to describe these attributions. An external attribution assigns causality to an outside agent or environmental factor, and claims that something or someone motivated the event, or caused the results. In contrast, an internal attribution assigns causality to factors within the person, and claims that the person was directly responsible for the event. The behaviour is due to their personality, attitude, character or disposition.  For example, if you think Fred failed his psychology exam because he had a late night, his cat died or his girlfriend left him that would be an external attribution.  If you thought he failed because he was not clever enough to pass, that would be an internal attribution.  These two types of attribution lead to different perceptions of the person engaging in the behaviour. For example, if we thought Fred failed his psychology exam because he was lazy and didn’t study (internal attribution), would we be less sympathetic than if we though he failed his exam because his girlfriend left him the night before (external attribution)?

We tend to form schemata about behaviour that lead us to expect people to act in certain ways in certain situations. For instance, we expect people to cry and grieve at a funeral, but do not expect laughter (though there are some societies in which that would be acceptable). We also form schemata about individuals, which can include expectations we have formed of their behaviour, and attribute what we believe a fairly characteristic behaviour to their personality or other internal factors.

When someone acts out of character, however, we might attribute the behaviour to external factors, wondering “What happened to him? What has made him act this way?” and looking for perhaps work or marriage problems, or other external influences on the person’s behaviour. When a stranger or someone we don’t know well – or don’t like – acts in a way that is unexpected and considered out of the norm, we are inclined to attribute it to internal causes, such as unpleasant personality, aggressiveness, ignorance, or jealousy.

Attribution has a direct influence on our behaviour, and can either encourage us or discourage us from taking action in a situation. For example, when Asian students began out-performing Western students in western schools, many people attributed their superior performance to “being smarter”. Most research into this matter, however, suggests that the key factor is that many Asian students tend to attribute both their successes and their failures to their own efforts, and therefore, put much more effort into achieving successes and avoiding failures. Many western students, on the other hand, are more likely to attribute their failures to external factors, such as teacher incompetence, unfair questions, time pressures, or luck, and therefore tend not to exert the same effort to achieve results.

Stable and Unstable Attributions

Attributions may be internal or external as already discussed, but they can be stable or unstable.  A stable attribution is when a person believes that an event or behaviour is due to stable, unchanging factors. When they make an unstable attribution, they may infer that an event or behaviour is due to temporary, unstable factors.  For example, Fred fails his psychology exam, but thinks it is because he always has bad luck (stable attribution), but if he thinks it is because he didn’t have time to study for this particular exam, he is making an unstable attribution.



Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
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