9.70 | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Social Psychology

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 9.70 Social Psychology as it was taught by Professor Stephan L. Chorover in Spring 2013.

This course examined interpersonal and group dynamics and considered how the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals are influenced by (and influence) the beliefs, values, and practices of large and small groups. Learning occurred through a combination of in-class activities, small study groups and regular homework assignments. The course also included occasional lectures and demonstrations.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

In this course, the instructor aimed to challenge the conventional “top-down” classroom arrangement, in which essentially everything of material and conceptual value presumably comes from “the front of the room” and, more specifically, from the uniquely powerful and centrally placed and particularly privileged position of the instructor-in-charge. The instructor aimed to replace this approach with an alternative that is scientifically credible, pedagogically sound, and educationally effective - a collaborative learning system.

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied



Professor Chorover is an emeritus professor and is no longer teaching this course.

Instructor Interview

Professor Chorover described various aspects of how he taught 9.70 Social Psychology extensively in the course syllabus.

The following sections principally depict Prof. Chorover’s approach to teaching the course:

Student Information


About 25 students

Breakdown by Year

Rougly 1/5 sophomores, 2/5 juniors and 2/5 seniors.

Breakdown by Major

Most students were from departments other than Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In class

  • Met 1 time per week for 3 hours per session; 14 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
  • Study groups facilitated discussions of problems based on readings or viewings and from study group meetings.

Study group meetings

  • Met 1 time per week for 2 hours per session; 14 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
  • Membership in groups of 4-6 students was randomly assigned.
  • Study groups submitted meeting minutes of their discussion of readings and viewings each week in advance of the class.
  • Study groups were assigned to be facilitators for class over the semester and were responsible for preparing handouts summarizing all study group meeting minutes during their facilitation week.

Out of class

  • Students were required to complete reading and viewing assignments.
  • Students also compiled and submitted weekly meeting minutes or prepared facilitation handouts before class.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2013
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights