PSY2102 – Social cognition and emotion

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Social cognition is about how we understand and explain our own and others' behavior, and how we interpret positive and negative events in daily life. Social cognition is the interface between social psychology and cognitive psychology, with contributions from personality psychology, language, psychology and neuroscience. Social emotions are emotions about or related to other social beings - typically other people. Key topics include:

  • Concepts, schemas and hypothesis as the basis of social perception.
  • Counterfactual thinking.
  • Affect and motives in social cognition.
  • How do we explain our own and others' behavior (attribution).
  • How do we create an impression of other people.
  • Stereotypes and implicit personality theories.
  • Social comparison.
  • Self-Perception and Identity.
  • The role of social emotions in relationships. 
  • Cultural differences in social cognition.

Learning outcome

The course will provide an overview of important research and theories in the field of social cognition and social emotions.

You will:

  • Gain insight into the basic psychological processes that influence human interaction.
  • Learn how our social environment, including different media, shape social cognition and emotion.
  • Get a broad overview of the field of social cognition and get to know important findings and their interpretation.

You should be able to:

  • Plan and conduct different steps within the research process in social cognition.
  • Present research results.
  • Evaluate empirical evidence. 
  • Apply basic concepts and theories in social cognition to everyday experiences as well as to problems of intervention in various Fields.

General competence:
You should be able to:

  • Read advanced book chapters, which already require a good understanding of the basic concepts of social psychology.
  • Read primary research articles.
  • Collaborate in small teams on solving various tasks.
  • Search for additional material yourself and to evaluate research.
  • Reflect on the relationship between theory and empirical findings.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended to have completed PSY1010 – Innføring i metode and PSY1100 – Innføring i sosialpsykologi or equivalent.

The course is building on knowledge from the textbook in PSY1100 – Innføring i sosialpsykologi: Alcock, J., & Sadava, S. (2014). An Introduction to Social Psychology: Global Perspectives.


The teaching will be given through lectures and seminars (in connection with a research project). The teaching will be in English.

The seminar is compulsory. Attendance must be at least 9 of 12 times. We expect you to participate actively in the implementation and presentation of a research project.

The obligatory activity is valid for the two next semesters the course is offered.

More information about general guidelines for obligatory activities (only in Norwegian).

Information regarding change of seminar Group.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Format: Answer questions, essay style. Answer 3 out of 4 questions. The 4 questions will be one from each module. You receive guiding questions for each module at the beginning of each module. These questions are not necessarily the final questions but they are indicative. You can answer the questions with the help of the pensum and the course.

If you want to improve a previous passing grade in PSY2102 you do not have to pass the mandatory attendance. Please contact SV Student Affairs in order to register for the exam only. Deadline: February 1st (Spring).

Previous exams

Examination in Inspera

Due to the situation with the coronavirus, the written school exam is changed to a home examination in Inspera. 

You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera. 

Read more about examinations in Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.



Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Every spring
Every spring
Teaching language