The Psychology of People: How to Understand Yourself & Influence Others

Podcast-style audio course - 18 Topics
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Swarthmore College
Audio Download + Subscription
Audio Download + Subscription
Audio Download + Subscription

Audio Sample:

Do you ever wish you better understood why people do what they do? What governs our thoughts and actions? How can we influence others? This course introduces you to the science of human social psychology and offers surprising answers to these questions.

Our social situations can lead us to act in unexpected ways. Depending on the context, we can soar with dramatic joy or get lost in frustration and aggression. Sometimes we demonstrate deep compassion toward others, sometimes prejudice.

A celebrated professor at Swarthmore College, Andrew Ward reveals the unseen forces behind social behaviors. He helps you grasp the psychology of our relationships and interactions. Under his guidance, you will explore the most essential concepts in social psychology.

Prof. Ward delivers each lecture with a cheerful and engaging style, prompting you to reflect on a myriad of examples of surprising behavior. Armed with a new awareness of social influences, you will learn to better understand and interact with those around you.

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Andrew Ward is an expert on social perception as well as conflict and negotiation. A professor and past chair of the Department of Psychology at Swarthmore College, his courses are among the highest enrolled. In addition to his duties at Swarthmore, Prof. Ward regularly teaches psychology courses at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has given lectures to medical professionals and consulted for Fortune 500 companies. Previously, he taught at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Drexel University, and the Pardee RAND Graduate School.Educated at Harvard and Stanford, Prof. Ward has published his work in major academic journals in the fields of social psychology, clinical psychology, and health. He is also co-author of The Bargaining Bride. Among his awards are two major grants from the National Institutes of Health and a Lang Faculty Fellowship from Swarthmore College.Praise for Prof. Andrew Ward“I taught alongside Andrew Ward at Swarthmore College for more than two decades. He is just a superstar teacher. His lectures are clear, engaging, funny and always about important things. I can’t count how many psychology majors were created in Andrew’s classes. Social Psychology is Andrew’s wheelhouse, and people who listen to his course are in for a treat, as well as an education!”– Dr. Barry Schwartz, Visiting Professor at Berkeley Haas and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College“At Swarthmore College, Professor Andrew Ward’s courses are among the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. He infuses every lecture with great enthusiasm, along with a passion for conveying the key lessons of his field to all of his students.”– Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor & Vice Chair of Psychology at University of California Riverside

  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Research Methods in Social Psychology
  • Conformity and Obedience
  • Why Do People Obey Authority?
  • Group Behavior
  • Social Perception
  • Social Cognition
  • Heuristics and Biases
  • Attitudes
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • The Self in Social Psychology
  • Interpersonal Attraction
  • Aggression
  • Conflict and Negotiation
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Psychology and Health
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology and the Legal System


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