Social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. At heart, it's about questions. What makes for a happy life? How do friendships and romantic attraction work? How can we reduce violence, prejudice, climate change? Or turning things around, how can we promote peace, social justice, and sustainable living? These are just a few of the questions that we'll cover in this course. I'm Scott Plous, Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University, and Executive Director of Social Psychology Network, the world's largest online community devoted to social psychology. Once the course is underway, I'll give you a tour of the Network, and throughout the course, we'll use free resources from Social Psychology Network and its partner sites. I'm also pleased to say that the course will give you free access to psychology publications and videos that would cost over $1,000 to buy. For example, they include chapters from some of the best social psychology textbooks ever written, including David Myers' renowned textbook, Social Psychology, published by McGraw-Hill. They also include journal articles from the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. You'll be able to watch some outstanding videos, such as the Abilene Paradox, and Quiet Rage, Philip Zimbardo's documentary on the classic and disturbing Stanford Prison Experiment. We even have a few surprises that I've tucked into the course. In fact, I couldn't resist tucking a little surprise into this video as well, a surprise that relates to one of the first topics that we'll cover in this course: the psychological construction of reality. Now, to see what I mean, take a look at the logo image for this course, If you're like most people, nothing looks especially unusual, but what if I tell you that something's wrong? Even then, most people don't see anything out of place. So let me call attention specifically to the ten of diamonds on the right. Do you see it now? Even with this amount of prompting, many people don't notice that the diamonds are black when they should be red. I originally started with this image and turned the diamonds black using Photoshop. Now, of course, some people may have visual impairments or might not be familiar with playing cards. But if you're used to seeing red diamonds, and you didn't notice what was wrong before I pointed it out, you might be asking yourself, "How could I have missed that?" The answer is that perceptions are selective. We often see what we expect to see and don't see what we don't expect to see. Normally, there's no reason to check the color of playing cards. We can safely assume that they're the correct color. But when it comes to social psychology, our assumptions and our expectations can sometimes lead to trouble. And that's one of the things that we'll explore in this course. So at heart, social psychology is about questions, but it's also about those hidden diamonds— the hidden treasures that we don't notice, but would make our life, our relationships, and our work a little bit richer if we did. I hope that you join me in this course. I hope that you have some fun and leave with some social psychology diamonds of your own. If that sounds good, just bookmark the course website, read the page entitled "How the Course Works," and enjoy!