PSY30140 Advanced Social Psychology
Academic Year 2021/2022
This module deals with contemporary societal implications arising from an evolving social psychology. The course charts mainstream and alternative approaches to the key questions arising from the scientific analysis of human behaviour and thought in the presence of others. The historical and philosophical underpinnings of social psychology are examined. Special attention is paid to debates between different schools within social psychology and radical critiques of the discipline are highlighted. Everyday applications of social psychology are outlined.
Appreciate the historical roots of contemporary social psychology. Develop the ability to apply social psychological models to the understanding of modern social issues, including racism and ‘modern’ racism, materialism, relative deprivation, socio-cultural influence and psychological aspects of health. Appreciate the biological influences on complex human behaviours. Recognise the variety of perspectives made by differing ‘schools’ of social psychological thought.
Indicative Module Content:
1/ Dynamics within Groups (themes include the development of groups, their dynamics, their group leadership, and optimising group performance).
2/ Dynamics between Groups (themes include the prejudiced personality, relative group deprivation, modern racism and stereotyping).
3/ Well-being and Society (themes include the post-materialist society, affluence and happiness, and the role of social equality).
4/ Applying Social Psychology to Physical and Mental Health (areas covered include the potential and limits of public health models, stress, and Positive Psychology, ‘Nudging’). (4 LECTURES)
5/ The Biological Foundations of Social Psychology (areas covered are Evolutionary Social Psychology, Terror Management, Sex and Gender Differences, Human Sexuality). (4 LECTURES)
6/ Power, Culture and Violence (areas covered include status, the impact of power, the effect of subordination, levels of violence across human history, and the way in which culture shapes people).
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