Key Concepts of Societal Psychology

Psychology@LSE Flagship Lecture Series 

Aim: These lectures delivered by Psychology@LSE staff aim to bring across key concepts of social and societal psychology to all PhD and MSc students in MSc Social and Cultural Psychology (SCP), MSc Organisational and Social Psychology(OSP), MSc Social and Public Communication(SPC) and MSc Health, Community and Development(HCD).

These concepts form the common basis for these programmes where they are elaborated in many different ways.

Objective: The key for these lectures was so that students listening would be able to understand key social psychological concepts and recognise their value in their own field of study and research.

Week 1: 8th October- Introduction
Caroline Howarth

What is Societal Psychology? How is Societal Psychology different to Social Psychology? What is its contribution to the analysis of social issues?

Discussants: Teresa Whitney; Rochelle Burgess; Bankole Falade; Vivienne Schwager 

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Week 2: 15th October - Human Consciousness and the social self
Caroline Howarth

How do we think? How does human consciousness develop? What is the connection between human consciousness, culture and social change?

Discussant: Lucia Garcia

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Week 3: 22nd October -Social Identities, Intergroup Relations and Prejudice
Cathy Campbell 

Is social life always about 'us' and 'them'? How do we develop a sense of identity and belonging? Is intergroup conflict and prejudice inevitable?

Discussant: Tom Reader

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Week 4: 29th October - Human Communication
Alex Gillespie 

How is human communication peculiar? How did it evolve? What is language?

Discussant: Martin Bauer

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Week 5: 5th November - Social Knowledge, Social Memory
Sandra Jovchelovitch

Do we inherit knowledge and traditions? Or do we think for ourselves? Is social knowledge always about finding a consensus or is difference of opinion the basis of social knowledge?

Discussant: Ilka Gleibs

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Week 6: 12th Nov - Group Dynamics and Leadership
Lucia Garcia

Do groups choose leaders? What makes a good leader? Do certain contexts produce good leaders?

Discussant: Sandra Jovchelovitch

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Week 7: 19th November - Social Influence
Martin Bauer

Can a minority change the opinions of a majority? Are we always influenced by the views of the majority? When do we challenge those in authority?

Discussant: Alex Gillespie

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Week 8: 26th November - Cultural Norms and Attribution
Ilka Gleibs

Are there cultural differences in how we think – and how we think about each other? How does this change in times of increased globalisation?

Discussant: Barry Rogers 

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Week 9: 5th December - Attitudes and Changing Behaviour
Tom Reader

How do attitudes develop? Do attitudes predict behaviour? By simply changing attitudes, can we change behaviour?

Discussant: Jenevieve Mannell

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Week 10: 10th December - Social Change and Social Research
Panel: Cathy Campbell/ Sandra Jovchelovitch/ Barry Rogers/ Tom Reader

How do we change societies and human behaviour? Does social research led to social change?

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