Not available in 2013/14
Societal Psychology: Theory and Applications

This information is for the 2013/14 session.


This course is available on the BSc in Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course discusses major areas of application of social psychology to real-world issues. Emphasis is put on the complexities of translating theory into practice and on the theoretical developments which are prompted by research on topical social issues. A recurrent theme is the reciprocal interaction between theory and practice in relation to social issues of theoretical interest and practical importance. The interplay of theory and practice will be examined in relation to selected topics which illustrate the application of social psychology in real world settings, such as: crime and anti-social behaviour; mass media; gender and sexuality; evolution and social relationships; identity and community; prejudice and racism; language and communication; religion and cultural beliefs.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write four essays during the Session, which will be assessed by the class teachers, and to give class presentations. These will not count towards the final examination result.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be distributed at the beginning of the course. The following are useful preliminary reading: . P Boyer, Religion Explained: The Human Instincts That Fashion Gods, Spirits and Ancestors. Vintage, 2002; D. Sperber, Explaining Culture, Blackwell, 1996; D M Buss, The Evolution of Desire. Strategies of Human Mating, Basic Books, New York, 1994; X Chryssochoou, Cultural Diversity: Its Social Psychology, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2004; H Himmelweit & G Gaskell, Societal Psychology, Sage, 1990; D Matsumoto & D Juang, Culture and Psychology (3rd edn), Thomson Wadsworth, 2004; F M Moghaddam, Social Psychology: Exploring Universals Across Cultures, W H freeman and Co. 1998; J McGuire, Understanding Psychology and Crime: Perspectives on theory and action, Open University Press, 2004. Additional references and a synopsis of lectures and class topics are distributed in the first lecture of the series and are also available in Outlook/Public Folders/Departments/Social Psychology/ PS203


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information