PS415      Half Unit
The Social Psychology of Economic Life

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Frederic Basso, c/o STC.304


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social Research Methods, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students on degrees without a psychology or media component may only attend subject to numbers, their own degree regulations and at the discretion of the teacher responsible.

Course content

The course reviews the contribution of social psychological theories and perspectives, broadly interpreted to include micro-sociology, to the understanding of people's representations, attitudes, choices and behaviours in the economic sphere. Rationality in individual and collective decision taking. The scientific and lay representations of risk. Trust in contemporary society. Consumer behaviour, fashion and the symbolic aspects of consumption. Equity and justice. Behavioural economics.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

Reading lists will be provided for each topic, the following are of general use; S E G Lea, R M Tarpy & P Webley, The Individual in the Economy, Cambridge University Press, 1987; A Lewis, P Webley & A Furnham, The New Economic Mind: The social psychology of economic behaviour, Harvester, 1995.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills