PS415      Half Unit
Social Psychology of Economic Life: Advanced Topics

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Frederic Basso, QU.3.14


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Psychology of Economic Life, 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 takes the position that social psychology is the key to understanding real-world economic life by taking in account cognitive, affective and social processes. Main concepts: analytic/experiential systems in decision-making, metaphors, images, stories/storytelling, self/extended self in consumption, dramaturgy/staging, social roles, face-to-face interactions, emotional labour/dissonance, gift economy, sharing economy, social group (inclusion/exclusion), stigma, social norms, nudging, disenchantment of the economic world, post-modern hyper-realities, experience economy, resistance to persuasion (inertia, scepticism, reactance), resistance to consumption (avoidance, minimisation, boycott/active rebellion).


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 LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 30.7
Merit 57.3
Pass 10.7
Fail 1.3

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2015/16: 50

Average class size 2015/16: 17

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 86%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


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Recommend (Q2.9)