Not available in 2020/21
Psychological and Behavioural Science
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Dr Alex Gillespie
This course is compulsory on the MSc in Behavioural Science, MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Psychology of Economic Life, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is not available as an outside option.
PB400 is a compulsory component of courses: PB401 Contemporary Social and Cultural Psychology; PB402 Organisational and Social Psychology; PB403 Psychology of Economic Life; PB404 The Social Psychology of Communication; PB405 Foundations in Behavioural Science.
The course provides a broad introduction to social, cultural and organisational psycology, and behavioural science, through the lens of cutting-edge research conducted by PBS faculty. Although the topics of research will be diverse, varying year-by-year, the course will draw out the core themes and debates that constitute the current state of the art.
The entry point for each lecture will be ongoing research conducted by faculty within the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. Through research on a wide range of phenomena, fundamental and cross-cutting concepts will be introduced, such as: attitudes, beliefs, common sense, communication, context, cultural evolution, embodied cognition, entrepreneurship, group work, inequality & social stratification, leadership, motivation, narratives, organisational culture, power & status, science, social change, social identity, values and wellbeing.
The common theme across the course is that the major problems we face today are created by human behaviour. Thus, understanding how people think and act provides our best basis for intervening in those problems. Secondary themes will include: the importance of the micro context in shaping thought and behaviour; the role of institutions, social structures and culture in shaping behaviour more generally; the scope for cultural variation between companies, groups and historical periods; the need for diverse methods and original theory; and, complementarity between lab and field research.
The course will also introduce the debates that are occurring at the forefront of research. Faculty will discuss the pushes and pulls of big data vs. small data and disciplinarity vs. inter-disciplinarity. The relative merits of psychological vs. behavioural interventions will be debated. And, in the ongoing tension between applied vs. fundamental research, faculty will question whose interests are being served by changing human behaviour.
20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT.
A 500 word annotated bibliography for any 2 readings from the first 3 lectures (250 words for each annotated reference). For each reading in the bibliography there should be: 1) the reference in APA style; 2) a concise summary; 3) an evaluation, comment, and/or question that may create links between readings and/or literature in the core course.
Hogg, M., & Vaughan, G. (2013) Social Psychology. Harlow: Pearson.
A 1500 word annotated bibliography for any 6 readings from the fourth and subsequent lectures (250 words for each annotated reference). For each reading in the bibliography there should be: 1) the reference in APA style; 2) a concise summary; 3) an evaluation, comment, and/or question that may create links between readings and/or literature in the core course.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Total students 2019/20: 179
Average class size 2019/20: 16
Controlled access 2019/20: Yes
Value: Non-credit bearing
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills