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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Psychology Short Name: PS.M27
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: COYLE AG Dr (Psychology)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern
Units of Assessment  
Percentage Weighting  
Essay (maximum 2000 words)  
Research Proposal (2000 words)  
Module Overview



Module Aims

1. To provide students with an advanced understanding of current theories of social change and influence in social psychology

2. To provide students with an advanced understanding of the historical and philosophical background of social psychological theories of social change and influence

3. To equip students with the theoretical tools needed to conceptualise and analyse a variety of social issues

4. To enable students to contribute to the practical application of social psychological theories by planning social responses to societal problems (eg public education campaigns, change individual and group views and responses to specific social issues, and attempts to mobilise individuals to take collective action)

5. To provide students with the skills to evaluate possible interventions in a variety of social domains.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
•    Provide a critical evaluation of current theories and empirical evidence relevant to processes of social change and social influence.
•    Apply these analyses to specific issues relevant to social change and influence.
•    Synthesise the knowledge and understanding gained during the module to design a research study relevant to the processes and/or outcomes of a specific example of social change and/or social influence.

Module Content
Week 1:    Social conformity, obedience to authority, and minority influence (PH)
Week 2:    The individual in the group: how social change impacts on the individual (and vice versa) (IG)
Week 3:    Persuasion (CFS)
Week 4:    Social norms and social influence (BG)
Week 5:    Social representations and social change (AC)
Week 6:    Change and influence in multicultural societies (AC)
Week 7:    A critical examination of trends in understanding and resisting radicalisation: identity and integrative complexity (AC)
Week 8:     Environmental constraints on and facilitators of social change (BG)
Week 9:    Social and discursive change (AC)
Week 10:    Policy makers’ outlooks on influencing behaviour (LT)
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures and workshops.

Selected Texts/Journals

Selected Texts/Journals
Lecturers may provide detailed reading lists during their lectures but students are strongly advised to consult at least some of the following materials before each lecture, especially the materials listed under ‘Required reading’.
Week 1: Social Conformity, Obedience to Authority, and Minority Influence (Peter Hegarty)
Recommended Reading
Blass, T. (Ed.) (2000). Obedience to authority: Current perspectives on the Milgram paradigm. London: Erblaum.
Moscovici, S., & Personnaz, B. (2001). Studies in social influence: minority influence and conversion behaviour in a perceptual task. In M.A. Hogg & D. Abrams (Eds), Intergroup relations: Essential readings. New York: Psychology Press.
Abrams, D., Wetherell, M., Cochrane, S., Hogg, M.A., &  Turner, J.C. (2001). Knowing what to think by knowing who you are: self-categorization and the nature of norm formation, conformity and group polarization. In M.A. Hogg & D. Abrams (Eds), Intergroup relations: Essential readings. New York: Psychology Press.

Background Reading
Allen, V.L. (1975). Social support for non-conformity. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 8). New York: Academic Press.
Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 193-209.
Kerr, N.L. (2002). When is a minority a minority? Active versus passive minority advocacy and social influence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 471-483.
Moscovici, S. (1980). Toward a theory of conversion behaviour. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 13). New York: Academic Press.

Week 2: The Individual in the Group: How Social Change Impacts on the Individual
(and Vice Versa) (Ilka Gleibs)

Recommended Reading
Correll, J., & Park, B. (2005). A model of the ingroup as a social resource. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9, 341-359 .
Jetten, J., Postmes, T., & McAuliffe, B.J. (2002). ‘We’re all individuals’: Group norms of individualism and collectivism, levels of identification, and identity threat. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 189-207.
Postmes, T., Spears, R., Lee, T., & Novak, R. (2005). Individuality and social influence in groups: Inductive and deductive routes to group identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 747-763.

Week 3: Persuasion (Chris Fife-Schaw)   
A detailed reading list will be provided in this lecture. However, in preparation for the lecture, students are advised to conduct a search (on PsycLit or even on Google) using the term ‘elaboration likelihood model’ and follow up some of the links that they discover. For example, see:
Week 4: Social Norms and Influence (Birgitta Gatersleben)

Reccommeded Reading
Schultz, P.W., Nolan, J., Cialdini, R., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2007). The constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms. Psychological Science, 18, 429-434.

Background Reading
Cialdini, R.B, Reno, R.R., & Kallgren, C.A. (1990). A focus theory of normative conduct: Recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 1015-1026.
Keizer, K., Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2010). The spreading of disorder, Science, 322, 1681-1685
Schultz, P.W., Khazian, A., & Zaleski, A. (2008). Using normative social influence to promote conservation among hotel guests. Social Influence, 3, 4-23.
Week 5: Social Representations and Social Change (Adrian Coyle)

Recommended Reading
Augoustinos, M., & Walker, I. (1995). Social cognition: An integrated introduction. London: Sage. (Chapters 5 & 6)
Deaux, K., & Philogène, G. (Eds) (2001). Representations of the social: Bridging theoretical traditions. Oxford: Blackwell.

Background Reading
Howarth, C. (2006). A social representation is not a quiet thing: exploring the critical potential of social representations theory. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 65-86.
Reicher, S., & Haslam, S.A. (2006). Rethinking the psychology of tyranny: the BBC prison study. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 1-40. [See also responses by Turner and Zimbardo and responses to these by Haslam and Reicher in the same issue]

Week 6: Change and Influence in Multicultural Societies (Adrian Coyle)

Recommended Reading
Chryssochoou, X. (2000). Multicultural societies: making sense of new environments and identities. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 10, 343-354.

Background Reading
Arends-Toth, J., & van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2003). Multiculturalism and acculturation: views of Dutch and Turkish-Dutch. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 249-266.
Berry, J.W. (2001). A psychology of immigration. Journal of Social Issues, 5, 615-631.
Bowskill, M., Lyons, E., & Coyle, A. (2007). The rhetoric of acculturation: when integration means assimilation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 793-813.
Chryssochoou, X. (2004). Cultural diversity: Its social psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hopkins, N., & Kahani-Hopkins, V. (2006). Minority group members’ theories of intergroup contact: a case study of British Muslims' conceptualizations of ‘Islamophobia’ and social change. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 245-264.

Week 7: A Critical Examination of Trends in Understanding and Resisting Radicalisation: Identity and Integrative Complexity (Adrian Coyle)

Recommended Reading
Liht, J., & Savage, S. (2008). Identifying young Muslims vulnerable to recruitment for terrorism: psychological theory and recommendations. In M. Sharpe (Ed.), Suicide bombers: Psychological, religious and other imperatives. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Liht, J., Suedfeld, P., & Krawczyk, A. (2005). Integrative complexity in face-to-face negotiations between the Chiapas guerillas and the Mexican government. Political Psychology, 26, 543-552.

Background Reading
Mirza, M., Senthilkumaran, A., & Ja’far, Z. (2007). Living apart together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism. London: Policy Exchange.
Week 8: Environmental Constraints on and Facilitators of Social Change (Birgitta Gatersleben)
A detailed reading list will be provided in advance of this lecture.

Week 9: Social and Discursive Change (Adrian Coyle)

Recommended Reading
Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Routledge (Chapter 6: Can individuals change society? Note that this chapter does not appear in the second edition of this book, published in 2003).

Background Reading
Willig, C. (1999). Introduction: making a difference. In C. Willig (Ed.), Applied discourse analysis: Social and psychological interventions. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Week 10: Policy Makers’ Outlooks on Influencing Behaviour (Lada Timotijevic)

Recommended Reading
Nutley, S.M., Davies. H.T.O., & Walter, I. (2002). Learning from the diffusion of innovations. University of St Andrews, Research Unit for Research Utilisation. See

Background Reading
Collins, J., Thomas, G., Willis, R., & Wilsdon, J. (2003). Carrots, Sticks and Sermons: Influencing Public Behaviour for Environmental Goals. London: Demos and Green Alliance for DEFRA.
Jackson, T., & Michaelis,L. (2003). Policies for Sustainable Consumption. London: ESRC Sustainable Technology Programme, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Sustainable Development Commission.

Last Updated
5th August 2010