Why this programme?
In the specialisation in Health and Social Psychology, you'll study behaviour and behavioural change using methods from clinical and social psychology. The main focus is on understanding how people’s personalities, cognitions and social environment influence their health and social functioning.
The underlying mechanisms of unhealthy & antisocial behaviour
Using recent theories and models from various psychological disciplines, you'll learn how to analyse the underlying mechanisms of unhealthy and antisocial behaviours such as:
- eating disorders
- excessive drinking
- reckless driving
- unsafe sex
With this knowledge, you can systematically develop interventions to help people change such behaviour. You'll delve into issues like automatic versus controlled influences on behaviour, self-regulation and the development of behavioural change programmes.
The specialisation in Health and Social Psychology offers the following core courses:
- Bad habits: will familiarise you with various recent views from both social and clinical psychology which explain how healthy and desirable behaviours and their negative counterparts develop and endure. Bad habits will be considered from a cognitive perspective, with a focus on automatic associative processes and perceptual processes. The role of the social environment in the occurrence of bad habits is also included in this course.
- Manipulation: deals with strategies of social influence, persuasion and attitude change. You’ll learn which techniques, tactics and procedures people use to manipulate or change the beliefs and behaviour of other people. You'll participate in discussions on how social influence techniques work and about the psychological principles underlying the effects of those techniques.
- Self-control regulation: focuses on the regulation of behaviour. You’ll look at issues such as why people find it so hard to resist their impulses and will study various self-control processes, including emotional self-regulation, automatic self-regulation and the role of thinking (beliefs) and acceptance. You’ll also focus on possible ways of improving the ability to practise self-control.
- Planning behaviour-change programmes: focuses on applying psychological theories to the development of behavioural-change interventions. You’ll look at topics such as risk communication, attitude change, social influences, self-regulation, and prejudice and discrimination.
You'll also take a number of professional skills trainings in addition to lectures and workshops on reserch methods and designs, research ethics and applying for ethical approval, writing a research proposal, and data analysis. This will help prepare you for completing a research internship and writing your thesis.
Is it right for me?
Health and Social Psychology is a good fit if you want to:
- analyse everyday individual & societal problems using experimental or applied research
- learn about the mechanisms behind bad habits
- help people prevent or change undesirable behaviour
- learn about how self-control can lead to good habits
- gain practical experience putting what you've learned about health research & promotion into practice