2023-2024 / PSYC5894-1

Change of behaviour and social influence


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Benoît Dardenne

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

How to change behaviors? Traditional methods rest on the idea that behavioral changes are driven by giving people information, punishing them for their bad behaviors, and rewarding them for their good behaviors. Still other ways to influence people do exist. From a social psychology viewpoint, Social Identity Theory provides a strong framework to understand when, how and why people do adapt and change their behaviors. This theory will be applied to the pandemic due to the covid-19. We will discuss issues such as: What's the role of leadership? How to deal with conspiracy theories? How do people perceived risk? What's the impact of social isolation? How to manage crowds? How to deal with vaccination hesitancy?

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The aim of this class is to use social identity theorising to provide a comprehensive and
integrated analysis of the social psychology of COVID-19.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Presentations by students, in small group. Each group will give 2 presentations.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

In order to communicate with the students and attend to the class, it is MANDATORY to get enrolled as soon as possible at the university. 



Recommended or required readings

Together Apart: The Psychology of COVID-19 (2020) Edited by: Jolanda Jetten - University of Queensland, Australia; Stephen D. Reicher - University of St Andrews, UK; S Alexander Haslam - The University of Queensland, Australia; Tegan Cruwys - The University of Queensland, Australia
The book is FREELY available for download from Amazon. A free pre-print version in .pdf is also available.


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

The usual exam for this class is a 10 questions examination with short answer (written). The 2 presentations in small groups will also be part of the evaluation. Presentations are mandatory in order to get access to the written exam.


Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The specific organisation of the class will be given at the first meeting.   



Association of one or more MOOCs