module specification

PC4055 - Social Influences on Thinking and Behaviour (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Social Influences on Thinking and Behaviour
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   MCT
Coursework 50%   Short answer questions
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides students with an introduction to and understanding of key theories and models of social psychology in their historical and cultural context. It will help to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the social psychological basis of behaviour. In particular, it will focus on different types of social influence and their impact on how individuals think, feel and behave in different contexts and domains. Classic social psychological studies will be discussed in their historical and cultural context to provide students with an understanding of how knowledge in this branch of psychology has evolved. The module also considers ethical issues with many of the classic studies in this branch of psychology and allows students to reflect on experimental procedures and their potential implications for psychological knowledge and society. In this way, the module develops students’ critical understanding of some key historical and contemporary themes and debate in this branch of psychology, which will facilitate progression to modules at level 5 and 6. This will also help students’ progression to employment or post-graduate study by enabling them to appreciate the different perspectives that are needed to fully understand individual behaviour in everyday life. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications


Topics will be drawn from situational influences on behaviour, social roles, social facilitation, collective behaviour, attitudes and attitude change; pro-social behaviour; group processes; prejudice.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning methods. A combination of group and individual activities will take place within a framework of lectures, seminars and workshops. Supplementary guided learning via weblearn and self-managed private study will be provided when suitable. For PDP development, students will be exposed to the impact of social influences and how it is applied in real world situations, e.g. authority or persuasion.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will have an understanding of:

1. The ways in which individual thinking and behaviour are influenced by the social
environment and social interaction.
2. How social behaviour can be theorised, investigated and applied to real world situations.
3. The empirical basis of social psychological concepts and assumptions.
4. Ethical considerations in this branch of psychology and their implications for decolonising knowledge   in social psychological research.

Assessment strategy

A multiple-choice test (MCT) will assess the breadth of material covered in the module up to that point and a short answer coursework assessment will assess the depth of understanding of core concepts, theories, studies and ethical issues in social psychology while linking the discipline to real world scenarios. Formative assessments will be provided throughout the module and constructive feedback will help students to prepare for the summative assessments. Students must obtain a minimum aggregate grade of 40% across the two assessments to pass the module.