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Course module: 201700824
Social Influence, Public Communication and Advertising
Course infoSchedule
Course code201700824
ECTS Credits5
Category / LevelM (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Graduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Social, Health and Organisational Psychology;
Contact personM.A. Strick
dr. T. Frijns
Other courses by this lecturer
M.A. Strick
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
M.A. Strick
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
2  (11/11/2019 to 31/01/2020)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotAC: See 'Help'
Study mode
RemarkBachelorstudenten kunnen zich niet inschrijven voor dit masteronderdeel.
Enrolling through OSIRISNo
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesNo
Waiting listNo
After taking this course, students:
  • have knowledge and understanding of the central theoretical, historical, and contemporary approaches to social influence, public communication, and advertising.
  • have experience with doing desk research (in subgroups) on a specific problem in social influence, public communication, and/or advertising. They can integrate the findings in a written advisory report and an oral presentation.
  • have the skills to discern relevant theory and translate it to a practical solution for a real-life business problem.
Relation between assessment and learning goals
Assessment entails a written exam (partly multiple choice, partly open questions) halfway through the course, and writing an advisory report (in subgroups) at the end of the course. The exam tests, by means of knowledge, insight, and application questions, whether students master the theory. The advisory report tests whether students have the skills to apply research findings to develop a solution for a real-life problem.

Social influence is everywhere around us. Not only in advertising, but also in politics, in the supermarket, at work, and at home. Everywhere, people try to persuade each other to buy something, say yes to something, or change their minds about something. How does social influence work, and which strategies are most effective? These questions are central in this course. The goal of this course is to learn the basic theories and processes of social influence, and to learn to apply them to real-life problems. Because people are exposed to more social influence attempts than they can consciously process, we will also look at unconscious forms of influence.
In the first part of the course your learn the basic theory. A written exam consisting of knowledge, insight and application questions tests whether you master the theory. In the second part of the course you work in small groups to develop a solution for a real-life problem (profit or non-profit) with the help and feedback from influence experts from the business world. This second part ends with a written report and an oral presentation.

Entry requirements
You must meet the following requirements
  • Enrolled for a degree programme of faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Enrolled for one of the following degree programmes
    • Applied Cognitive Psychology
    • Child and Adolescent Psychology
    • Clinical and Health Psychology
    • Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
    • Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship
    • Education, Socialization and Youth Policies
    • Educational Design and Consultancy
    • Educational Sciences
    • Multiculturalism in comparative perspective
    • Neuropsychology
    • Orthopedagogy
    • Policy Analyses and Organisations
    • Social and organisational psychology
    • Social Policy and Public Health
    • Social Policy and Social Interventions
    • Social Psychology
    • Social, Health and Organisational Psychology
    • Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems
    • Work and Organizational Psychology
    • Youth Studies
    • Youth Studies
    • Youth, Education and Society
Prerequisite knowledge
Basic academic knowledge of the social psychology of attitude change is required. Students who lack this knowledge are recommended to read Chapter 7 (“Attitudes and Attitude Change: Influencing Thoughts and Feelings”) of the book “Social Psychology” by Aronson, Wilson & Akert. A free copy of the chapter is available through the course coordinator.
Required materials
Cialdini, R.B. (2009). Influence: Science and practice (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Instructional formats

Small-group session

Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

Kies de Nederlandse taal