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Psychology of Behavioural Change - PSY00081M

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Bailey House
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Why do people give to charity? How can we get people to recycle more? Among animal species humans are particularly social, cooperative, and helpful -- but individuals and societies can also find it difficult to change their behaviors in ways that benefit everyone. What kinds of social processes can lead individuals to change how they act? What processes can lead to behaviors staying the same within a society -- even if many people would rather things be different? In this course we will cover topics focusing on such processes. In groups, students will (1) apply these ideas to develop a proposal about how to change behavior in a real world context of their choice, (2) design an experiment to test this proposal, and (3) present this work.

Module learning outcomes

  • Compare and contrast different psychological theories of why behavioral change occurs.
  • Critically evaluate the implications of these theories for understanding why behavioral change does and does not occur.
  • Explain how both social and non-social processes influence individuals’ behavior.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how these processes create behavioral change in a real-world context.
  • Propose an intervention to change a real world behaviour, and evaluate whether changing behaviour requires more than just education.

Module content

  • Perceived Susceptibility to disease, and the Health Belief Model
  • Perceived Barriers, Self-Efficacy, and Social Cognitive Theory
  • Behavioural Intentions, and the Theory of Planned Behaviour
  • Customs and Descriptive Norms
  • Social Norms and Pluralistic Ignorance
  • Laboratory studies of prosocial behaviour
  • Real-world and natural experiments
  • Intervention strategies for behaviour change


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 40
Online Exam 24 hrs
Psychology of Behavioural Change
N/A 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 40
Online Exam 24 hrs
Psychology of Behavioural Change
N/A 60

Module feedback

Marks will be released through e:vision

Indicative reading

To Be Confirmed

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.