PSYM4830 – Promoting Change through Social Psychology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Doing psychological research and applying psychological science in any field requires thorough knowledge of central theories and evidence, but also knowledge and skills in how to apply these theories and evidence to concrete societal problems. In particular, researching concrete social phenomena through the lens of social psychology, and applying social psychology in a scientific way, requires three building blocks:

  1. connecting theory and evidence to observations in the field
  2. understanding how interventions based on these insights can be developed
  3. understanding how the impact of interventions can be evaluated

These three building blocks combine knowledge of theory and empirical evidence with more general knowledge about research methods, statistics, and evaluation methods. They also require a critical perspective on the reach and limits of social psychological theorizing. In this course, students learn about these three basic building blocks of social-psychological science in an integrated way.

Whether you desire a career as a research scientist or a consultant, this course will provide you with valuable knowledge and the necessary skillset to fulfill these roles.

Learning outcome


In this course, students acquire fundamental knowledge about the scientific process in social psychology. After this course, students have detailed knowledge about the steps in scientific observation, theorizing, hypothesis testing, intervention, and evaluation, and their connectedness.

In addition, the course will provide knowledge in selected fields of classic and contemporary social psychology that are used as examples in the three parts of the course. This knowledge about basic and applied social psychology can be related to various subfields, such as social cognition, social relations, or emotional and motivational processes.

In the current implementation of the course, we choose three societal challenges as the applied topics that we discuss: Justice, migration and intergroup relations, and sustainability. Social psychological theory and evidence on all three will be presented and discussed.


This course focuses on the acquisition of skills that characterize a social-psychological scientist. After completing this course, students are able to:

  • understand, integrate, and evaluate, apply social-psychological theories and empirical evidence, and apply them to specific questions that have applied significance
  • understand how research to describe and compare populations is conducted, and how interventions are evaluated through empirical Research

General competence

In terms of general competence, students learn:

  • how to deal with larger bodies of scientific texts
  • how to evaluate theorizing and research
  • how to translate applied problems into scientific questions, how to back-translate theoretical models and empirical findings into interventions and answers for applied problems
  • how to communicate with practitioners
  • how to work collaboratively on problems


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

You must have completed PSY1010 – Innføring i metode or equivalent and PSY1101 – Innføring i sosial - og personlighetspsykologi (discontinued)or equivalent. Completion of PSY4111 – Applied Social Psychology is recommended but not mandatory.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with PSY4130 – Promoting Change through Social Psychology


The teaching will be given through lectures and seminars. All classes are compulsory. We expect you to participate actively in various classroom assignments, either alone or in small groups.

Compulsory tuition activities

  • Attendance must be at least 80%.

Compulsory tuition activities are valid for the 2 next semesters after approval date.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.


Three written papers and one oral presentation.

All four exam components must be passed in the same semester in order to get a passing grade.

Previous exams

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Every spring
Every spring
Teaching language