Psychology

Psychology of Crowds and Collective Action

Module code: C8817
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Film, Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Seen examination

This module is about crowd behaviour - in particular riots, 'disorderly' protests, and other (conflictual) forms of collective action.

In this module, your first aim is to develop an understanding of the context within which psychological theories of crowd behaviour first emerged, and hence to analyse the historical and social determinants of these theories of the crowd.

You then analyse these psychological theories of the crowd and consider the criteria for an adequate crowd psychology.

You also examine the interrelationship between collective (intergroup) dynamics and psychological change in crowd contexts.

In this module, you build on knowledge gained in the core psychology module 'Social Psychology' (C8035). If you are not enrolled on our Psychology BSc, you are expected to be familiar with the material covered in that module.

Module learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate the adequacy of models of collective behaviour using evidence from a variety of different research studies.
  • Give examples of features of particular crowd events from scholarly accounts that challenge 'irrationalist' theories of the crowd.
  • Describe the relationship between identity and behaviour in collective events.