The Psychology of Inequality: From Poverty to Power

Module code: C8898
Level 6
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Workshop, Lecture
Assessment modes: Portfolio, Coursework

Economic inequality is at historically high levels and is a pressing social, economic, political, and moral issue in many societies. In this module, we will discuss the psychology of inequality.

The module begins by focusing on the consequences of the overall level of economic inequality within a society; first placing the current level in historical context and then discussing its consequences for health and well-being.

We then shift to focusing on the consequences of occupying a specific position within an unequal society by discussing the psychological consequences of social class, education, poverty, wealth and power.

We then discuss the consequences of inequality for groups, including the stereotypes associated with high or low status groups, the psychological processes associated with gender inequality, and the strategies low-status groups use to cope with their position.

Finally, we discuss interventions that have been designed to reduce the negative consequences of inequality. 

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of contemporary psychological research regarding inequality, and the ability to critically evaluate this research
  • Demonstrate the skills required to critically evaluate and synthesise empirical research with psychological theory
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply social psychological theories and research to social and political issues surrounding inequality
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex material in a clear and focused manner