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Social and Organisational Psychology


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements



Social psychology studies how others influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviour in personal or work-related situations, and how we in turn affect others.This course introduces students to the main theories and findings in this field. The underlying processes relate to:

  • Social observation and social cognition (e.g. how do we form an impression of others);

  • Attitudes ( e.g. how do we form an opinion, and how can it be influenced); and

  • Behaviour in groups ( e.g. how are joint decisions made).

A good understanding of these processes helps us to gain insight into how people function in work situations such as:

  • Assessment and selection ( e.g. can we prevent stereotyping from affecting career decisions?);

  • Motivation and leadership ( e.g. can a manager make people feel committed to their work?); and

  • Cooperation and team performance ( e.g. can the team perform better than its individual members?).

Course objectives

Students will be familiar with general theoretical principles, and will know how to apply theoretical knowledge to gain a better understanding of people’s behaviour in organisations and social settings more broadly. They will gain an overview and understanding of theories and research in the area of social and organisational psychology. In the work-group sessions, students will practise analysing real life phenomena in light of social and organisational psychology theory and developing interactive exercises to illustrate this theory. Both are crucial professional skills for social and organisation psychologists working in fields such as consultancy, assessment and training, and (applied) research. Student assignments and presentations will be marked and this mark will be combined with the examination mark to determine the final mark.


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, see the timetables page of your study programme. You will also find the enrolment codes here. Psychology timetables



First year psychology students are automatically enrolled for courses, but do need to register themselves for the exam.

Other students do not only need to register for exams themselves, but also for lectures and work group sessions. For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

14 2-hour lectures and 4 2-hour work group sessions

Assessment method

  • Written examination with multiple-choice questions.

  • Presentation and writing assignment in work group sessions

The final mark reflects the weighed average of the exam grade (70%) and the average grade for the two work group assignments (30%).

Knowledge and insight are tested through a multiple choice exam. Application of knowledge and insight are tested through the two workgroup assignments involving a presentation and a written analysis. If the grade average of these two assignments is insufficient (i.e. if the workgroup grade is below a 5.50) students can again hand in the written analysis as a retake. Because all students have already received both plenary and individual feedback on this writing assignment, the maximum for this retake assignment is a sufficient grade (6.00).

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • George, J.M., & Jones, G.R. (2012). Understanding and managing organizational behaviour. International Edition (6th edition). Pearson. ISBN: 9780273753797

  • Baron, R.A., Branscombe, N.R. (2014). Social Psychology. Global Edition (14th edition), Pearson. ISBN: 9781292159096

When you purchase both books as a set with ISBN number, you will receive a discount: ISBN 9781292245348.

Contact information

Dr. Lotte van Dillen (coördinator)

Teachers: Dr. L. van Dillen and Dr. H.A.H. Ruijgendijk (Prof.Dr. E. van Dijk and Dr. E.A.C. van Leeuwen will teach the Dutch version of this course)