nl en

Social and Organisational Psychology


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Sociale en Organisatiepsychologie

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 timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

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. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. 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

  • Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., Murray, E. L., & SAGE Publishing. (2023). Organizational Behavior (A Skill-Building Approach) - International Student Edition. 3rd edition. SAGE Publications. *Please note that this is the new, 3rd edition of the book.

  • Heinzen, T. E., & Goodfriend, W. (2021). Social Psychology - International Student Edition. SAGE Publications.

When you purchase both books as a set with ISBN number (TBA), you will receive a discount.

Contact information

Dr. Hester Ruigendijk (coördinator)

Teacher: Dr. H.A.H. Ruigendijk (Prof.Dr. E. van Dijk and Dr. E.A.C. van Leeuwen will teach the Dutch version of this course)