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Group Processes and Intergroup Relations


Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students.


In the scientific literature, different theoretical perspectives on the same issue are often proposed, or different studies seem to yield contradictory results. In this course students will therefore learn how to systematically compare and integrate different theoretical perspectives on a selection of topics related to group processes and intergroup relations.

With the course assignments and through discussions and presentations in the course meetings, students will gain an overview of classic work as well as more recent theoretical and empirical advances in the area of group processes and intergroup relations. The course meetings aim to provide more in-depth insight by asking students to set up a debate between different competing perspectives, to critically assess research methods that are used, or to apply what they have learned about theory and previous research to analysing a concrete problem.

In this way students will learn how to integrate different scientific contributions and practice applying this knowledge to conduct a theory-based analysis of concrete problems. On the basis of relevant assigned readings and students’ selections of additional literature, written assignments, oral presentations, and work during the meeting students will thus not only learn about different theoretical approaches and insights in the domain of group processes and intergroup relations; They will also learn to critically assess empirical support for each view, to integrate these different insights, and to practice analysing real-world problems in terms of their underlying psychological processes.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be:

  • Familiar with classic approaches and recent developments in theory and research on group processes and intergroup relations;

  • Able to systematically compare and combine different theoretical perspectives and critically assess their strengths and weaknesses;

  • Able to analyse societal and organisational problems in terms of their underlying psychological processes and recommend practical solutions based on the theory.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Seminars (coming soon)



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s 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

The course consists of 10 2-hour plenary seminar sessions (compulsory attendance), and 1 or 2 individual meetings with the instructor (based on need).

Assessment method

In order to successfully complete the course, students are expected to attend and actively participate in all meetings, and to complete all course assignments. The final grade is based on: 1 theoretical debate stance (20%), 4 policy applications (20%), 14 critical summaries (10%) and 1 final paper (50%).

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

The reading list will be made available before the course commences. It will, among other articles, include selected readings from the following volumes: * Hogg, M. A., & Abrams, D. A. (Eds.). (2001). Intergroup relations: Essential readings. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. * Stangor, C. (Ed.). (2000). Stereotypes and prejudice: Essential readings. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Contact information

Prof. Dr. Carsten de Dreu