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PS359-15 Behaviour Change

Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Thomas Hills
Credit value
33% coursework, 67% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module aims to develop your scientific understanding of the principles of Behaviour Change as they scale from neurons to culture

Module web page

Module aims

This applies to changes in behaviour in response to factors such as reinforcement learning, persuasion and influence (e.g., advertising and negotiation), job interviews and negotiation, and cultural forces acting over history. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the research and developing a theoretical framework for understanding behaviour change. In addition, this module aims to help you identify and evaluate persuasive content and to develop programs for motivating change.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Changing Attitudes
Reinforcement Learning
Create Yourself
The self in group
Diversity & Historical changes
Revision sessions

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand theoretical principles of behaviour change
  • Research contributions of behaviour change, ranging from Asch to Zimbardo
  • Know how to recognize, evaluate, and create persuasive messages to motivate change
  • Apply behaviour change to the real world, such as advertising, job interviews, and negotiation
Indicative reading list

Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and practice. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D. et al. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 333-351.
Malhotra, D., & Bazerman, M. H. (2007). Negotiation genius. New York: Bantam Books.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Understanding of principles of behaviour change and
Ability to recognize, evaluate, and create persuasive messages to motivate change
Understand how to apply behaviour change in the real world.

Transferable skills
  • effective communication skills to develop a cogent argument supported by relevant evidence and being sensitive to the needs and expectations of an audience
  • computer literacy
  • recognition of what is required for effective teamwork
  • effective personal planning skills

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 34 sessions of 1 hour (100%)
Seminars (0%) 10 sessions of 1 hour
Total 34 hours
Private study description

116 hours guided student study and assessment preparation


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group D3
Weighting Study time
Project 33%

Propaganda for Change Project - Blog

Exam 67%
  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Feedback on assessment

Assessed via annotated copy and academic guidance form; exam performance via personal tutor or online.

Past exam papers for PS359


This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of TPSS-C8P9 Postgraduate Taught Psychological Research
  • Year 3 of UPSA-C804 Undergraduate Psychology with Education Studies

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 4 of UPHA-VL79 BA in Philosophy with Psychology (with Intercalated year)