Psychology of Behaviour and Opinions (2016/2017)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Monica Pedrazza
Monica Pedrazza
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIB dal Apr 24, 2017 al Jun 10, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

This course focuses on attitudes and social behaviour. The aim is to provide students with a good understanding of the major theories and research trends on this topic. Specifically, the course will address following themes.
1) Subjective and organizational well being in the workplace.
2) Interactional justice and abusive supervision;
The principles and processes underlying a target’s susceptibility to outside influences will be considered in light of three goals fundamental to rewarding human functioning. Specifically, targets are motivated to form accurate perceptions of reality and react accordingly, to develop and preserve meaningful social relationships, and to maintain a favorable self-concept.
One will analyze the pervasive effects of death awareness on affect, cognition, and behaviour. Professor Tom Pyszczynski from the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs), has developed with his colleagues Jeff Greenberg and Sheldon Solomon the Terror Management Theory, one of the most influential theories in Social Psychology. The course is research based, namely the contents of the course are mostly derived from empirical research in Social Psychology. Therefore, students will be asked to study not only theories, but also experimental and correlational studies that demonstrate the validity of these theories. By the end of the course students will develop intellectual skills, such as critical reflection, analysis, and interpretation of human behaviour, as well as practical skills, such as critical analysis of dysfunctional behaviors.


Readings include the volume:
Mucchi Faina A., Pacilli M.G., Pagliaro S. (2012) L’influenza sociale, Il Mulino, Bologna

And two social psychology articles, which can be downloaded from

1. Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (1999). A dual-process model of defense against conscious and unconscious death-related thoughts: An extension of Terror Management Theory. Psychological Review, 106(4), 835-845.
2. Pedrazza M., Berlanda S., Trifiletti E., F. Bressan, 2016, Exploring physicians’ Dissatisfaction and Work-Related Stress: Development of the PhyDis Scale, Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01238
3) J. P. Burton , J. M. Hoobler (2011) Aggressive reactions to abusive supervision: The role of interactional justice and narcissism Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 52, pp. 389–398

Assessment methods and criteria

written exam