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Advanced Social Psychology and Consumer Behavior

Overview

  • Type: Elective
  • Goal: Understand how others can influence the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of the individual from a social psychological perspective.
  • Final grade: 8
  • Competencies: US | DRP

Key learning points

1. Developing a critical view on the discipline of social psychology.
2. Applying 3 connecting social psychological theories to the domain of HTI.
3. Reflecting on the education of different faculties.

Deliverables

Essay

Explanation

For this elective I wrote an essay on the possible reasons for the absence of pro-environmental, which can be amongst others: people act out of own interest, feel psychological distant to climate change or associate negative emotions with the subject. As a solution to overcome those I introduced Food for Thought, a system creating awareness on food consumption and therefore supporting people in changing their behavior for climate change.

Reflection

This elective allowed me to dive deeper in the social relations that exist between people and how I possibly could design for facilitating those in the future. The elective was a follow-up elective of a Bachelor course that already covered the 7 main topics once. Therefore, this elective focused on developing a critical view on the different articles on these topics. I was allowed to follow the elective, though was warned that I should obtain the necessary foreknowledge myself. Similar to the other HTI elective I had some trouble comprehending the articles at first, though through the weekly discussions during the lectures and the conversations I had with my team member I was able to develop a critical judgement on the work provided.


Writing the final essay was a challenge, as I had no sense of what was expected and was unfamiliar with the standard structure and template that was provided. We had the opportunity to discuss the outline of the report with the lecturer which I therefore gladly accepted. With the developed critical mindset and my previous experience with writing a conference paper in mind I eventually was able to create a report connecting 3 different theories and applying them to a study setup. This exercise of writing the essay on the particular topic of climate change later functioned as starting point for my Final Master Project.


In conclusion, I found following electives from the Human Technology Interaction Master program very refreshing as the activities done were quite different. On one hand the electives were very well structured, though on the other hand the way to show what you had learned felt a bit dissatisfactory. I couldn’t imagine only following courses in which no other deliverables are required than (directly) reproducing knowledge via writing. I experienced that I was able to adapt to this type of education, though it made me also really appreciate my own. I find project-based education a more pleasant way of showing what you’ve learned rather than having a snapshot of knowledge in for example an exam.