PSY3122 - Individual and Society


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The course covers a selection of topics within modern psychology about the interplay between individuals and society. The focus lies on applying psychological theories to understand challenges relevant for societies and propose scientific solutions. The course is organized in four modules.

Module learning and development of skills:

In this module, the main focus will be on learning and developing knowledge and skills. The course will refer to biological psychology, learning psychology, and positive psychology when learning and development will be explained. Skills and abilities, deeper knowledge, learning processes, principles of learning, dedication, drive, mindset, and flow are important perspectives that will be discussed. Examples of topics can be reading skills, language development, flow in learning processes, and drive for goal achievement. Which perspectives and topics are taken up will vary.

Module community psychology:

This module starts with values and central perspectives for community psychology. What characterizes community psychology is that the focus is primarily on resources at the individual level and in the social environment they are in. Afterward, the social resources on which community psychological interventions are based are discussed. This includes empowerment, mastery, faith in the future, a sense of community, and social support. The relation between psychology, power, and politics is also discussed. Finally, it is addressed how these principles can be put in practice through concrete examples of interventions in a community psychological tradition and experiences with such interventions. This applies among other things collective action to develop strong sides of marginalized groups such as long-time unemployed adolescents or adults, school absenteeism, recovery, mastery focused approaches, and low threshold offers.

Module evolutionary psychology:

This module covers topics like sexual strategies and individual tactics with a starting point in theories and models from evolutionary psychology and their empirical tests. It will be focused on social contexts for mating and individual factors which explain social phenomena such as sexual harassment, self-promotion, flirting, and degradation of competitors. Evolutionary psychology assumes that the human mind like the body is the result of a selection process, and that the mind consists of a number of evolved mental mechanisms or psychological adaptations which belong to the brain. These mechanisms consist of rules or algorithms for interpreting information from the environment that also form the basis for learning.

Module environmental psychology:

This module takes an applied perspective on an environmental psychological approach. A research-based introduction to the interplay between humans and their physical environment will be given, both with a focus on how humans, their behaviour, and well-being are influenced by the environment they are in and how humans influence their physical environment through their choices and actions. Examples are presented for interventions based on environmental psychological research and opportunities and barriers for psychological interventions are discussed.

Learning outcome


• The student has profound knowledge about the most important ways individuals and societies impact each other within the four focus areas.

• The student has advanced knowledge about central concepts, theories and emirical findings from research with respect to learning and skill development, community psychology, evolutionary psychology, and environmental psychology.

• The student has in addition deep knowledge about how these theories and findings have been used to change society into a positive direction.


• The student is able to analyse and reflect central theories within the four focus areas critically with precise scientific language and apply these to analyse relevant challenges within society.

• The student is able to use theories and empirical findings from the course to conduct own analyses of central challenges in society within the four focus areas.

General competence

• The student has advanced knowledge with in the discipline and specialized insight within a specific area and is able to promote own research-based solutions for societal challenges based on a broad understanding of complex relations between individuals and society.

• The student is able to analyse the course content and use scientific literature from the four focus areas to build under arguments and can use scientific content from the course indepently on new problems.

Learning methods and activities

2 hours lecture each week Norwegian / all or parts of teaching can be in English

Compulsory assignments

  • 80% mandatory attendence

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Psychology (MPSY)

Required previous knowledge

Bachelor degree in psychology

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Psychology
Contact information


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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