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Psychology: Social Influence (track)


Why are emotional appeals effective in some advertising campaigns while they're not in others? How do we encourage people not to cycle in pedestrian areas? How to study the effectiveness of measures to prevent tax evasion? Many organisations and companies benefit from effectively influencing the behaviour of citizens or consumers. There are public health agencies trying to encourage people to exercise regularly, whereas advertising agencies try to increase sales of a particular product and municipalities try to discourage littering in parks. But how can we develop a strategy that is effective in achieving these goals?


Would you like to find out if Social Influence is the right programme for you? Introductions are available throughout the year. Sign up to attend the UvA Bachelor’s Week or find an overview of all our events.

Discover the Master’s programme & tracks

The Social Psychology programme group offers specialisations in three tracks. Social Influence is one of them. The other tracks are: 

Social Influence

Social psychology as a science aims to explain and predict human behaviour. The emphasis here is on understanding the role of the social context. Knowledge about determinants of behaviour, such as emotions, motivation, attitudes and group dynamics, can increase the effectiveness of interventions. These determinants play a significant role when you, for example, want to encourage citizens to separate their waste or help care for the elderly, or if you want your target group to purchase specific products.

Study programme

During this Master’s track, you will deepen your social-psychological knowledge, hone your research skills, and learn how to develop a systematic approaches to answer applied questions about human behaviour.  

Working through various case studies, you learn how to analyse concrete human behaviour using social-psychological theory and how to generate valid and reliable measurements of (current) attitudes, emotions, motivation and behaviour. You also learn, step by step, how to develop interventions and how to evaluate those interventions using intervention mapping. 

Small-group teaching approach 

An emphasis on

behaviour with societal implications

Learn about behaviour driven by

emotions, motivation, attitudes and group dynamics

work through various case studies and

learn how to analyse human behaviour


Organisations often call upon the expertise of advertising or marketing agencies as well as research and consultancy firms. Some organisations even have such specialised departments in-house, such as strategy, communication or marketing departments. Students who graduate from this master's track can be found in organisations or departments that are involved in behavioural influence in the broadest sense of the word. 

  • Strategists/Researchers at advertising agencies and consultancy firms 
  • Behavioural influence consultants 
  • Policy and research positions  
  • Consumer behaviour consultants 

Is the Master’s track Social Influence for you?

Are you interested in:

  • the social psychology that drives human behaviour?
  • understanding the principles of social influence?
  • developing evidence-based interventions for societal problems? creating marketing strategy? doing applied research? or solving other human behavior challenges?
  • working on applied questions together with other students?
  • pursuing a non-academic career in government, NGO, or marketing?

Then Social influence might be the track for you!

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Psychologie
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66604
Location Roeterseiland campus