Communication and Influence
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-BS033
Credits (ECTS)4
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Behavioural Science;
PreviousNext 3
prof. dr. M.A. Buijzen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S. Daalmans
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. R.W. Holland
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.L. van Leeuwen
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.P. van 't Riet
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
PER2  (05/11/2018 to 03/02/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksFor Behavioural Science RM students only, non-BSRM students interested in the course, please mail to
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After successfully finishing the course, students will be able to outline and discuss up-to-date scientific theories and recent empirical findings on communication and social influence. Another objective is that students will be able to combine several theoretical approaches in an attempt to address a societal problem in a research proposal (assignment 1). A final objective of this course is that students further develop their analytical, writing and discussion skills (assignment 2).
Wherever we go, we are faced with deliberate attempts to influence our thought and actions. Advertising entices us from billboards, TV-screens in buses or trains, and of course from the smartphone in our own hands. Then there is the government trying to ‘inform’, or sometimes ‘nudge’ us into being good citizens, while charities ask us to spare a thought (and some money) for the poor and afflicted. What is the theory behind these attempts? And to what extent do they work? How can we improve persuasive attempts? Or do we prefer a world with less persuasion, where people make up their own minds? Should we teach children the skills necessary to resist the persuasive attempts by advertisers, for instance?
The course ‘Communication and Influence’ deals with these issues. Theories from social psychology and communication science are used to shed light on issues of social influence, with specific attention for mediated communication: the information that reaches us through social and mass media.
The course consists of 9 two-hour sessions. In the first session, the course will be introduced. The basic format of each of the sessions 2, 3, 5, 6, 7,8 is that students engage in an in-depth and critical plenary discussion of the selected literature in the first half of the meeting. This discussion is prepared and chaired by (pairs of) students. In the second half of the meeting, the lecturer provides an interactive lecture, providing additional thoughts on the literature of that specific week. In session 4 has the character of an active workshop in which students discuss their assignment with each other and with the lecturer. In the final session 8 each student briefly introduces his/her assignment to the class in the format of a brief ‘pitch’ presentation.

Required materials
To be announced
The course material consists of high-standard articles (reviews, meta-analyses, empirical studies) and a few book chapters.

Instructional modes

Test weight1
Test typeAssignment
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3

Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3