First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP8083160, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS2381, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Department of reference Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ANNE MAASS M-PSI/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/05 Social Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Good knowledge of English language (all readings will be in English and class activities are being held in English)

Basic knowledge of experimental methods in Psychology
Target skills and knowledge: There are six learning outcomes for this course. It is expected that the students 1) will acquire knowledge of the topics discussed in class and in the assigned readings; 2) that they will understand the meaning of the research conducted about these topics (e.g., identify the critical points); 3) they will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to novel situations; 4) they will be able to design and carry out their own research concerning the psychology of economic inequality; 5) they will be able to present the outcome of their research to a broad audience; 6) they will learn to collaborate with students of other nations.
Examination methods: written exam:
21 multiple choice questions (1 point for each correct answer and no penalty for missing or wrong answers)
5 brief open questions (2 points for each correct answer)
Assessment criteria: For those who attend class regularly (“frequentanti”), the grade will be determined by three assessment criteria:

40% written exam at the end of the course (“pre-appello”)
20% regular attendance of the course and active participation in the lab
40% quality of the research project carried and its presentation at the final conference

For non-attending students (“non frequentanti”) the final grade will be based on the written exam (multiple choice and short answers).
Course unit contents: The income and wealth gap between rich and poor has increased steadily since the early 1980s and has reached unprecedented levels of economic inequalities both within nations and globally. According to the latest OXFAM (2017) report, 8 billionaires now own the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population combined (3.6 Billion people). The fast growing scientific literature on the psychology of economic inequality documents the substantial detrimental consequences of economic inequality for society, including higher rates of physical, mental, and social problems, increased status competition, and reduced social cohesion, trust, life satisfaction and happiness. The consequences of economic inequality are particularly severe for lower-class individuals, as it reduces cognitive resources needed for rational decision-making, thus rendering individuals less capable of coping with daily needs. In this seminar course we will examine the recent psychological literature on the antecedents and consequences of economic inequality and analyze social class differences in personality, motivation and cognition. We will also identify the reasons why people often don’t engage in collective action to change the situation and why some redistribution strategies are more likely to be endorsed than others.
The course will be organized around four broad themes:
1) The social and psychological consequences of economic inequality
2) Beyond possessions: psychological differences between social classes
3) Perceiving and understanding wealth and income distribution
4) Collective action and redistributive strategies
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will employ a mix of frontal lectures, class discussion, and lab activities. During the lab activities small groups of students from different countries will design and carry out small-scale studies on any topic addressed in the course. Data will be analysed and interpreted under my supervision. Each group will present the outcomes of their research project at a final conference that will take place at the end of the course.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture slides and articles used for each lecture and for discussion in class will be made available through Moodle at the beginning of the semester (February 2020). There will be 1 article for each lecture.

Students are expected to have read the articles assigned for each lecture BEFORE each class meeting.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Problem solving
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Zero Hunger Gender Equality Decent Work and Economic Growth Reduced Inequalities Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions