First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP8083598, 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 3.0
Type of assessment Evaluation
Course unit English denomination ART, PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Department of reference Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in PSYCHOLOGY OF COMMUNITY, WELLNESS PROMOTION, AND SOCIAL CHANGE

Teacher in charge ROBERTO DE VOGLI M-PSI/08

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Other -- -- 3.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 3.0 21 54.0 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
Board From To Members of the board
2 2019 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 DE VOGLI ROBERTO (Presidente)
LENZI MICHELA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Ability to read, speak and write in English language.
Target skills and knowledge: The Lab contributes to strengthen the following students’ skills:

1. Identify basic concepts and evidence investigating the associations between art, creativity and psychological wellbeing;
2. Apply evidence-based reasoning to assess the effectiveness of art therapy in addressing mental health problems and understand how thoughts, emotions and behaviors are affected by art and creativity;
3. Describe the role of art and creativity in promoting community cohesion, power abuses, social change and social injustice(s)
4. Develop an artistic project on a topic of choice within the area of art, psychology and social change
5. Deliver presentation/performance related to chosen artistic project addressing a topic within the area of art, psychology and social change
Examination methods: Students are responsible for a project that tackles a specific theme within the areas of the course. They are also required to make a presentation/performance of their project during the last session of the course.


Students are responsible for a project that tackles a specific theme within the areas of the course. The project can be an audio, visual or textual or a combination of artistic tools to address a psychological or societal subject chosen by the student. Students are free to make choices about their art inclinations/preferences (e.g. audio, visual, textual or bodily) and can adopt a combination of artistic tools. Participants can choose any form of art, or a combination of them, but they need to make sure they relate coherently to the chosen theme within the field of psychology & social change/human rights.

Topics of the project and presentation/performance may range from creativity in everyday life art/drama/music therapy, reading and writing for emotional healing, the role of music in human rights and social change, the use of poetry, drama, acting out, photography and visual arts, or a satire/comedy as tools to promote critical consciousness and perform a policy analysis. Students may ask themselves how does their art project relate to the psychology, emotional healing, creative expression and health of an individual and/or a group of individuals. Alternatively, they may investigate how their chosen forms of art within the chosen project can be used to raise critical consciousness about a problem (e.g. racism, social injustice, world hunger) or an opportunity in society (e.g. solidarity, universality of human rights, global peace).

Project Presentation/Performance

During the last lecture of the Lab, each student will lead a 10-minute presentation or performance of his or her own project. After the presentation/performance, there will be a 3-5 minute Q&A session where each student in the class is expected to play the role of peer-reviewer and provide suggestions for the presenter/performer.
Assessment criteria: Passed/Not Passed on the basis of the intellectual and artistic quality of the final project and presentation of project.
Course unit contents: The schedule of the Lab is the following:

1. The role of art and creativity in individual and societal wellbeing

2. Photography and visual arts in community and political analysis

3. Reading and writing in psychology and cultural wellbeing

4. Poetry, music therapy and creative expression

5. Art/music for social change and human rights

6. Satire, drama and comedy for critical consciousness

7. Student presentations/performances
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The Lab Art, Psychology and Social Change is designed to promote students’ knowledge and skills in investigating the interrelationships between different forms of art and creative expression in psychology and social change. It is designed to improve participants’ critical understanding of how art and creativity can influence our attention, emptions, thoughts and behaviors, and even life priorities. It also addresses the potential indirect effects of art and creativity in enhancing the wellbeing of individuals and society. At the social level, art will be examined in terms of its impact on community life and its ability to promote critical awareness of social, economic and political circumstances affecting people’s wellbeing.

After providing participants with a definition of art and creativity, the course will analyze a list of topics including art therapy and its effectiveness in curing mental health problems, creativity and intrinsic motivations, the emotional effects of different forms of art such as poetry, drama, acting out, photography and visual arts, how reading and writing can nurture emotional intelligence and self-efficacy, the role of music in human rights and social change, the use of satire and comedy as tools to promote critical consciousness and policy analysis.

The Lab consists of lectures, classroom participation and presentations and guest lectures. Moreover, participants will be asked to develop a small-scale practical project intended to engage them in artistic activities and make them aware of their association with a selected psychological and social issue presented in class.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Textbooks, articles, handouts and presentations will be available to be downloaded from the course website ( once you have registered for the course.

Mandatory readings:

1. Davis S. Definitions of Art. In: Gaut B & Lopes DM. Routledge Companion to Aesthetics 2013, 3rd edition, 213-222, London: Routledge.

2. Cambridge Assessment International Education. Chapter 4: Innovation and Creativity. Developing the Cambridge learner attributes.

3. Uttley L. et al. Systematic review and economic modeling of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of art therapy among people with non-psychotic mental health disorders. Health Technology Assessment, 2015:1366-5278.

4. Eerola T. Being moved by unfamiliar sad music is associated with high empathy. Frontiers in Psychology, 2016.

5. Kapitan L. et al. Creative art therapy in a community's participatory research and social transformation. Art Therapy, 2011 28(2), 64-73.

6. Eaton LG et al. A review of research and methods used to establish art therapy as an effective treatment method for traumatized children. The Arts in Psychotherapy 34 (2007) 256–262.

7. Reinhold M. et al. Effects of expressive writing on depressive symptoms - A meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 2018;25:1224.

8. Hallam S. The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education 2010: 28(3).

9. Hocoy D. Art therapy and social action: A transpersonal framework. Art Therapy, 2005;22(1):7-16.

10. Purcell, R. Images for change: community development, community arts and photography. Community Development Journal 2009:44(1), 111-122.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Questioning
  • Story telling
  • Art Based methods

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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Quality Education Gender Equality Reduced Inequalities Sustainable Cities and Communities Climate Action