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Applied Social Psychology

Code: 102563 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology OT 4 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Marisela Montenegro Montenegro Martinez

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


R. Lucas Platero Méndez


It is a fourth year subject, which presupposes the previous acquisition of knowledge and perspectives provided by the set of previous courses, especially for subjects such as "Social Dimension of the Person", "Social Influence and Groups" and "Social Psychology of the Contemporary World".

Objectives and Contextualisation

Social Psychology as a discipline and as a profession is a history of research and intervention in social problems, quality of life, and psychosocial well-being, applied to the most diverse areas. The development of Applied Social Psychology (ASP), like that of the human and social sciences in general, derives from a complex process of combining theory and practice. On the one hand, we have the will to understand and explain the most diverse theoretical and social, problematic and challenging realities that emerge in the context of modernization: labor relations in the successive phases of capitalism, mass phenomena that burst into the urbanization scenario, social movements associated with renewed forms of participation, integration, marginalization and exclusion, inequality and discrimination, domination and submission, poverty, unemployment and underemployment, drug addiction and delinquency, development and achievements, epidemics and failuresold and new needs and social utopias. And on the other, we have the urgency of giving an effective, valuable, and up-to-the-minute practical response to present, predictable, and preventable social problems. Until the middle of the 20th century, social problems and psychosocial distress constituted the hardcore of theoretical concerns in the discipline and the practical orientations of the profession. In the last half-century, this perspective has been extended to the consideration of the positive dimensionof social progress, including that of quality of life as a field that includes not only the problematic side of social deficiencies but also the positive side of psychosocial well-being and the social and psychosocial successes that must be promoted, enhanced and optimized.

The general objective of the subject is to provide a wide and interdisciplinary orientation to metatheoretical approaches and to the theoretical, methodological, thematic and practical developments of ASP. This, in turn, requires specific training to do the following: (a) use a basic theoretical and technical ASP vocabulary, (b) develop an intellectual openness to urgent and important psychosocial questions, a motivation for investigation and intervention in ASP and a precise knowledge of the ethical and deontological implications of these practices, (c) construct a framework of theoretical reference on phenomena and processes typical of the main fields of application of ASP (from health, work, and education, to politics or the environment), (d) understand the socio-historical nature of the construction of social needs and problems, (e) identify basic dimensions and indicators of the constructs of quality of life and psychosocial well‑being, (f) know the methodological and technical tools of ASP, together with specific intervention processes (g) make an informative synthesis of specific topics in ASP (individually and as a group).


  • Evaluate, contrast and take decision on the choice of adequate methods and instruments for each situation and evaluation context.
  • Identify and recognise the different methods for assessment and diagnosis in the different areas applied to psychology.
  • Recognise personal limitations and limitations of the discipline in the different areas of professional practice.
  • Select indicators and construct instruments for evaluating programmes and interventions.
  • Use adequate tools for communication.
  • Work in a team.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare, in practical terms, the use of methods and instruments of social intervention.
  2. Design evaluation instruments.
  3. Discuss the implications of different methods of assessment and diagnosis for psychosocial intervention.
  4. Distinguish methods and assessment tools in the field of psychosocial intervention.
  5. Distinguish methods of assessment and diagnosis in the field of psychosocial intervention.
  6. Identify indicators and tools to evaluate programs and interventions.
  7. Recognise diversity in the context of intervention and evaluation.
  8. Recognise personal limitations and limitations of the discipline in the different areas of professional practice.
  9. Use adequate tools for communication.
  10. Use tools for program evaluation.
  11. Work in a team.


1. Fundamentals of Applied Social Psychology

  • Contexts, developments, and forms of application of Social Psychology

  • Planning and evaluation of SP applications

  • Ethics and pragmatics of SP applications

2.- Basic concepts in the field of ASP

  • Quality of Life. Concept, genealogy, dimensions, and indicators

  • Psycho-social well-being. Factors, models, and evaluation

  • Needs and psychosocial problems. Their structure and social construction

  • Other specific fields: poverty, social exclusion, discrimination processes (sex-gender system, racism, etc.)

3. Theoretical and methodological toolbox of ASP

  • Principles for planning psychosocial research and intervention in ASP

  • Perspectives of psychosocial intervention and evaluation

  • Tools for planning psychosocial intervention processes

4.- Areas of Applied Social Psychology

  • Education
  • Work
  • Health




  • Politics
  • Environment


The directed activities of this subject are taught through 12 sessions with the whole class group and 6 sessions with a medium-size group, always taking 2 hours. The following didactic resources are used in combination.

  • The 12 sessions with the class group are either formal lectures or presentations made by groups of students.
  • In the other 6 sessions, practical exercises will be done which involve debates on theoretical and methodological aspects of different applications of Social Psychology.

Supervised activities deal specifically with issues associated with the design and performance of the group and individual work.

Autonomous activities consist of individual study of bibliographic and documentary material, which leads to the preparation of diagrams, conceptual maps, and summaries, which will be used later in individual and group work.

N.B. The proposed teaching and assessment methodologies may experience some modifications as a result of the restrictions on face-to-face learning imposed by the health authorities. The teaching staff will use the Moodle classroom or the usual communication channel to specify whether the different directed and assessment activities are to be carried out on site or online, as instructed by the Faculty.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
D1. Formal lectures 24 0.96 1, 3, 5, 4, 6, 7
D2. Medium-size group sessions 12 0.48 2
Type: Supervised      
S1. Group supervision 10 0.4 9
S2. Individual tutoring 4 0.16 8
Type: Autonomous      
A1. Individual review of literature and documentation 25 1 7
A2. Group work 40 1.6 11
A3. Individual work 33 1.32 1


The competences of this subject will be evaluated through the following activities.

  • Ev1. Group work (30% of the final grade): Group presentation on one of the working areas of Applied Social Psychology.
  • Ev2. Individual written test (30% of the final grade). Written exercise consisting of a series of 4 open questions on the general subject area of the course. It will not be a memory test, but an evaluation of students’ understanding of the theory, practical imagination, and methodological rigor.
  • Ev3a. Group work (20% of the final grade): Awareness campaign analysis (oral and written)
  • Ev3b. Group work (20% of the final grade): Intervention project analysis (oral and written)

Evaluation criteria: The assessment criteria will respond to the objectives of the proposed activity or test, the competence or competences that must have been achieved, and the degree of importance (expressed as a percentage of the final grade) of the requested work. Correct reasoning, the use of bibliographical references, and clarity of expression will always be valued.

Rules of the evaluation system

Passing the subject. The course will be considered passed if the student obtains an average mark higher than 5 for the set of evaluation tasks.
Evaluable. A student who presents learning evidence with a weight equal to or above 40% of the total for the subject will be considered evaluable.
Non-evaluable. A student who presents learning evidence with a weight below 40% of the total for the subject will be considered non-evaluable.
Reassessment. This will be an option for students who, during the continuous assessment, deliver pieces of evidence with a weight equal to or greater than 2/3 of the total mark and obtain an average mark below 5. They may deliver either the written test or the oral presentation again, which can be delivered individually or in a group. They can also re-submit the awareness campaign analysis and the intervention project analysis (individually or in a group).

Review procedure. The review and subsequent scoring of the activities and tests proposed and requested in class will be done by the teachers responsible for the subject.
Treatment of individual cases. If a student disagrees with the assessment received, the teacher responsible will review this and discuss it with the student, taking into account any compelling circumstances that could justify absenteeism or delay or non-delivery of coursework, and any anomalies arising in the conduct of tests, using his/her own best judgment to reach a final decision.

No unique final synthesis test for students who enrole for the second time or more is anticipated.

Guidelines Faculty of Psychology Assessment: https://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/graus/graus/avaluacions-1345722525858.html

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Av1. Group work. Presentation (between weeks 9 and 15) 30 0 0 2, 6, 8, 11, 10, 9
Av2. Individual written test (second assesment period) 30 2 0.08 1, 3, 5, 4, 7
Av3a. Grup work. Awareness campaing analysis (weeks 7 and 9) 20 0 0 1, 8, 11, 9
Av3b. Grup work. Intervention analysis (week 15) 20 0 0 3, 5, 4, 6, 8, 11, 9


Basic references

Alvaro, J. L.; Garrido, A. & Torregrosa, J. R. (Eds.) (1996). Psicología Social Aplicada. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

Blanco, A. y Rodríguez Marín, J. (Coords.) (2007). Intervención psicosocial. Madrid: Pearson – Prentice Hall.

Expósito, F. & Moya, M. (Coords.) (2005).  Aplicando la Psicología Social.  Madrid: Piràmide.

Mark, M. M., Donaldson, S. I. & Campbell, B. (Eds.). (2011). Social Psychology and Evaluation. Hove: Guilford Press.

Montenegro, M. (Coord.) (2011). Intervenció Social. Controvèrsies teòriques i metodològiques. Barcelona: ediuoc

Morales, J.F., Blanco, A., Huici, C. & Fernández, J.M. (Eds) (1985). Psicología Social Aplicada. Bilbao: DDB.

Sánchez, A. (2002). Psicología Social Aplicada. Madrid: Prentice Hall.


Other complementary specific references


Alonso, E.; Pozo, C. & Martos, M. J. (2008). Intervención psicosocial y evaluación de programas en el ámbito de la salud. Alcalá La Real: Formación Alcalá.

Alvira, F. (1991). Metodología de la evaluación de programas. Madrid: CIS.

Gómez, M (2000). Els serveis socials y la seva avaluació. Barcelona: EUB.

Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Pozo, C.; Alonso, E. & Hernández Plaza, S. (2004). Teoría, modelos y métodos en evaluación de programas. Granada: Grupo Editorial Universitario.

Stufflebeam, D. I. (2001). Evaluation models. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stufflebeam, D. I. & Shinkfield, A.J. (1987). Evaluación sistemática. Barcelona: Paidós.

Vedung, E. (1997). Evaluación de políticas públicas y programas. Madrid: Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos sociales.


Ethics and deontology

Alcalde, M. J. & del Río, C. (2001). Metacódigo de ética de la Federación Europea de Asociaciones de Psicólogos (EFPA). Traducción y adaptación al castellano. Infocop, 80, 36-39. (Orig. Inglés de 1995: htpp// www.efpa.be).

American Psychological Association (APA). (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. http://www.apa.org/ethics.

American Psychological Association (APA). (2009). Report of the Ethics Committee, 2008. American Psychologist, 64/5, 464-473

Bersoff, D.M. (2003). Ethical Conflicts in Psychology. (3ª ed.) Washington, DC: APA

Canadian Psychological Association (2000). Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists. http://www.cpa.ca/

Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos (COP). (2009 a). Proyecto del Código Deontológico de la profesión de Psicología. Madrid: COP.

Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos (COP). (2009 b). Papeles del Psicólogo, 2009. Vol. 30(3) Monográfico sobre Ética profesional y deontología. http://www.copmadrid.org

DelRío, C. (2005). Guía de ética profesional en Psicología Clínica. Madrid: Pirámide.

Del Río, C. (2009).La docencia de la Ética profesional en los estudios de Psicología en España.Papeles del Psicólogo, 2009. Vol. 30(3), pp. 210-219.

European Federation of Psychologists Associations (EFPA). (2005). Metha Code of Ethics. htpp//www.efpa.be  

Quayle (2009). Teaching ethics to future psychologists: Challenges and the model of an experience of a college psychology professor in a developing country. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 22/1, 97-104


Social problems, quality of life, psychosocial wellbeing 

Abdallah, S., Thompson, S., Michaelson, J., Marks, N., Steuer, N. et al. (2009). The Happy Planet Index 2.0. London: New Economics Foundation.

Andrews, F.M. y McKennell, A.C. (1980). Measures of self-reported well-being: Their affective, cognitive and other components. Social Indicators Research, 8, 127-155.

Andrews, F.M. y Withey, S.B. (1976). Social Indicators of Well-Being: Americans Perceptions of Life Quality.New York: Plenum Press.

Constanza, R. et al (2008). An Integrative Approach to Quality of Life Measurement, Research, and Policy. S.A.P.I.EN.S [Online], 1.1 |: http://sapiens.revues.org/169

Díaz, D., Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Blanco, A., Moreno-Jiménez, B., Gallardo, I, Valle, C. & van Dierendonck, D. (2006) Adaptación española de las escalas de bienestar psicológico de Ryff. Psicothema. 18, 572-577.

Diener, E. (1994). Assessing Subjective Well-Being: Progress and Opportunities. Social Indicators Research, 31, 103-157.

Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal fora national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34-43.

Diener, E.D., Emmons, R.A., Larsen, R.J. y Griffin, G. (1985). The Satisfaction With Life Scale.Journalof Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Diener, E., Oishi, S. y Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403-425.

Diener, E. y Suh, E. (2001). Culture and Subjective Well- Being. Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press.

Drobnič, S.,  Beham, B. & Präg, P. (2010). Good Job, Good Life? Working Conditions and Quality of Life in Europe. Social Indicators Research. 99 (2), 205-225.

Eid, M. & Larsen, R. J..(2008). The science of subjective wellbeing. Hove: Guilford Press.

Gale, A. & Chapman, A.J. (eds). (1984). Psychology and social problems. An introduction to applied psychology. New York: Wiley.

Layard R. (2005). Happiness: lessons from a new science. New York: Penguin.

Mikherjee, R.M. (1989). The quality of life. Valuation in social research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Ryff, C., &  Keyes, C. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719-727.

Rubington, E. & Weinberg, M.S. (Eds.). (1995). The study of social problems. Five perspectives  (5ª ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Smigel, E. (ed). (1971). Handbook of the study of social problems. Chicago. Rand McNally.

Strack, F., Argile, M. y Schwartz, N. (Eds.). (1991). Subjective Well-Being. Oxford: Pergamon.

Veenhoven, R. (1984). Conditions of Happiness. Dordrecht: Reidel.

Veenhoven, R. (1994). El estudio de la satisfacción con la vida. Intervención Psicosocial, 3, 87-116.

Veenhoven,R. (1995). Developments in Satisfaction Research. Social Indicators Research, 37, 1-46.

Veenhoven R (1996). Happy life expectancy: a comprehensive measure of quality-of-life in nations. Social Indicators Research 39, 1-58.

Walker, S. R. & Rosser, R.M.  (Eds) . (1988). Quality of Life: assessment and applications. Lancaster: MTP.

Warr, P. (2007). Work, Happiness, and Unhappiness. Mahwah, NJ: LEA.

WHO (1984). Underlying processes of becoming socially vulnerable. Copenhagen. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe.


Specialized sources

Basic and Applied Social Psychology

Community, work and family

European Review of Applied Psychology

Intervención Psicosocial

International Journal of Psychology

Journal of Applied Social Psychology

Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Journal of Progressive Human Services

Journal of Social Issues

Journal of Social Policy

Journal of Social Service Research

Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community

Revista de Psicología Social Aplicada

Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y las Organizaciones. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology

Psychology & Developing Societies

Social Psychology Quarterly

The Journal of Social Psychology