Master in the Social and Developmental Psychology

 

Introduction
 
Why Social and Developmental Psychology?
 
Humans are social beings who change through the course of their development. Psychologists are interested in the study of human development and the interplay between nature and development. On the other hand, social processes typically studied in Social Psychology (intergroup relationships, interpersonal relationships, social influence, social representations, attributions of causality, cooperation and competition) have a developmental background, and consequently, to understand them requires the formulation of ontogenetic questions. "The fact that both of these approaches have a common beginning and are inspired by common interests is impressive. Through their different traditions and methodologies, a deep similarity that ties them together is generated. It is as if Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology are interested in the same subject, Social Psychology for the space, through the outer environment and Developmental Psychology for the time, through the inside environment. Thus, they constitute two views of the same science, where one tries to resolve, on a group level, the same question the other one tries to resolve on an individual level"(Moscovici, 1990).
 
The need for a master's program in Social Developmental Psychology in Cyprus
Most contemporary Psychology Departments incorporate courses in Social and Developmental Psychology, because they are two of the four basic Psychology fields. Social and Developmental Psychology can make significant contributions in countries where socio-cultural needs and problems require social sciences for their solution. A typical example, and one that is close to the Cypriot reality, is the significant growth of Social and Developmental Psychology in North Ireland and Israel during the past decades, as these are divided communities with past and present national conflicts, and therefore they face issues such as national identity, increase and decrease of prejudice. Thus, the need for local research on social developmental psychology in Cyprus is immediate, especially concerning intergroup relationships and examination of the socio-psychological parameters of inter-community relationships through a developmental perspective.
 
Moreover, the recent economic growth and the emphasis on information access have created organizational and educational needs where applied Social and Developmental Psychology may contribute significantly. Lastly, the application of Social and Developmental Psychology in education is very important, since it focuses on the study of psychological changes (cognitive, emotional, social) taking place from birth to late life of a person. Through observation of the developing individual, psychologists acquire knowledge that allows them to describe changes in human thought and intelligence, personality, emotional world and many other areas of a person's inner world that are shaped through the educational system.
 
Social and Developmental Psychology are currently considered "bridges" to other areas of psychology. Other main areas (i.e., Cognitive and Clinical) derive significant theoretical and methodological examples from Social and Developmental Psychology via the understanding of dynamic processes that shape human development and social interaction.
 
Structure and Aims of the Master's Program
 
The program comprises a total of 120 ECTS, and includes an optional postgraduate thesis. For students who opt to write a thesis, courses are structured as follows: the first 75 ECTS are distributed among required and elective courses, and the remaining 45 ECTS are allocated for the thesis (PSY 742, PSY 743 and PSY 744). If the student opts out of the thesis the courses are structured in the following way: the first 97.5 ECTS are distributed among required and elective courses, and the remaining 22.5 ECTS are allocated for three required postgraduate research courses (PSY 625, PSY 626 and PSY 627). Both the thesis and the postgraduate research courses should be completed in two or three semesters. Successful completion of the program allows continuation to Doctoral studies provided the student follows the established procedure (new application and interview).
 
The goals of this program are:
• To provide theoretical and methodological training for designing, conducting and analyzing socio-psychological and developmental research.
• To facilitate the understanding of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches.
• To facilitate the connection of theoretical and empirical questions with social and developmental problems.
 
Completion of the program may lead to doctoral level studies in Social or/and Developmental Psychology. It may also lead to immediate job placements in fields where graduates' qualifications are considered useful, e.g., in organizations working on social research and market research. However, candidates seeking admission to the doctoral program must follow the standard application and interview process.
 
Fields of Research
 
Students in the program have the opportunity to participate in the following research programs:
• Social representations of national identity
• Social representations of gender
• Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot contact and trust development
• Inter-group relationships and teaching history
• Social construction of knowledge and cooperative learning
• Social representations of HIV/AIDS and development of prevention program
• Ecological consciousness and behavior
• Driving behavior and development of driving violence prevention programs
• Consumer behavior and consumer attitudes
• The psychology of minority social influence
• Parental involvement and child development
• School aggression in preschool and school-age children
• Parent, child, teacher and attribution theories
• Parental style and developmental difficulties in childhood and adolescence
• Adolescence, antisocial behavior, and substance use
• Developmental psychopathology and developmental disorders
• Emotional divergence and relevant disorders
• A systemic approach to problem resolution in school.
 
Laboratory Equipment

The Laboratory of Social and Developmental Psychology (LSDP) is already operational in anticipation of the needs of the Master's program. The laboratory will support the following types of research:

• The analysis of mechanisms of social knowledge development and change through various levels of analysis of the socio-psychological reality (intra-individual, inter-individual, intergroup and representational ideological level)

• The study of small group dynamics, cooperation and competition in educational settings

• The study of the microgenesis, ontogenesis and sociogenesis of social representations

• The study of learning and cognitive development as a socio-psychological process

• The study of parents–children relationships and interactions

• The study of pre-social and antisocial behavior between children

• The study of individual differences using neuropsychological and developmental research methodology

• The analysis of mechanisms involved in typical and non-typical development.

 
Program Description
 
All courses, including mandatory and elective courses, are credited with 7.5 ECTS each.
 
PROGRAMME WITH A DISSERATION
 
Required courses (75 ECTS in total):
 
PSY 604 MULTIVARIATE STATISTICS FOR THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCESPSY 630 CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
 
PSY 630 CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
 
PSY 637 SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN SOCIAL CONTEXT
 
PSY 640 SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS
 
Master Thesis (45 ECTS in total)
 
PSY 742 MASTER THESIS I (15 ECTS)
 
PSY 743 MASTER THESIS IIA (15 ECTS)
 
PSY 744 MASTER THESIS IIB (15 ECTS)
 
PSY 745 CONTINUATION OF MASTER THESIS (1 ECTS) - OPTIONAL
 
Elective courses (6 courses, 45 ECTS in total):
 
PSY 602 GRADUTE SEMINAR: ADVANCED ISSUES IN PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 610 PSYCHOLOGY OF EDUCATION
 
PSY 619 INTELLIGENCE: DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION
 
PSY 625 GRADUATE RESEARCH STUDY IV
 
PSY 632 ADOLESCENCE
 
PSY 642 CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
 
PSY 677 HUMAN AGGRESSION AND ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR
 
PSY 689 INDEPENDENT STUDY
 
PSY 702 DISCOURSE, COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 707 FAMILY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
 
PSY 715 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND LANGUAGE DISORDERS
 
PSY 722 CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 731 COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: UNDERSTANDING THE BIOLOGY OF THE MIND
 
PSY 741 INTERGROUP RELATIONS IN DIVIDED SOCIETIES
 
PSY 746 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF EDUCATION
 
PSY 749 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 788 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS ΙΙ
 
* A course from another Department or another Graduate Programme of the Psychology Department may qualify as an elective course with the approval of the student's supervisor.
 
PROGRAMME WITHOUT A DISSERATION
 
Required courses (52,5 ECTS in total):
 
PSY 604 MULTIVARIATE STATISTICS FOR THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
 
PSY 630 CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
 
PSY 637 SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL SETTING
 
PSY 640 SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS
 
PSY 625 GRADUATE RESEARCH STUDY IV
 
PSY 626 GRADUATE RESEARCH STUDY V
 
PSY 627 GRADUATE RESEARCH STUDY VI
 
Elective courses (67,5 ECTS in total):
 
PSY 602 GRADUTE SEMINAR: ADVANCED ISSUES IN PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 610 PSYCHOLOG Y OF EDUCATION
 
PSY 619 INTELLIGENCE: DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION
  
PSY 632 ADOLESCENCEPSY
 
PSY 642 CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
 
PSY 677 HUMAN AGGRESSION AND ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR
 
PSY 689 INDEPENDENT STUDY
 
PSY 702 DISCOURSE, COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 707 FAMILY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
 
PSY 715 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND LANGUAGE DISORDERS
 
PSY 722 CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 731 COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: UNDERSTANDING THE BIOLOGY OF THE MIND
 
PSY 741 INTERGROUP RELATIONS IN DIVIDED SOCIETIES
 
PSY 746 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF EDUCATION
 
PSY 749 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY
 
PSY 788 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS ΙΙ
 
* A course from another Department or another Graduate Programme of the Psychology Department may qualify as an elective course with the approval of the student's supervisor.