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The weekend psychology MA: The foundations of behaviour change

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Unlock the fundamentals of behaviour change in this series of weekend workshops, discussions and seminars, led by world-leading academics.

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Save up to 20% on this masterclass when you purchase a group ticket!

Where does happiness come from, and how can we unlearn the habitual negative thinking that keeps us from attaining it? Why do we see some people as less than human, and what is the importance of empathy in impacting our perceptions of others? What are the secrets to healthy, productive relationships in both our private and professional lives?

If you’ve always wanted to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, to better understand your own decisions and your relationship with others in the world around you, our brand new weekend masterclass brings together renowned professors and cutting edge research from the field of psychology, to unlock the evidence-based foundations of our emotions, relationships and behaviours.

With an innovative mix of keynote lectures and peer-to-peer discussions, between-session homework that will give you the opportunity to embed key academic insights into your life to transform your own habits, practical, interactive workshops that will strengthen the persuasiveness of your communication skills and boost your mental resilience in the face of adversity, - this two-part masterclass will ultimately give you the tools and confidence to continue unpacking the fascinating science of psychology that shape our lives.

Whether you are looking to delve into the workings of the mind to connect more meaningfully with others, come away with practical strategies for changing your own behaviour or are simply missing much-needed intellectual nourishment in lockdown, peak your curiosity with a weekend of unmissable knowledge and conversation.

Course content

  • The psychology of empathy: Dr Lasana T. Harris from University College of London will explore where empathy comes from, why we see others as less than human,how to rewire this thinking and how we can better modulate our responses to others for more positive outcomes - as well as the critical process of recognising right from wrong.
  • The psychology of healthy habits - Making changes that stick: Professor Wendy Wood from University of Southern California will explain the science of how we form habits as well as the key to decoding our habitual mind in order to make lasting change in our behaviour.
  • The psychology of cooperation: Dr Michael Muthukrishna will use lessons from the evolution of human collaboration to open up the secrets of building stronger relationships at work and in our lives - with even the most seemingly difficult of individuals.
  • The psychology of pleasure and the life well-lived: Professor Morten L Kringelbach will ask what really brings us pleasure in life, how we find meaning and purpose and what strategies we can deploy to improve our well being.
  • An interactive workshop with Jens Koed Madsen exploring the psychology of persuasion will equip you with an understanding of the science behind changing someone’s mind.
  • An interactive workshop focused on the psychology of decision-making under pressure with Dr Nicola Power will guide you through the influences at work in the human brain during the decision making process to enable you to make positive choices, even under stressful circumstances.
  • An after-hours Q&A with Sian Beilock to discuss her work on performance anxiety and simple psychological strategies to ensure success.

To celebrate the launch of this online event, we are offering a limited number of group tickets with a 20% discount so don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand - and decipher - your mind.

Host profile

Claudia Hammond is an award-winning broadcaster, author and psychology lecturer. Claudia is the presenter of several podcasts and radio shows including All in the Mind on BBC Radio 4 which covers psychology, neuroscience & mental health and the weekly global health show Health Check on BBC World Service. She is Visiting Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Sussex and she writes a regular column on medical myths for BBC Future. Her latest book, The Art of Rest, examining the science behind our struggles to rest and relax, is published by Canongate. She is also the author of Mind Over Money, Time Warped and Emotional Rollercoaster.

Tutor profiles

Dr Lasana T. Harris is the associate professor of Experimental Psychology at University College London. He completed his undergraduate degree at Howard University, USA, and postgraduate training at Princeton University, USA. He has held positions at New York and Duke Universities, USA, and Leiden University in the Netherlands. His research explores the neural correlates of person perception, prejudice, dehumanization, anthropomorphism, social learning, social emotions, empathy, and punishment.

Professor Wendy Wood is author of the award-winning book, Good Habits, Bad Habits. She is Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California. For the past 30 years, she has been researching what habits are and why they are so difficult to change. She is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, the New York Times, and her work has been featured in the Guardian, Washington Post, and New Yorker. She has published over 100 scientific articles and is widely considered one of the leading experts in the psychology of habit.

Dr Michael Muthukrishna is Associate Professor of Economic Psychology and Affiliate of the Developmental Economics group at the London School of Economics (LSE), Technical Director of the Database of Religious History, and Associate of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His research focuses on human evolution and social change and how this understanding can improve innovation, reduce corruption, and increase cross-cultural cooperation. His work is featured in international and national news outlets including CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, Nature News, and Science News, and in the UK in the Times, Telegraph, Mirror, Sun, and Guardian. Michael’s research is informed by his educational background in engineering and psychology, with graduate training evolutionary biology, economics, and statistics, and his personal background living in Sri Lanka, Botswana, Pap when New Guinea, Australia, Canada, and the United States. He is currently working on a book to be published with MIT Press.

Dr Nicola Power is a Lecturer in Social Psychology at Lancaster University. She specialises in the psychology of decision-making under pressure, specifically exploring the socio-cognitive principles that underpin indecision. Her research is largely applied, working with practitioners from the Emergency Services and NHS, where she uses a mixture of methods ranging from interviews to immersive simulations. You can read more about her research here, or follow her on Twitter @nspower15 or Instagram @drnikkipower.

Jens Koed Madsen lectures in cognitive psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on how people change beliefs about the world and how cognitive and social factors influence behaviour. For example, he builds and tests models to explain the psychology behind why some people are convinced by reports from experts while others are not. His research aims to go beyond individual differences and to understand how the same cognitive mechanisms can lead one person to become for example a climate change denier while another believes in the scientific climate consensus. Jens has an interdisciplinary background. He has an undergraduate degree in rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen and a PhD in the psychology of persuasion from UCL. Since graduating from UCL, he has worked at Birkbeck, Oxford and LSE. If you want to know more about Jens’ research, you can go onto his website or have a look at the book he published in 2019 on The Psychology of Micro-Targeted Election Campaigns (Palgrave Macmillan).

Professor Morten L Kringelbach is interested in understanding hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (the life well-lived). He uses advanced neuroimaging, neurosurgical and computational methods to understand brain function together with his Hedonia team and international collaborators. The Hedonia Transnational Research Group is based both in the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford, and at CFIN, Aarhus University, Denmark. Morten is a Fellow of The Queen's College and the ASP, on the advisory board for Scientific American and The Empathy Museum. He has published 14 books, and over 300 scientific papers, chapters and other articles.

Sian Beilock began her tenure as Barnard College president in July 2017 after spending 12 years at the University of Chicago, where she served on the faculty as the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology, executive vice provost, and an officer of the university. Her work as a cognitive scientist revolves around performance anxiety and reveals simple psychological strategies that can be used to ensure success in everything from test-taking and public speaking to athletics and job interviews. In 2010, she wrote the critically acclaimed book Choke, and in 2015, How the Body Knows Its Mind. In 2017, she won the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences, and her recent TED talk has been viewed more than 2 million times.

Details

Dates: Saturday 27 March & Sunday 28 March 2021

Times: 2.30pm-5.30pm (GMT)

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 2.30pm (GMT). Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

2.30pm GMT | 3.30pm CET | 7.30am PST | 10.30am EST

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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