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Psychology of Online Behavior: Response to Violence and Crises


Admission requirements

  • Only students of the MSc Crisis and Security Management can take this course.

  • This course only offers a place to a maximum number of 38 students.

  • Students can only register for one elective.


The internet and associated technologies have become an inextricable part of our daily life. We turn to cyberspace to meet new people, maintain connections, advance our education and career. Cybertechnology permeates all areas of our lives, from work to leisure. It is unsurprising that negative events, such as war, violence, and crises also find their reflection online. This course aims to: a) introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of studying human behavior in the cyberspace; b) equip students to engage critically with existing research on the subject; and c) enable them to apply theoretical knowledge to the development of real-life intervention and prevention projects addressing violence and critical events in the online world.

Course objectives

After completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply concepts of psychological science to the study of online behaviors in the context of violence and crises

  • Understand research methods used to explore human behavior online

  • Critically analyze and reflect upon existing research and its implications

  • Develop solutions targeting the consequences of violence and critical events online

  • Understand and reflect upon ethical issues associated with research and interventions development in the cyberspace


On the right side of programme front page of the studyguide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace

Mode of instruction

This course consists of seven interactive sessions. Each session will include lectures, interactive discussions, and work in small groups.
These small groups (4 – 5 students) will be working on their group paper projects, focused on the development of a real-life application of the theoretical knowledge received in the course

Attendance is mandatory. Students are only allowed to miss more than one lecture if there are special, demonstrable personal circumstances. The Board of Examiners, in consultation with the study advisors, will decide on such an exceptional exemption of mandatory attendance.

Total study load 140 hours:

  • 21 Contact hours.

  • 119 Self-study hours: reading, preparing lectures, assignments, etc

Assessment method

Assessment for this course is based on two assignments:

Group assignment

  • 30% of final grade

  • Grade can be compensated in case of a fail (grade < 5.50)

  • Resit not possible.

Individual Paper

  • 70% of final grade

  • Grade cannot be compensated, a 5.5 is required to pass the course

  • Resit is possible

  • Resit will take the same form

The calculated overall course grade must be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course. If the calculated overall course grade is lower than 5.50, students are also permitted to resit the 70% exam.

In the case of written assessment methods, the examiner can always initiate a follow-up conversation with the student to establish whether the learning objectives have been met.

Transitional Arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2022-2023 are no longer valid during year 2023-2024. All students are expected to enroll for an elective via MyStudymap on a 'first come first serve' basis.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles, to be announced on Brightspace.


Register yourself via MyStudymap for each course, workgroup and exam (not all courses have workgroups and/or exams). Do so on time, before the start of the course; some courses and workgroups have limited spaces. You can view your personal schedule in MyTimetable after logging in.

Registration for this course is possible from t.b.a..

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in MyStudymap you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.


Olga Bogolyubova

Office hours by appointment