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Group Dynamics (IBP)


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Groepsdynamica

Entry requirements

Students are strongly advised to first follow the first-year (propaedeuse) course in Social and Organisational Psychology.


The course focuses on analysing group phenomena – such as group cohesion, group and sub-group formation, conformity, influence, leadership, joint activities, decision-making and intra- and intergroup conflicts – from the perspective of different theories of group dynamics. The focus lies not only on acquiring knowledge and understanding of different theoretical approaches, but also on how to apply these and develop good writing skills.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge and understanding: students will acquire a general knowledge of theories in the field of group dynamics, as well as of the methodological foundations of the discipline.

  • Applying knowledge and understanding: students will learn to apply a selection of insights into group dynamics to practical problems and to conceptualise these problems and offer recommendations. In addition, they will learn to design simple research studies in order to assess their analyses and recommendations (proposed interventions).

  • Writing skills: students will learn to clearly formulate their analyses and recommendations (see above), for colleagues in the field and a wider public (including potential clients).


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables

Lectures IBP
Exams IBP



Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year of the IBP

For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

Lectures: in 8 lectures, different theories of group dynamics are explained and applied to everyday group phenomena. The written assignments that students produce at different times during the course (in pairs) are also the subject of plenary discussions in the lectures.

4 written assignments, which are available via Blackboard, must be completed during the course: in these students apply theoretical insights to group phenomena, as described in newspaper articles and William Golding’s (1954) novel Lord of the Flies. This should lead to a concrete recommendation on how to solve these real-life or fictional problems. The analyses and recommendation should be clearly formulated, for colleagues and a wider public. In order to help the students master the above skills, these assignments focus on the following: formulating causal models in which theoretical analyses of particular group problems culminate in specific recommendations for group dynamic interventions; clearly formulating analyses and recommendations for colleagues and a wider public.; and developing simple designs to assess the value of the students’ own analyses and/or recommendations.

Assessment method

The examination counts for 60% of the final mark. The mark for the 4 written assignments counts for 40% of the final mark.

Regulations on grade calculation

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud .

Reading list

  • Forsyth, D.R. (2014). Group Dynamics (6th edition). Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

  • Golding, W. (1954). Lord of the Flies. London: Faber & Faber Limited (or a later English edition or Dutch translation, for example by Uitgeverij Athenaeum – Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam).

  • Assignments, timetable and regulations, available via Blackboard.

Contact information