UPCES Psychology Courses

Here you'll find the UPCES course offering related to Psychology. Please note that course offerings are subject to change or cancelation based on faculty availability and student enrollment. All course subjects must be approved by your home institution for departmental credit.

The listing below includes a detailed description, cross-listed subjects, and a downloadable syllabus.


Language, Culture and Mind
[PSYCHOLOGY, 3 credits]


The course provides an interdisciplinary insight into current findings across the diverse research areas covering language, culture, and mind to explain individuals’ behavior in a larger cultural and psychological context. The course content stretches across a range of psycholinguistics, anthropological, ethnographic, and social-cognitive topics dealing with social behavior, allowing students to naturally compare the manifestations of these across at least their primary socialization milieu and the study-abroad context. As such, the course provides a unique experience for cultural enrichment along with the understanding of the social-psychological underpinnings of the contemporary Czech culture, yet assuming a distinctive view of their prior conceptualizations of their own thinking, communicating, and interacting.

Propaganda and Society


This course explores mass persuasion and propaganda in a developmental context with an emphasis on understanding approaches and techniques. It traces the emergence of strategic persuasive communication and propaganda from its origins to the present day. The basic principles, philosophy, and techniques of mass persuasion in different periods are considered, with an emphasis on contemporary contexts. Students will learn to identify different propaganda techniques and will gain the tools to evaluate and debunk propaganda campaigns. A developmental approach is used in order to allow the opportunity to see aspects of continuity and change in approaches. A combination of classic and contemporary texts in the area of propaganda and disinformation will be studied. Various approaches to propaganda will examined across a variety of media, with an emphasis in the second half of the course on emerging computational and participatory propaganda.

Psychoanalysis and Cultural Studies


In this course, we shall engage a select band of the seminars offered by the major postFreudian psychoanalytic thinker, teacher, and practitioner, Jacques Lacan (1901–81), and some outstanding Lacan-criticism. We shall also engage Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and some important post-Lacanian thinkers with special reference to Slavoj Žižek (1949–) and to Julia Kristeva (1940–), in order to use theoretical psychoanalysis as a powerful critical tool to diagnose individual and social reality, psychic systems, and specific artworks.

Psychology & Society: Insights into Individual Behaviour within Social Context
[PSYCHOLOGY, 3 credits]


The course provides an overview of the field of social psychology—the study of human interactions within groups. The concepts (e.g., stereotypes, biases, groupthink, conformity, totalitarianism, agency) will be examined within the context of the Czech society to mitigate students’ broader cultural understanding. The course covers a range of topics to instigate students’ insight and awareness of these at large. It focuses on different factors constituting a society and a culture. For students coming to the Czech Republic, an emphasis on Czech culture and its transition from the communist system to a liberal “western” style democracy provides a unique experience for cultural enrichment as well as for a more in-depth understanding of the social and historical context of the contemporary Czech society.


Surveillance and Society


This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the topic of surveillance in Central and Eastern Europe covering Pre-and-Post Communist realms of everyday life. The class dialogue will be focused on the analysis of historical rhetoric of surveillance and its wide range of tools used to gain social control and that of its individual members. We will focus on the comparative analysis of different methods of social control practice employed by select former communist states (mainly Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany) during communism and after its fall. As it may appear that the communist organs of state surveillance, namely: StB in Czechoslovakia, Stasi in East Germany, and SB in Poland, ceased to exist with the fall of the totalitarian system, one could argue that the new mechanisms of social control continue to emerge, but this time offering no visible borders for one to easily escape from. Indeed, the faces of post-communist surveillance will be discussed from more inclusive perspective, touching upon the global resonance of 9/11, when surveillance has been legitimatized as a tool of social order and also openly questioned by individuals such as Edward Snowden. Moreover, surveillance today and the invasion of one’s privacy faces threats from many “little brothers” rather just only the state itself. Therein this course will probe several issues emerging from different types of relationships between the latest technologies and our society, as they may be used by those in power to cultivate the culture of social control, fear, and empowerment.