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Social Influence – The Social Cure

3. New Approaches

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In this module, we think about some of the more recent developments of the social cure theory. In particular, we focus on research which has explored the function of group identification in relation to social status and wellbeing (Sani, 2010), clinical depression (Sani 2012; Cruwys, 2014) and the fulfilment of basic identity needs (Greenaway, 2016). We also take a look at the Social Identity Model for Identity Change (SIMIC), a psychological model which suggests that maintaining old group memberships and taking on new ones is particularly important at times of life-changing transition, such as going into retirement or becoming a parent.


In this course, Dr Mhairi Bowe (Nottingham Trent University), discusses the social identity approach to health, also known as the ‘social cure’. In module one, we think about the social identity approach in psychology more generally and how it relates to health and wellbeing. We then move on, in module two, to look at some early research in this area which led to the development of the social cure theory in the early 2000s. Module four focuses on more recent approaches to the social cure theory, while module five explores how it can be applied practically to improve health outcomes in clinical and community settings. Finally, in module six, we consider so-called ‘social curses’, instances where group identification can have a negative health impact on individual group members, e.g. due to stigmatisation.


Dr Mhairi Bowe is a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology and Mental Health in the Department of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Mhairi is a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a teacher of Psychology, and an active researcher. Mhairi lectures in social psychology, community psychology, mental health, and clinical practice at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. Mhairi supervises research projects at both undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate levels (MSc and PhD), as well as running a series of tutorials and workshops.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bowe, M. (2020, February 13). Social Influence – The Social Cure - New Approaches [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bowe, Mhairi. "Social Influence – The Social Cure – New Approaches." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Feb 2020,

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