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Social Influence – The Social Cure

4. Practical Application

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In this module, we think about how social cure theory can be applied practically to improve health outcomes in clinical and community settings. In particular, we focus on a study by Dingle (2012) which found that group activities such as singing in a choir had a positive impact on mental health and a study by Jones (2012) which showed that the development of new group identities after traumatic brain injury decreased the risk of post-traumatic stress. We also consider mental health interventions such as Groups for Health, Groups for Education and Groups for Retirement, which have applied the principles of Social Identity Theory to help individuals in a variety of contexts.


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.

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APA style

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

MLA style

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

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