You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Social Influence – The Social Cure

2. Early Research

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about some early research on how social identification relates to health and wellbeing. We begin by considering Reicher and Haslam’s BBC Prison Experiment (2002), in which participants were divided into groups of ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ and which found that strong identification with a particular group identity was related to better mental health outcomes for the participants. Next, we consider a number of different research studies which have shown that having a shared social identity leads to better health outcomes for individuals by reducing stress and providing social support. Finally, we think about two key publications by Jetten et al. (2009, 2012) which first outlined the social cure theory, suggesting that meaningful connection with groups has an important effect on both our physical and mental health.


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 - Early Research [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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

Image Credits

Get instant access to over 4,000 lectures