Applied Social Psychology: Evaluation of Public Policies and Programs (Science, Higher Education, Media)



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The course is studying public policies, institutional practices and their impact on performance measurement and public perceptions in the field of higher education and media. Students
would become familiar with the epistemological background and social psychology related aspects of evaluation techniques currently in use. Another important task of the course is to introduce the ideological, public opinion and social sciences related underpinnings of public policies and social programs.


  • Public policy development as a cognitive and community based process
  • The interpretation of being efficient and successful in the context of societal and community perceptions
  • The interpretation of scientific achievements – institutional solutions (citations, impact factor, patents, progress, etc.)
  • University rankings, their interpretation from communicational and substantial perspectives
  • Functions of public media, methods of evaluation
  • Development of indicators, underpinning considerations, operationalization
  • The strength of the market orientated and meritocratic aspects, the social background of their utilization
  • The ethos of measurement, historical antecedents, scientific and methodological considerations
  • Habermas, J. (1989): The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere MIT Press, Boston Hazelkorn, E. (2011): Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan. Hamphsire-New York,
  • Leydesdorff, L.(2011) : The Challenge of Scientometrics The Development, Measurement, and Self-Organization of Scientific Communications. Universal-Publishers Leiden.
  • Porter, T. (1995) : Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton University Press. Princeton. New Jersey,
  • Shin, J.Ch., Toutkoushian, R.K., Teichler, U. (Ed.)(2011) : University Rankings. Theoretical Basis, Methodology and Impact on Global Higher Education. Springer, Dothrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York. 271 p.