in everyday life
Psychology of Contemporary Life
This series of six lectures was designed to take psychology out of the classroom and the laboratory, helping students discover its relevance in the everyday. How ‘taste’ is cultivated, how ‘cool’ travels from one peer group to another, why some art invites a response and why sports teams spark fanaticism - psychology has insights to offer about how we navigate our lives, especially when looked at alongside sociology, anthropology, media studies, even neuroscience.
Since first delivering the formal, for-credit course to 65+ SYBA & TYBA students as part of the St. Xavier’s College Honour’s Programme, Toru has revisited individual lectures and shared them as one-off immersions with media & advertising professionals, including as part of learning initiatives at the DDB Mudra Group. The course itself has also evolved, with specific modules growing into independent for-credit workshops at the College.
Identity, Community & Story
We’re creating a programme for India’s foremost college of the Arts; exploring how story is the organizing principle of identity, societies and history. Cognitive and social psychology form the basis for the sessions, and we’re also drawing on our experience with building brand narratives.
The goal is to equip students to become aware of the personal and political power of story. We want them to think critically about stories they receive from the world - whether from brands, the news or social media.
Introduction to Qualitative Research
For-credit courses designed to help students in the social sciences (and increasingly beyond), explore the ‘why’ underneath ‘what’ research studies have to tell us. The focus is on appreciating stories as data, introducing thematic analysis and learning how to 'read' images. First developed in 2009 for students as part of the St. Xavier’s College Honour’s Programme, this content has since formed the basis for lectures at MICA & XIC.
Advertising & Persuasion
Insights, archetypes, principles of behaviour change - the toolkit in the service of persuasion keeps growing. Understanding the most effective ways in which to elicit interest and activate intent is a skill best understood in the context of what really matters to people, and what really doesn’t. These learnings have been delivered as lectures at business schools such as NL Dalmia and the United World College of Business (Mumbai) and as courses at the Xavier's Institute of Communication.