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Taylor Swift University Course Asks Psychologists: ‘What Can We Learn From Her?’

Taylormania is in full swing. From 20,000 fans showing up outside sold-out Eras Tour stadium shows, to making history with four albums in the Top 10 simultaneously, her groundbreaking career has now inspired a university course on social psychology.

“Psychology of Taylor Swift — Advanced Topics of Social Psychology” at Arizona State University promises to teach “advanced topics in social psychology” that examine the Swift’s “work, her life, and her fans including romantic relationships, fiction/escapism, revenge, and social development.”

Taught by PhD student Alexandra Wormley, the class description asks, “As psychologists, what can we learn from her?”

“The course is basically using Taylor Swift as a semester-long example of different phenomena — gossip, relationships, revenge,” Wormley told ASU News, noting that “the class is not a seminar on how much we like or dislike her — we want to be able to learn about psychology.” 

When asked how she will integrate topics such as “revenge” into her course, Wormley replied, “Taylor’s sixth album, ‘Reputation,’ is her comeback after disappearing from the spotlight due to conflicts with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. She enacts her revenge on them — and the broader media landscape — by dropping an incredibly successful album along with a stadium tour.”

She continued, “The students know this — but do they know why we like revenge? Do they know how we enact revenge? Social psychology can tell us.”


ASU’s class is the latest university offering on Taylor academia. Earlier this year, Stanford University held a “All Too Well (Ten Week Version)” course as part of the school’s “Italic 99” courses, which was touted as “an in-depth analysis of Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well.’” 

Last year, NYU offered students at its Clive Davis Institute a bespoke Taylor Swift class taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. “I want them to have fun listening to music and engage with pop music beyond the idea of pop as guilty pleasure,” Spanos told NYU Local. She added that she hoped students “learn how to appreciate that type of songwriting and listen to her and understand her beyond the way that the public has shaped her.”

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