GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY - 2017/8
Module code: PSY3095
OGDEN JE Prof (Psychology)
Number of Credits
FHEQ Level 6
Module cap (Maximum number of students)
Overall student workload
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||COURSEWORK ESSAY (8 PAGES)||50%|
|Examination||EXAMINATION (1 HOUR)||50%|
N/A Students must pass each unit of assessment to pass the module
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
BSc Psychology Levels 4 and 5 or equivalent
This module explores a range of myths across the discipline of psychology with a focus on scientific evidence, methodological robustness, theoretical frameworks, their historical context and the interface between the scientific and lay literatures. Students will come to appreciate what Stover and Saunders (2000) cite as the four main properties of scientific misconceptions:
They are stable and strongly held beliefs about the world
They are shown to be incorrect by scientific evidence
They influence the ways in which people understand the world
They must be corrected if we are to achieve accurate knowledge
This module also represents an opportunity for students to develop advanced critical thinking skills, and synthesise their study of psychology to date. Lilienfeld et al. (2010) argue that ‘mythbusting should be an essential component of psychology education, because deeply entrenched beliefs in psychological misconceptions can impede students’ understanding of human nature’ (p.xiv).
In particular the module will explore areas of research relating to aspects such learning styles, obesity, the notion of scientific truth, sexuality and gender and left brain right brain differentiation. Each lecture will address a specific area of research and encourage critical thinking in terms of methods, measurement, theory and the discipline of psychology. It will also evaluate the ways in which research evidence is adopted by the media and lay literature in the context of theories of persuasion. The module will also take a historical approach, considering the context in which the myth developed, and the status of the myth in light of contemporary research and approaches in psychology.
Describe a number of areas of psychology across all domains that have been adopted by the lay literature as ‘truths'
Develop students' skills in advanced critical thinking
Critically evaluate the evidence for these areas with a focus on methods, measurement, theory and the disciplinary focus
Explore how each area is located within its historical context, and its status in the light of contemporary research
Explore how each area has been adopted by the lay literature with a focus on theories of persuasion.
Encourage students to adopt a holistic view of psychology as a scientific discipline
|Evaluate research evidence with a focus on methods, measurement, theory and the disciplinary framework||CPT|
|Understand and evaluate the historical and conceptual contexts in which psychological myths have developed||KC|
|Understand the relationships between commonly held psychological myths and the subdisciplines of psychology in which they are situated||K|
|Critically analyse the implications of commonly-held myths for key groups within society (e.g. school pupils, patients, consumers)||CPT|
|Analyse the ways in which scientific research is translated into a literature accessible by the lay public||CPT|
|Understand the use of methods of persuasion||K|
|Critically evaluate the process of reporting research, and the importance of responsible reporting||CPT|
|Understand the relationship between scientists, the media, and the general public||K|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Indicative key topics will include:
An overview to critical thinking and the notion of truth and myth
Left brain / right brain
Sexuality and gender
The role of the media and theories of persuasion
Medicine and physical health
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching methods include:
11 x 2 hour lectures, 2 x 1 hour optional drop in sessions and 128 hours of independent study, which involve:
Week 1 - Lecture setting the scene for the module with a general overview of critical thinking
Weeks 2-10 (not 6) – lectures presenting information regarding a specific myth with time for small group tasks and class discussion
Week 6 – A class debate involving brief presentations, discussion and formative feedback
Weeks 7 and 8 – hour long optional drop in sessions to resolve queries on the coursework essay assessment.
Week 11 – A revision overview to consider key ideas, areas of critical thinking, skills and theories.
Formative feedback will be given each week and in particular during week 6 in the class debate.
Dedicated SurreyLearn page including space to discuss readings and the week’s critical questions.
The formative assessment for this module consists of:
A class debate in week 6.
The summative assessment for this module consists of:
Coursework essay (8 pages, 50%)
Each student will be able to choose any area of interest and will be asked to identify a scientific research paper containing research evidence together with associated media reports. They will then be asked to provide a detailed critical analysis of the research paper in terms of methods, measurement, theory and the discipline (80%). They will then provide an analysis of the ways in which the research has been adopted by the media with a focus on language and theories of persuasion (20%).
Examination (1 hour, 50%)
The exam will involve answering 1 essay question chosen from 6 questions reflecting 6 out of 8 of the myths covered on the course. The questions will require students to evaluate the research evidence base for a specific myth and to assess the ways in which this was adopted by the media.
Justification for assessment methods
Both assessments will address all learning outcomes.
Reading list for GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/psy3095
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.