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PSYC1031 Introduction to Psychology

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Essay Assessment Details (Term 2)

    Module title  Introduction to Psychology / Introduction to Psychology for Criminology
Module codePSYC1031 / PSYC1036
Module leaderAmena Amer / Peter Collins and Ewa Stefanska
LevelFour
Assessment titleTerm Two Essay
Assessment type  Choose one from three written essay titles, to be submitted to Turnitin
Length1500 words (+/-10%)
Weighting (%)30%
Deadline30th March 2022 23:30
  1. Learning outcomes of the assessment

You will be able to:

  • Recognise key approaches and theory in the topic that you select.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of that topic and be able to show a clear understanding of the concept within psychology.
PSYC1031
PSYC1031

2.        Rationale for assessment

  • The individual written essay allows you to focus on one topic in depth and be able to provide supporting psychological theory.
    • You should be able to draw on the content of the lecture, the core text book and references in preparation for the essay. This is not exhaustive and you can provide other sources of research.
    • You will also show that you can write clearly and begin to demonstrate that you can make links and connections between theory and methods pertinent to the topic you select.

3.        Guidelines for the assessment

  • There are three titles to choose from which are outlined below.
    • Select which title you wish to write about and follow the guide information for that topic. Remember, this is a guide only, there may be other information or research that you wish to include that is relevant to what you are writing.
    • Make sure that you follow the written style guide for psychology assessments in your module handbook.
    • Make sure you use the originality link to check your work before submitting, and you can do that once every 24 hours.
    • Remember you can make use of Studiosity for independent comments on your work.

Assigned Essay titles

Choose one from the three essay titles below. Essays should be submitted to Turnitin.

A)       Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories of cognitive development.

  • Describe and evaluate evidence which suggests that information in long-term memory is stored in multiple memory systems.

C)       Do animals have language? In your answer, consider evidence from two different species of animal.

Guidance for Essay Assessment (Term 2)

A)    Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories of cognitive development.

This essay asks you compare and contrast two theories of cognitive development – namely Piaget’s theory and Vygotsky’s theory. You should explore this by considering the relevant claims of each of

these theories and the literature that may provide evidence to support and/or challenge these theories.

You should begin your essay with a strong introduction, defining the key terms and outlining how you will answer the question. (Approx. 200-250 words).

The main body of your essay should consider the claims of these two theoretical approaches and note the similarities/differences between the two. A clear description of these theories is important and you should also present literature/empirical evidence in your answer. Remember, the question asks you to compare and contrast, therefore your essay should read in a way that demonstrate comparison

between the theories rather than a generic list. (Approx. 1000-1100 words).

You should wrap up your answer with a strong conclusion that summarises and/or reinforces some of the key points made in your answer, referring back to the question. (Approx. 200-250 words).

Remember to include both in-text references as well as have a ‘Reference’ section at the end which includes the full references of all of the sources you cited in the essay. See referencing guidance on Moodle if you are unsure of how to do this correctly.

Starter References:

Bruner, J. (1987). Actual Minds, Possible Worlds (Revised Edition). Harvard University Press. Daniels, H. (Ed.). (2017). An Introduction to Vygotsky. Routledge.

Holt, N. A., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M., Passer, M., & Smith, R. (2018). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour Fourth edition, Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.

Smith, L., Dockrell, J & Tomlinson, P. (2003). Piaget, Vygotsky & Beyond: Future Issues in Developmental Psychology and Education (J. Dockrell, L. Smith, & D. P. Tomlinson, Eds.). Routledge.

Sutherland, P. A. A. (1992). Cognitive Development Today: Piaget and his Critics. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Vygotsky, L. S. (2012). Thought and Language (E. Hanfmann, Ed.; G. Vakar, Trans.). Martino Fine Books.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: Development of Higher Psychological Processes (New edition). Harvard University Press.

B)    Describe and evaluate evidence which suggests that information in long-term memory is stored in multiple memory systems.

This essay asks you to consider the evidence that informs us that there are mutliple systems for processing long-term memory. You should discuss this question by including both a description of these multiple memory systems and a critique of the evidence.

You should begin your essay with a strong introduction, defining any key terms and outlining how you will answer the question. (Approx. 200-250 words).

The main body of your essay should consider initial understandings of long-term memory, and how this has changed to a multiple memory system approach. You should outline difference types of memory systems and discuss the literature that provides support and challenges to these claims. (Approx.

1000-1100 words).

You should wrap up your answer with a strong conclusion that summarises and/or reinforces some of the key points made in your answer, referring back to the question. (Approx. 200-250 words).

Remember to include both in-text references as well as have a ‘Reference’ section at the end which includes the full references of all of the sources you cited in the essay. See referencing guidance on Moodle if you are unsure of how to do this correctly.

Starter References:

Eysenck, M. W. & Keane, M. T. (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A Students Handbook. London & New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Gross, R. (2010). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. London: Hodder Education Group.

Holt, N. A., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M., Passer, M., & Smith, R. (2018). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour (Fourth). McGraw-Hill.

Janacsek, K., Fiser, J., & Nemeth, D. (2012). The best time to acquire new skills: age-related

differences in implicit sequence learning across the human lifespan. Developmental science, 15(4), 496–505. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01150.x

Reber, P. J., Knowlton, B. J., & Squire, L. R. (1996). Dissociable properties of memory systems: Differences in the flexibility of declarative and nondeclarative knowledge. Behavioral Neuroscience, 110(5), 861–871. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7044.110.5.861

Schacter, D. L, Cooper, L. A. & Delaney, S> M. (1990). Implicit memory for unfamiliar objects depends

on access to structural descriptions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 119, 5-24.

Sherry, D. & Schacter, D. (1987). The evolution of multiple memory systems. Psychological Review. 94 (4), 439-454

Squire, L. R. & Zola-Morgan, S. (1991). The medial temporal lobe memory system. Science. Sep 20; 253(5026),1380-6.

C)    Do animals have language? In your answer, consider evidence from two different species of animal.

This essay asks you to explore the nature of language by comparing and contrasting human and non- human animal communication. You should draw on research evidence from multiple studie.

You should begin your essay with a strong introduction, defining key terms and outlining how you will answer the question (approx, 150 words). You are encouraged to briefly define language, identify your chosen species, indicate the structure of the essay and anticipate the main point of your essay.

The main body of your essay (approx 1,200 words) should start by establishing a more detailed

definition of human language. This definition should serve as the baseline against which to compare your chosen animal communication systems. You have different options for defining language, including outlining the components of language (e.g. phonology, morphology, syntax…) or outlining Hockett’s design features of language.

You should then include content on your first chosen species, considering how it compares to your definition of language.To support your case, you should describe and evaluate research studies, and integrate evidence from multiple studies. You should repeat this structure for your second chosen species.You are advised to choose contrasting species, and to follow your content on your second species by comparing and contrasting your two chosen species.

You should wrap up your answer with a strong conclusion (approx 150 words) which summarises or reinforces the key points of your argument, and which reaches a balanced judgement on whether language is distinctively human or is shared, to some extent, with non-human animals.

Starter References:

Your textbooks include references to many classic studies on a range of species:

Gross, R. (2010). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. London: Hodder Education Group.

Holt, N. A., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M., Passer, M., & Smith, R. (2018). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour (Fourth). McGraw-Hill.

In addition:

Fishbein, A. R., Fritz, J. B., Idsardi, W. J., & Wilkinson, G. S. (2020). What can animal communication teach us about human language?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375 (1789).

  • Note that this article is the introduxtion to a special issue on animal communication, and summarises the other articles in the issue. Many of these articles are also available for free online.

Gardner, R. A., & Gardner, B. T. (1969). Teaching sign language to a chimpanzee. Science, 165(3894), 664- 672.

Krause, M. A., & Beran, M. J. (2020). Words matter: Reflections on language projects with chimpanzees and their implications. American Journal of Primatology, 82(10), e23187.

Pinker, S., & Jackendoff, R. (2005). The faculty of language: what’s special about it?. Cognition, 95(2), 201-236.

Seyfarth, R. M., & Cheney, D. L. (2003). Signallers and receivers in animal communication. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 145-173.

  • Note: freely available online.