Year

2021

Credit points

10

Prerequisites

Nil

Incompatible

ALHT106 Psychology for Allied Health

Teaching organisation

3 contact hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent

Unit description and aim

Central to an undergraduate degree in psychology is the ability to understand and critically analyse core knowledge areas in psychology, to understand and demonstrate practical skills in research methods, to apply the values and ethics of the discipline and to communicate effectively in various formats. As such, this unit will introduce you to psychology and the core topics of biological bases of behaviour, sensation and perception, levels of consciousness, learning, memory, language, and thought. Further, you will be introduced to the research methods used in psychology and will gain knowledge and practical experience in how to present a psychological research report. The foundational knowledge provided in this unit, along with PSYC101: Applications of Psychology, is required to support further learning in most 200 and 300 level Psychology units. The aim of this unit is to introduce you to psychology through some core areas of the discipline and to provide you with foundational knowledge and skills in psychological research methodology and psychological research report writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1- identify the unifying themes and organisation of psychology as a scientific and applied discipline (GA5);

LO2 - recognise key theories and findings across the applied areas covered in this unit (GA5);

LO3 - identify and discuss the practical applications of the core applied areas covered in this unit (GA4 & GA5);

LO4 - define, discuss and consolidate research literature to develop research hypotheses and argument, provide a methodological description and to interpret and discuss research findings (GA4; GA5, GA8, & GA9); 

LO5 - locate and evaluate scholarly research and apply the APA referencing system to written work (GA4, GA5, GA8 & GA9). 

LO6 - locate and evaluate scholarly research and apply the APA referencing system to written work (GA4, GA5, GA8 & GA9). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

Content

Topics will include:  

  • Introduction to psychology: An overview of the unifying themes, major theoretical approaches and research areas within Psychology. Applied research and practice within psychology. Legislation relevant to psychological practice in Australia. 
  • The history of psychology, both early and modern, and how this has shaped current research and practice. 
  • An introduction to research in psychology: understanding scientific method; types of research study designs; links between statistics and research; ethical and cultural considerations in research.  
  • Biological bases of behaviour: the neuron, the nervous system, brain structures and functions, the endocrine system, research methods and the brain, nature versus nurture debate, evolutionary bases of behaviour, and understanding brain injury.   
  • Sensation and perception: thresholds of sensation, the human sensory systems, visual perception (depth perception, perceptual constancies, and visual illusions), Theories of perception (bottom-up, top-down, and gestalt approaches)  
  • Learning: classical, operant and observational learning theories, practical applications of learning theories. 
  • Memory: models and types of memory; encoding, storage, retrieval and forgetting; disorders and complications of memory. 
  • Language and thinking: language formation; cross cultural issues and language; problem solving strategies; decision making – heuristic versus systematic processing, application of problem solving and decision making findings in the real world. 
  • Levels of consciousness: Basics of consciousness, sleep (sleep-wake cycle, dreaming, and sleep disorders), application to altered states of consciousness (hypnosis, meditation, psychoactive drugs). 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is delivered in face-to-face mode with 3 contact hours per week: each week there will be a 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial. This mode of delivery is designed to enhance discussion and engagement in the content covered in the unit. The lectures are to aid students with the acquisition and understanding of knowledge while the tutorials are designed to enhance application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of that knowledge. The unit is also supplemented with online learning activities to provide you with guidance in understanding and application of the knowledge related to lab report writing. To assist you in your self-directed learning, other learning resources are utilised including: online quizzes and activities; online forums; and lecture recordings.  

 

This unit may also be offered on or off campus in intensive mode or multi-mode for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the School Course Implementation Committee. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, you will need to complete and submit all of the assessment tasks listed in the table below. In addition to this, you must obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% to pass the unit.  

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used including: a workbook which is designed to scaffold your understanding and application of the content of the unit; an American Psychological Association (APA) style laboratory report to demonstrate your ability to discuss and consolidate research literature to develop research hypotheses and argument, provide a description of the methodology of a study, and to interpret and discuss research findings; and an exam which provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding, consolidation and application of the content covered in the unit.


Intensive and multi-mode assessment of this unit will be transparently equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the relevant Course Implementation Committee.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Work book 

The workbook contains a variety of different types of questions which require short answers. It has been designed to scaffold your understanding and application of the content of the unit

20%

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5,  GA8, GA9

Laboratory report 

You are to submit an APA style laboratory report to demonstrate your ability to discuss and consolidate research literature to develop research hypotheses and argument, provide a description of the methodology of a study, and to interpret and discuss research findings. You are also to demonstrate your skill in locating and evaluating scholarly research and applying the APA referencing system to written work

40%

LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5,  GA8, GA9

End of Semester Exam  

The exam provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding, consolidation and application of the content covered in the unit.

40%

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

O’Shea, R. P., & Mackenzie, W. A. (2013). Writing for psychology (6th ed.). Melbourne, 

Australia: Cengage Learning. 

Weiten, W. (2012). Psychology: themes and variations (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

Bernstein, D. A. et al. (2013). Psychology: An international discipline in context. (Australian & New Zealand ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

O’Shea, R. P., & Mackenzie, W. A. (2013). Writing for psychology (6th ed.). Melbourne, 

Australia: Cengage Learning.

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