Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.

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Assessment Brief

Module name: Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology  

Module code: 7PS544

Trimester: T1 - Autumn - 2021

Module leader:

Email:

7PS544 Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this assessment and this module, you will have demonstrated your ability to:

  1. critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.
  2. design, conduct, and evaluate empirical research that advances contemporary understanding of human cognition and mental processes.
  3. review, critically evaluate, and synthesise published research in cognitive and biological psychology

CW1

0%

You must pass this element for CW2 progression

Form template provided.

Ethical requirement

CW2

50%

Empirical report- 2,000 words (excluding title, abstract [max 150 words for abstract], reference list and appendices)

1 & 2

CW3

50%

Literature review- 2,000 words (excluding reference list)

1 & 3

Submission date/time: 

Provisional feedback released:

Coursework 1 (ethics form): 22nd October (Week 4), 23:59 pm UK time

 

~5 working days later

Coursework 2: 7th December 2021, 23:59 pm, UK time

Monday 10th of January

Coursework 3: 9th December 2021, 23:59 pm, UK time

Monday 10th of January

Submission Method and Marking

Please submit your work via Turnitin via Blackboard.

Submissions in Turnitin and Blackboard 

You must submit your work using your student number to identify yourself, not your name. You must not use your name in the text of the work at any point. When you submit your work in Turnitin you must submit your student number within the assignment document and in the Submission title field in Turnitin. 
 

Description of Assessment: 7PS544 Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology

This module has two components (Practical Assessment including ethics form, and Literature Review Assessment):

In coursework one and two, you will be addressing the practical component of this module. The aim is to design, conduct, and evaluate empirical research that advances contemporary understanding of human cognition and mental processes and critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology. The practical is to be completed as group work, first completing an ethics form together (CW1) the write-up element is to be completed independently (CW2). Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.This is an applied assessment meaning that you will be applying what you learn practically. 

The module learning outcome one will be assessed through the completion of CW2, which is a 2,000-word research report.

Coursework 1

Summary of Assessment Method: Practical (Ethics Form component)

Weighting:  0% This is a pass requirement

Coursework 2

Summary of Assessment Method: Practical

Weighting:  50%

Assesses: Learning outcomes 

  1. critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.
  2. design, conduct, and evaluate empirical research that advances contemporary understanding of human cognition and mental processes.

Content and detailed guidance

For the practical you will design, conduct, analyse the data of, and report on an experiment that addresses a research question relating to one of the following topics:

  • Perception: The Glasgow Face Recognition Test provided template is to be used as a starting point
  • Consciousness and Attention: A Spatial Stroop/Simon provided template is to be used as a starting point
  • Learning and Memory: The Digit Span Task provided template is to be used as a starting point

The practical is to be completed as group work. Your module tutor will assign you to a group at the start of the module and you should aim to engage with your group before the end of week 1. This module requires regular engagement with your group. Your group will comprise of around 6 members, but this group work can be successfully achieved by as few as two students. Your module tutor will create a discussion forum for each group, within which you should aim to converse with the rest of your group and contact your module tutor. We strongly advise you to use these forums for in-group communication as module tutor cannot mediate or intervene with potential problems if you were to use external social media platforms. In the course resources tab for Coursework 1 you will find a Group Contract. Ensure that everyone in your working group has read and agreed to it – and indicate this by placing your name upon it. Once completed by all members of your group, one of your group should e-mail this to your discussion board tutor. The purpose of the Group Contract is to establish ground rules within your group (e.g., expectations of respect, communication, and teamwork) moving forward within the module.

You will discuss or confirm your choice of topic with your module tutor via the group’s assessment thread.

Research Question and Experimental Design

To address the research question, your group should read existing literature around your chosen paradigm. You should aim to extend that experiment in some manner (e.g., testing different groups, comparing high and low scorers on different scales). Please note that you cannot do a straightforward replication of previous work and the reasons underpinning your proposed extensions should be literature driven (e.g., rationale needs to be provided as to why you would expect your groups to behave differently).

The experimental design must consist of two independent variables and one dependent variable. You should only consider a 2x2 ANOVA design. Please do not consider anything more (or less) elaborate. This can be either an independent, repeated, or mixed design. You should select the most appropriate design for your experiment.

Ethics

When thinking about the design and when conducting the study you must ensure that you follow the ethical guidelines as laid out by the British Psychological Study (BPS, 2014). Please click on this link to read more about the BPS guidelines. Please refer to the ethics considerations document. This can be found in the assessment section of blackboard. In the same section you will also find a blank ethics form for the group to complete, an example template for correspondence with potential participants, participant information sheet, consent form, and debrief form.

In order to submit the ethics form one member of the group should submit the ethics form to the relevant folder in Turnitin. Your ethics form should also include a copy of the stimuli, template for correspondence with potential participants, participant information sheet, consent form, and debrief form. Please notify your module tutor once you have submitted the ethics form to the relevant Turnitin folder.

If the group’s ethics form is not approved during this first submission the group will be provided with further opportunities to resubmit the ethics form. If resubmission is necessary, further details on this will be provided by your module tutor when providing feedback on the ethics form. Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.

Please note that you can only begin to carry out your study once the study has been approved by your module tutor. If either the ethics form has not been approved, ethical guidelines have not been followed, or an ethics form has not been submitted, the assessment will be awarded a grade of 2 (a failing grade). Ethics applications that have received a grade of 1 have received ethical clearance and can begin to recruit participants and start data collection. 

Group Work

The group will work together on developing the idea for the study, completing the ethics form (and any required resubmissions of the ethics form), and collecting data.

Individual Work

Individually you will then analyse the results and write up a research report (further details on this below). Each member of the group should work on these components individually and separately to other students.

Participants

You should aim to achieve a sample size of 32 – 40 participants in total. The minimum number of participants the group should aim to recruit is 32 participants. Please also keep in mind that you should aim for an equal number of participants in each condition. Participants can be recruited from friends, family, or from the course. For example, you can contact potential participants from the course using the discussion board on blackboard (of which, the module leader will set up a specific thread for students to share and take part in studies). Social media sites such as Facebook can be used to contact participants on closed groups related to the course. Family and friends can be contacted in person or via e-mail. If there are any issues with recruiting participants, please discuss this with your module tutor. You should aim to make your recruitment methods achievable within the timeframe of the module.

Important note- We want to ensure that the group work experience is collaborative and engaging for everyone. If unfortunately, a member of the group does not contribute, in the interest of fairness to others who have worked on the ethics, we will remove non-engagers and non-engagers may be subject to a cancellation fee.

7PS544 Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology

Coursework 2: Practical Report

The report should be structured into sections:

Title:

  • Is it clear what the investigation was about?
  • Are the IVs and DVs mentioned?
  • Is the length reasonable?
  • Is the background briefly reviewed?
  • Are the methods summarised?
  • Are results stated in words?
  • Are conclusions briefly stated?
  • Can the abstract be clearly understood?
  • Is the abstract succinct?
    • Is there a logical structure, outlining a broad area then focusing on a precise topic?
    • Is there a clear argument for why the topic has been studied and why it is interesting?
    • Is there sufficient relevant background material?
    • Are relevant contemporary and classic sources discussed?
      • Is there critical analysis and evaluation of previous research in the area (i.e., theories, models or theoretical frameworks; empirical evidence; methods used in previous research)?
      • Is there a clear rationale for the study and methods?
        • Is there a sound justification of the factors chosen for the design of the study, and of the measure/s (DV/s)?
        • Are the hypotheses well justified by the background material?
        • Are the hypotheses specific and testable, and clearly stated?
          • Is the design appropriate to investigate the hypotheses?
          • Is the type of design described completely and accurately?
          • Are any independent variables described clearly?
          • Are dependent variables and their measurement described clearly?
          • Were potential confounding variables considered?

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

METHODS

Design

Participants

  • Are participants described sufficiently?
  • Are inclusion and exclusion criteria clear and appropriate?
  • Are participant recruitment/sampling methods explained?
  • How many participants took part?
  • Are relevant attributes of this sample described?
  • Are methods of selection appropriate?
  • Does the description allow easy replication?
  • Are participant instructions and debriefing fully described?
  • Are ethical aspects of the procedure described and appropriate?
    • Has enough detail been given to allow replication?
    • Has the source or development of instruments and stimuli (items) been detailed?
    • Have example items been given in this section and has the reader been directed to the full set of items/materials in the appendices?
    • Is a clear strategy set out for the data analysis?
    • Is there an explanation of how the data analysis strategy relates to the hypotheses?
    • Does the data analysis strategy fit with the hypotheses/research questions/study aims?
    • Are appropriate descriptive/summary statistics given?
    • Were tables/graphs used effectively to summarise results?
    • Does the table/graph provide an appropriate indication of the mean results and a measure of variance (where relevant)? Is the table/graph referred to appropriately in the text?
    • Are results clearly and completely summarised in words?
    • If graphs and tables are used, are they appropriate and informative?
    • Are analytical (inferential) statistics appropriate to the design, hypotheses, and scales of measurement?
    • Are the results of analytical statistics fully and correctly reported?
    • Are the findings clearly described, but not interpreted?

Procedure

Materials and/or Apparatus

Analytic strategy

RESULTS

DISCUSSION

  • Does this section begin by summarising what the study did and what it found (without including numerical values)?
  • Are the results discussed in terms of the background material presented in the introduction?
  • Is there an attempt to interpret and explain the current findings with respect to previous studies and theories or models?
  • Is there a discussion of what the present study adds to our understanding of the chosen topic?
  • Are the strengths and limitations of the study discussed and evaluated?
  • Are there specific and well justified suggestions for further research?
  • Is there a discussion of the wider or applied potential impact of the present study?
  • Does the report end with a summing up of the general conclusions? Do these conclusions follow from the preceding discussion (they should not add anything new)?

REFERENCES

  • Are all references that were cited in the text also included in the Reference List?
  • Does the Reference List only include cited works?
  • Are references correctly formatted?

APPENDIX

  • Insert your SPSS output here

For further information about what to include in each section of the research report please read the report writing guide and refer to the associated video in the assessment folder.

As an important aim for doing the experiment is to consolidate your knowledge of cognitive psychology, only relatively short method and results sections are expected. Accordingly, the grading criteria outlined later in the assessment brief emphasise the quality of your introduction and discussion sections.

EEC

If you have applied for and have been granted an EEC please discuss the assessment with your module tutor.

Description of Assessment

7PS544 Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology

Coursework 3

In coursework three, you will be completing a literature review. You will synthesize findings across three papers  and evaluate how each article (and method) contributes to our overall understanding of the research question as a whole.  The aim is to review, critically evaluate, and synthesise published research in cognitive and biological psychology and critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology. The module learning outcome two will be assessed through the completion CW3, which is a 2,000-word essay.

Summary of Assessment Method:  Literature review

Weighting:  50 %

Assesses Learning Outcomes: 

  1. critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.
  2. review, critically evaluate, and synthesise published research in cognitive and biological psychology.

Content and detailed guidance

You will need to devise a research question relevant to one of the topics below:

• Communication

• Addictive behaviours

• Emotion and stress

• Intelligence and thought

The research question that you choose should have been explored using a range of different quantitative research methods (e.g., electrophysiological measures, neurophysiological measures, and behavioural measures). No articles should use Qualitative research. You will need to perform a search for relevant articles that have sought to address the research question that you devise. You will be guided through the process via both the content within the units (especially units 2, 3, and 4 where examples of this task are given) and end of unit activities. Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.

Based on the articles you find during the search you will need to select three original research studies (not review papers or meta-analyses). Each article should use a different research method to help answer your research question. For each paper you should provide a critical review. Specifically, you should:

• explain the key features of the study

• discuss its implications

• evaluate the methods used

You should then synthesise the findings across the three papers and evaluate how each article (and method) contributes to our overall understanding of the research question as a whole. The more successful literature reviews will be those which explain how different research methods (e.g., EEG and MRI) relate to one another and contribute to the overall understanding of the research question. 

EEC

If you have applied for and have been granted an EEC please discuss the assessment with your module tutor.

Assessment Rubric

Your work will be marked based on the rubric below.

Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across multiple approaches in cognitive and biological psychology.

7PS544 Biological and Cognitive Approaches in Psychology


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