What you will study
Investigating psychology 1 introduces the diversity and breadth of approaches in the discipline of psychology and the many different ways psychologists study the human mind and behaviour. The module is organised into three parts with an introductory four-week block.
In the introduction, you'll learn about the topic of intelligence, and the various successes and failures in the attempt by psychologists to measure and assess human intellectual functioning. Using research on intelligence as an example this opening block introduces the main themes of the module and sets the scene for the rest of your study.
Part 1 explores why people harm others. Using this as an example, you’ll look at how human behaviour may be influenced by personality and situational factors, and the ways in which learning also plays a role.
Part 2 focuses on what determines human behaviour more widely, including the role of evolution and the importance of social relations. What makes people change their behaviour? What is the basis of a child’s attachment to caregivers? How important is friendship, especially in childhood? These are just some of the intriguing questions answered in this part.
Part 3 centres on a key question in psychology – how can we study psychological processes that cannot be directly observed, such as language, attention or memory?
Throughout the module you'll learn about a variety of different research methods used by psychologists, and you will have an opportunity to conduct a psychological study of your own.
Supporting study materials
The module is built around two textbooks, Investigating Psychology and Investigating Methods, and a website containing activities and audio-visual material that will form part of your core study time. There is also a booklet, Investigating Intelligence, which you will engage with in the first four weeks of the module. Throughout the module, you will be provided with an online study guide.
The online material will extend your understanding of the topics and issues discussed in the books in a number of ways, for example:
- the audio-visual material picks up on specific questions addressed in each chapter
- the interactive exercises will develop your understanding of the research methods used in psychology and will help you consolidate your understanding of key psychological concepts
- the online activities will help you develop the skills needed for your own learning.
The website also provides resources on how psychology is used in a range of workplaces and careers.
You will learn
You will learn about:
- some of the topics that psychologists investigate
- how the research process develops from asking questions, through collecting evidence to evaluating the findings.
You will develop skills in:
- accessing and interpreting information
- constructing arguments
- presenting and communicating information
- managing your time effectively.
You will also have the opportunity to reflect on how these skills could be applied to a variety of different settings.