The skills needed to understand the state of contemporary research on a topic are important for psychology graduates to acquire. These skills involve engaging critically and deeply with the primary research literature - that is, the journal articles that report on advances in knowledge. In this unit of study, for a particular topic in psychology, you will analyse multiple articles, evaluating their credibility and gaining insights into their specific implications. By then synthesizing multiple pieces of research for a particular topic, you will arrive at a picture of what we know, and what our best theories are. This process will be facilitated via class discussion of research articles, including in the context of a presentation you will make regarding one or more articles. Writing an essay on some aspect of the issues discussed will further develop your analysis and synthesis skills. The topic of these assessments will be different from that of your empirical honours thesis, but the analysis and synthesis skills development will be useful for thesis writing as well as for inquiry in other domains.
lecture/discussion 2 hrs/week
weekly papers (10%), presentation (25%), essay (65%)
This unit and PSYC4123 must be taken by all Psychology Honours students, in their first semester, except those who take Advanced Theoretical Psychology (PSYC4107 and PSYC4108) instead.
Students should have sound knowledge of the main areas of psychological science as well as training in empirical research methods and statistics, and should be able to apply this knowledge to critically evaluate psychological research