PSYC1101 Psychology 1a – Semester 1

(if you do this topic, you can then also do PSYC1102 in semester 2)

This topic is the first module of First Year Psychology, necessary to complete a major sequence in Psychology. Psychology is the empirical study of human behaviour. The range of behaviour examined by psychologists includes both internal (mental events, emotions) and external (actions) activities. This topic will introduce students to several key areas of psychology. These may include areas of developmental, physiology and social psychology. The major aspects of human activity relevant to these areas, and the processes that produce individual characteristics, will be examined.

The learning objectives of the topic are to have students develop knowledge of facts and theories about the aspects of behaviour selected for study and knowledge of basic features of behavioural research.


PSYC1107 The Psychology of Weird and Wonderful Ideas – Semester 2

This topic gives students an opportunity to explore some interesting facts, some surprising claims and some just plain wrong ideas about human behaviour and experience. Everywhere we look, we can find advice about why people behave the way they do, and how we can fix their problems. There are lots of beliefs about these issues, such as immunisation causes Autism, hypnosis can help people to quit smoking, subliminal advertising affects what we buy, the planets affect how we feel, detox will make us healthier and happier, and we can tell if someone is lying by observing their facial movements. Should we simply accept these kinds of ideas as being true? This topic is about how we interpret claims and information, and how we can go about finding valid answers to questions. Using examples that range from the weird to the wonderful, the topic will show how good reasoning and methods of inquiry can help us make better decisions in our personal lives and in our professional lives, almost no matter what we do. The focus is on real-life applications of psychology, and includes an analysis of everyday sources of information such as TV, websites or product labels. The topic will enable students to discover more about how they themselves think, enhance their confidence and strategies for evaluating information, and hone their appreciation of how evidence can guide our conclusions in a variety of contexts. Although the topic draws on principles of psychological science, students do not need any formal knowledge of science or scientific terms.


PSYC1108 The Psychology of Surviving and Thrivingonline/distance only

This topic will focus on evidence-based strategies that increase resilience and the successful achievement of academic, personal, and professional goals. The rationale for this topic is that resilience and achievement skills constitute a type of graduate capability that should not only help you survive the stressors of university life, but also help you thrive in all aspects of your personal and professional lives at university and beyond. The topic will focus on developing knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to this rationale. The topic will emphasize real-life applications of psychology, such as the capacity to self-reflect (e.g., understanding when new material has or has not been sufficiently learned) and the development of skills to minimize dysfunctional stress. Although the topic draws on principles of psychological science, students do not need any formal knowledge of science or scientific terms.

(See article by Tim Williams, Education Reporter, on page 3 of The Advertiser, October 21st, 2015 ‘Uni bids to end perfect storm’).