Course Title: Philosophy and Methodology of Psychology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Philosophy and Methodology of Psychology

Credit Points: 12.00


Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

BESC1437

City Campus

Undergraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

BESC1437

City Campus

Undergraduate

173H School of Health and Biomed

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2017

BESC1438

Bundoora Campus

Undergraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

BESC1439

Bundoora Campus

Postgraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2014

BESC1440

City Campus

Postgraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: James Collett

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2750

Course Coordinator Email: james.collett@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 06.05.009


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)

 

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to:

www.rmit.edu.au/students/enrolment/credit/he

 


Course Description

During your participation in this course you will consider three main areas: the history and philosophy of psychology, research and professional ethics, and special topics in research methods. The main historical and philosophical influences in psychology will be traced, as well as more recent trends in thinking. Broader issues in the history and philosophy of science will be examined in this context. The research methods component will cover principles of experimental, correlational and quasi-experimental design, as well as construct validation. Specialised analytical techniques will include multiple regression, factor analysis and scale reliability, advanced ANOVA and non-parametric procedures. The methodological and research design concepts will be taught in concert with the practical skills involved in analysing data using the SPSS data analysis package. This course is a 3rd year course in BP154 Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) that forms part of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) approved psychology major.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP154 Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology):

  • PLO 1:  Understand appropriate and relevant fundamental and applied evidence based knowledge and undertake lifelong learning to improve personal and professional practice 
  • PLO 2: Demonstrate a capacity to employ a variety of approaches and procedures to research to permit judgements and decisions to be supported by appropriate evidence that places practice within a global and local context.
  • PLO 3:  Applies knowledge to diagnose and solve problems in a wide range of diverse situations, with an ability to work independently or with others and incorporate the analysis of evidence based scientific literature to solve psychological problems.
  • PLO 4: Engage in dialogue with a diverse range of people and communicate in a broad range of forms (written, electronic, graphic, oral) to meet the circumstances of the situation and the capabilities of the audience.
  • PLO 5: Maintains tolerance and respect for individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds, holding diverse values, adhering to professional expectations and demonstrating ethical behaviour.


At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Describe the historical roots of modern psychology and identify the main influences.
  2. Identify and elaborate several important philosophical principles underlying psychological research and theory.
  3. Discuss the main ethical issues and dilemmas that face modern researchers and practitioners of psychology.
  4. Review the guiding principles of psychological research as a scientific discipline
  5. Explain the main research designs used in psychology and apply a range of data analysis techniques using SPSS.


Overview of Learning Activities

The focus of this course is problem-based learning. Lectures will present you with the theories and concepts underlying the methodological, theoretical, historical and philosophical issues. The lectures will also provide you with practical demonstrations of how to run various data analysis techniques. Some of your tutorials will involve work in computer labs, where you will have access to the SPSS data analysis package.  Some computer work is also expected during non-contact hours in self-directed learning activities.  Other tutorial classes will have a seminar format where you will have the opportunity to discuss a range of issues related to ethical, philosophical and historical interest.

The assessment associated with this course will comprise a formative and summative elements. It is offered in three parts:  (i) an essay on the history and philosophy of psychology (or cognate topic), (ii) a data analysis assignment, and (iii) an examination. Your diagnostic and formative assessment will take the form of participation in a “debate” series as both a debater and an audience member. Along with this task you will be expected to examine some key issues in the design and implementation of psychological research, gain an appreciation of how multivariate techniques can be used to answer research questions, run some of these statistical analyses using the SPSS/PASW package, and present and interpret these results.

Assessment completed in the first half of the semester will provide feedback on your progress. Ongoing feedback on your skills will be provided from peers and staff.

 

Teacher Guided Hours: 48 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 72  per semester


Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. You will be expected to access a range of data analysis textbooks, web-based resources and primary journal articles using on-line and other sources. Material chosen may be digitally available to you. Lecture material will be delivered via Lectopia, Discussion Board interaction and Blackboard Collaborate workshops. Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways, including simulated learning activities. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A Library Subject Guide is available at http://rmit.libguides.com/psychology.


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

 

Early Assessment Task: Debate series;

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, & 4. 

Assessment Task 2: Data analysis exercise;

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 4 & 5.  

Assessment Task 3: Tests (2 tests each worth 20%)

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLO1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Note: Postgraduates are expected to demonstrate advanced conceptual knowledge and application in written responses as specified in assessment rubrics.