Critical Issues and Controversies in Psychology

Course code PSYC4100
Available in 2017
2017 Course Timetables


Psychology as a science has been marked by periods of intense debate regarding key issues. While some issues continue to be debated (e.g. Nature/Nurture), others have generally reached some workable consensus (e.g. localization of function). This course examines a number of the pivotal historical periods in psychological science in the 20th century.

This course forms part of an Australian Psychological Society accredited sequence.



  • Semester 1 - 2017


  • Semester 1 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Have gained knowledge in the historical critical issues of psychology and an appreciation of the theoretical nature of the discipline;

2. Have further developed their ability to search for relevant and suitable reading material;

3. Be able to interpret this material;

4. Have further developed their ability to critically evaluate the material;

5. Be able to verbally present information in an interesting and comprehensible manner with appropriate interpretation and evaluation;

6. Be able to present information in written format in an interesting and comprehensible manner with appropriate interpretation and evaluation.


Topics will include behaviourism, cognitivism, reductionism and other main paradigms in the discipline of psychology.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the BPsychology (Honours), BArts(Hons), BArts(Psychology), BScience(Hons), BSocScience(Hons) and Graduate Diploma in Psychology.

Assumed Knowledge

Students enrolling in Psychology 4000 level courses should have successfully completed all 240 units of the BPsychology program at the 1000-3000 levels or an APS accredited sequence in Psychology (yrs 1-3)

Assessment Items

Presentation: Examination Small group oral presentation

Written Assignment: Written summary of your presentation argument

Written Assignment: Written assessment of another student¿s argument summary

Formal Examination: Final exam based on lectures, debates, discussions and readings

Contact Hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

May include seminars and workshop sessions