The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code

PSYC3301

Units

10 units

Level

3000 level

Course handbook

Description

Psychologists have long abandoned the idea that our perceptions are simply an internal picture of the world. But there is no consensus on how the mind interprets the world. This course examines evidence for and against various theories of perception, addressing the question of how perception is organised. It links research on perceptual phenomena, research on pathways in the brain, and neuropsychology case studies, allowing students to see the importance of a relevant understanding of perceptual processes for both the psychology discipline and professional practice. Reading and language disorders are examined from both a clinical and a research perspective. The course also considers the other historically dominant field in psychology: learning. From Thorndike’s, Skinner’s and Pavlov's early work through to cognitive explanations of learning, we again focus on the experiments and theories that underpin our understanding of how humans learn. The course’s coverage of associative learning provides a core foundation for further study in applications of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Related courses: PSYC2300 and PSYC2400

This course forms part of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council's accredited sequence.


Availability

Ourimbah

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Callaghan

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Integrate evidence from perception research and neurological case studies to evaluate theories of the construction of our perceptions.

2. Integrate evidence from language research and language disorders to understand human language.

3. Explain the empirical and theoretical issues in the contemporary study of associative learning.

4. Explain the importance of associative learning for the aetiology of clinical/treatment procedures.

5. Explain how the principles of learning are researched by working with theories through hypothesis generation and empirical testing.


Content

  • Contemporary theories of perception and learning and how these theories may be used in applied and clinical situations
  • How information that is processed in different brain regions is brought together for our unified perceptual experience
  • Examining perceptual neuropsychology case studies allows us to better understand the function of our perceptual systems
  • Human language perception and production systems
  • How language dysfunctions and disorders facilitate our understanding of human language
  • Methodologies used to test theories of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning.
  • Historical background of theories of learning and perception

Assumed knowledge

Students considering enrolling in this 3000 level course should have successfully completed all the first year units and at least half the second year units of the degree program in which they are enrolled, in order to have sufficient knowledge, understanding and generic skills.


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written report(s)

Quiz: Online Quiz

Formal Examination: Formal Examination


Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Laboratory

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks

See course outline for lab schedule

Lecture

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