PSYCH100-23A (HAM)

Brain, Behaviour and Cognition

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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What this paper is about

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This paper is about the experimental side of Psychology, and we hope to give you a sense of what it is like from both sides of the researcher's lab bench. You will have the opportunity to run some "classic" experiments on yourself and your classmates, and we will show you how to analyse the results and write them up in a report. You will also have the opportunity to participate in real­world research projects being conducted on some of today's psychological issues (more about that below). We will use a mixture of standard lecture formats (in class, by zoom, and recorded). Read this outline carefully and stay tuned to the Moodle page for all the latest information about this paper.

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How this paper will be taught

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There are two live lectures scheduled for most weeks of the trimester, each lasting approximately two hours. You should plan to attend both lectures each week. Most weeks these will be live presentations in Hamilton where you will hear experts in the School of Psychology tell you about psychology. We will keep these lively and entertaining, and we can answer your questions. We will also livestream the lectures in a webinar format, so you can watch in Tauranga or online. Attendance in the lecture theatres is on a first­come basis, and so if you miss out on a seat, you can watch from your computer anywhere on campus and still participate.

If you miss a lecture due to illness or unforeseen circumstances you can watch a recording of the lecture that you missed. Normally, these recordings are not available to students who miss the lectures on a regular basis (for example due to a clash with another paper) but in recognition of travel restrictions and absences associated with the COVID­19 pandemic, the University of Waikato has decided to make these recordings widely available to students through Moodle.

In the laboratories you will conduct psychology experiments on yourself and your fellow students. You will attend one 1-hour laboratory session most weeks, on campus using the university computers. We’ve got lots of lab sessions for you to choose from. We will cover this in more detail in the introduction lecture. Some of the lab times currently scheduled are shown below, but these may change during the trimester. We will also have a few laboratory sessions each week that can be attended online using the DUO app (though note this option can be challenging due to intermittent software difficulties).


Can I just watch the recordings? Well yes, but you won’t get as much out of the paper if you do. The information will just wash over you and you won’t be nearly as engaged or motivated. You also won’t be able to ask questions and get answers. Learning is interactive and fun, simply watching other people having fun can be disappointing (and there are heaps of better things on Netflix).

Is there maths? Definitely maths exists. Maths and statistics are one of the ways we describe the world around us. This paper is about experimental psychology, and experimental psychologists use statistics to help communicate what they find. We will teach you what you need to know to understand and use statistics in psychology. We’ve put together some great short videos for you to watch, and each one is followed by a short quiz. You need to complete five of these on­line over the course of the trimester. There won’t be any maths questions on the tests.

What about the tests and assessments? All of the assessment for this paper will be conducted online. The tests will be multiple choice and available on Moodle. They are “power” tests with a limited time to answer the questions. Some of you may find that you won’t have time to answer all of the questions, unless you’ve studied and learned the material. There definitely won’t be enough time for you to look up all the answers during the test. We’ve got a lot of experience doing this in a fair and equitable way. People needing special help should consult with the Accessibility Services team. There are also two written assignments, reports on the experiments we will run in laboratories. These you will submit online through TurnItIn, which checks to make sure the writing in your report is your own and not copied from somewhere else.

It looks like there is a lot to read, do we need to read it all? The answer is yes again. The chapters from the textbook are pretty short with lots of study aids in them. There are also five short online quizzes which are made up of questions from previous years’ tests. These will help you keep up with the readings and give you a sneak preview of what the test questions will be like.

Can we email you with our special questions and individual problems? Well, no­ish. We have set up some discussion forums on Moodle. If we had to answer all of the emails from 500 students, we simply would not have time for anything else. Remember the forums are like a public place, so be kind. If you have a question there’s a good chance that someone else will have the same question. Reading through the questions and answers posted in the forums is a great way to get information about the paper.

What is a typical workload for this paper? The amount of work expected of a typical student in a 15­ point paper (offered over one semester) is approximately 8-­10 hours per week. This figure is only approximate, as papers vary in their requirements and students vary in both the amount of effort required and the level of grades they wish to achieve. To do well in this paper we think you should expect to do at least three to four hours of study on your own each week (in addition to the scheduled lectures and laboratory sessions).

What is Moodle? Moodle is a web­-based online learning system used here at the University of Waikato, the login page is: PSYCH100 has its own web­page where we will post lecture notes, share important announcements, where you can ask questions, and much more. It is your responsibility to check Moodle and your emails regularly (at least twice a week), as much of the important information for PSYCH100 is disseminated in this way. If an announcement or important information is posted on Moodle, it will be assumed that all students have received this information.

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Required Readings

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Psychology – Sixth Australian and New Zealand Edition, by Lorelle Burton, Drew Westen, and Robin Kowalski, 2022.
Published by Wiley & Sons, available from Bennetts in hard copy and e-book versions.

Book information in APA referencing style: Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R. (2022). Psychology: Sixth Australian and New Zealand Edition. Milton, QLD: John Wiley and Sons

(Note: this book is used for both PSYCH100A and PSYCH101B. The Fifth edition is fine to use, though the chapter numbers are not the same)

Recommended readings

We recommend the following textbook, which covers APA referencing, report and essay writing, and other general writing guidance for psychological science.

Burton, L. (2018). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology (5th ed.). Milton, QLD: John Wiley and Sons.

It is available at Bennetts in both hard copy and e­book versions. You can get a value pack discount if you decide to buy the required and recommended books:

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Collect and analyse data relevant to psychological questions, and draw appropriate inferences from the data.
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  • Communicate knowledge in concise and interesting reports.
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  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the important research topics in psychology and the relationships between them.
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  • Experience and appreciate psychological research, as both a researcher and as a participant.
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  • Understand, and be able to use, the concepts and language of experimental psychology.
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How you will be assessed

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You will be assessed in multiple ways for PSYCH100: Tests, Laboratory reports, and Quizzes. None of these are compulsory, but together (along with your research participation ­­ see below) they add up to 100% of your marks.

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Mid-term test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Final Test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Laboratory reports
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Lecture quizzes
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Analysis quizzes
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Research participation
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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