This unit uses the examination of key historical and at times controversial psychology research studies to help develop students' academic skills and foundational research knowledge. Students will be provided with opportunities to develop their skills in searching for research papers, reviewing the methods employed in research studies, and discussing the implications and applications of psychological research. The review of key studies in psychology will also foster students' understanding of how psychological research has evolved and the contributions psychological research and practice has made to our understanding of human behaviour and mental processes.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Locate relevant psychology academic studies and other material through online search and use these studies in preparing essays and presentations;  
  2. Work collaboratively in preparing and presenting (to a group of fellow students) evidence-based and relevant material about a key historical psychological study and its legacy, making use of contemporary technology;  
  3. Evaluate how psychologists design studies to explore particular questions; and  
  4. Review key studies that have shaped both the discipline and profession of psychology and discuss how they have had an impact on subsequent developments in understanding human behaviour.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Essay Essay based on one of the studies in the required text (1200 words) 30%
Journal Responses to short answer questions based on required class readings (3 x 500 words) 40%
Presentation Group project and presentation involving research of an historical psychological study and its impact on the discipline (600 words) 30%

Required reading

Forty studies that changed psychology, 7th ed.
Hock, R., (2015)
New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

How to Write Psychology Research Reports and Essays 8th ed.
Findlay, B. & Kaufmann, I. (2019)
Melbourne, VIC: Pearson

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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