Consciousness and mental health are two of many psychological constructs that can be explored by studying the relationship between the mind, brain and behaviour. In this unit students examine the nature of consciousness and how changes in levels of consciousness can affect mental processes and behaviour. They consider the role of sleep and the impact that sleep disturbances may have on a person’s functioning. Students explore the concept of a mental health continuum and apply a biopsychosocial approach, as a scientific model, to analyse mental health and disorder. They use specific phobia to illustrate how the development and management of a mental disorder can be considered as an interaction between biological, psychological and social factors. Students examine the contribution that classical and contemporary research has made to the understanding of consciousness, including sleep, and the development of an individual’s mental functioning and wellbeing.
This unit is delivered in Year 12.
Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit’s learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain consciousness as a continuum, compare theories about the purpose and nature of sleep, and elaborate on the effects of sleep disruption on a person’s functioning.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the concepts of mental health and mental illness including influences of risk and protective factors, apply a biopsychosocial approach to explain the development and management of specific phobia, and explain the psychological basis of strategies that contribute to mental wellbeing.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to mental processes and psychological functioning, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
Lecturer will provide teaching and learning materials as required in the form of VU produced workbooks.
This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.