Last week was working on an essay for my psychology course and this week it was back to the books to start preparing for the assignment after that which involves qualitative research and thematic analysis. It was a pretty broad overview of qualitative research and nothing really to fire me up, maybe it will get more exciting once they get into more detail.
The final chapter of book 1 of the psychology course and this was the week that had me rolling my eyes the most as we looked at psychoanalysis and humanistic psychology. I’d a hard science sort of a person, so this aspect of psychology with all of the associated subjectivity and fuzziness is not for me, especially since it involved Freud (who I thought had been thoroughly debunked). Dream interpretations, self-actualization and encounter groups. I’ve read my fair share of self-help books but can’t take most of this stuff seriously. I’ll study it all in case it comes up in the exam, but this level of subjectivity makes the empiricist in me shudder.
A bonus chapter on consciousness which isn’t being examined but is just provided for fun, and that’s my kind of fun.
Only three of us at last night’s psychology tutorial (but a full complement of Alices), but we were still pushing kicking out time at the end. A review of the memory chapter that we were due to study this week and a look ahead to the next TMA, which is always helpful in terms of interpreting the question and what not to include, and how to include what should be there. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours of an evening.
Memory on this week’s schedule for my psychology course with lots of interesting looks at brain structures (such as London cab drivers having enlarged posterior hippocampal areas, and various impairments relating to damage), as well as cognitive processes and strategies for improving memory. Just a smidgeon to late there was an entire section on how to study effectively in order to recall information later (such as in an exam). A few more psychology books added to my wishlist as a result, including the work of Alexander Luria on S.V. Shereshevskii.
All up to date now with my studies, just in time for a tutorial on Thursday.
I’m currently a week behind what with the philosophy exam last week, but the exam means that I have now dropped back down to part time studenting so I can catch up on a lost week much more easily.
This week was a look at social psychology and look at various biases that result from using schema, and issues with attribution of causes to effects such as fundamental attribution errors, the actor/observer effect and self-serving bias, all of which means that our judgement isn’t as rational as we might think it is.
Good stuff, week 18 tomorrow.
My psychology tutor seems to have a remarkably fast turnaround on our assignments. TMA03 (a report on a Stroop-related psychology experiment that I undertook whist at Bungay) was only due on Wednesday, but I got my mark back this morning and it wasn’t due until two weeks after submission. Handy though, as there’s a tutorial on Thursday. I was a little worried about how I’d do on this assignment as I hadn’t been able to devote as much time to it as I would have liked since I was revising for my philosophy exam, but the rigid structure of the presentation may have helped me get to a very nice 89 thank you very much.
I did make a stupid mistake on the type of design, but luckily it only cost me the one mark. Roll on being able to focus 100% on psychology.
The second TMA for my psychology course came back just in time for Bungay and a good mark with a 74 (a slight dip from the last one). I need to work with being a bit more explicit about relating back to the essay question with my arguments (yawn, I give my reader too much credit), but I’m getting used to APA as a referencing format and need apparently to re-reference with each paragraph (which is new to me).
All stuff to try and bear in mind for TMA04 as the next assignment is a report which has a defined format rather than an essay.
Another week looking at the statistical tests used in psychology, when to use them and why, this time focusing on inferential statistics. It was t-tests, Pearson coefficients and Cramer’s V all the way, with some playing around in SPSS to try it out. Next up it’s the TMA which involves running a little experiment, fiddling around in SPSS with the data, and writing it up as a report. A massive project which I’m going to have to try and fit in around a holiday and studying for an exam (the deadline for the TMA is during my exam).
A fourth tutorial already for my psychology course, and we’ve only done two assignments (out of six). This week we were looking at some statistics (what we use and why) as well as experimental design and looking forwards towards the next TMA. This will be a report on some experimental data. Data for 16 people will be provided and we have to provide the data for another 4. It involves a variation on the Stroop effect (the delay in identifying the colour of ink a colour-word is written in when it is contrasting, e.g. the word ‘red’ written in blue ink) which is unfortunate as I think all of my potential participants at Bungay Balls Up will be aware of it and so would mess up my results. I may have to co-opt children who may not be aware, or try the lovely people at Ashton Court parkrun.
I’m still managing to keep a week ahead to give myself as much time and space to prepare for my other course’s exam, and this week was heavily stats based. Sampling errors, confidence intervals, one-tailed vs two-tailed hypotheses, null hypothesis, and the p-value. A little bit of playing with SPSS to generate some error bar charts and look at confidence intervals.
I also got to submit the second TMA which has been sitting around for a few weeks awaiting the deadline, after a quick polish.