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HPS121 - Introduction to Psychology B

Unit details

Note: You are seeing the 2012 view of this unit information. These details may no longer be current. [Go to the current version]
Enrolment modes:(B, G, W, X)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Unit chair:

H Bereznicki (G)

Trimester 3 2012: B Wilkie (B)

Contact hours:

On campus students: 2 hours (1 x 1 hour seminar, 1 x 1 hour tutorial or equivalent) per week


Online teaching methods require internet access. Please refer to the most current computer specifications.


The central theme of this unit relates to how individuals develop and manifest the 'higher order' characteristics that allow the 'human animal' to function in a complex and ever-changing world. We begin by focussing on the theories and empirical research associated with understanding how and why we each develop the particular combination of psychological traits that make up our own individual personalities.


The unit then presents a brief module covering the basic concepts of statistical reasoning as a foundation for further study in psychology. The fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics are outlined in order to give students a clear understanding of the context of their use as well as basic skills in simple statistical calculation and interpretation.


Various aspects of subjective wellbeing will be reviewed, with focus on current theory and research. This is followed by an overview of the nature and causes of distortions in personality (i.e. psychological disorders). The contributions that the various theoretical perspectives make towards delivering treatments for psychological disorders is presented and evaluated. Subsequently, interpersonal behaviour is examined from the perspectives of the individual and the group. The origins and impact of factors such as attitudes, beliefs, conformity, independence, prejudice and discrimination and social influence are considered. We will examine the impact of culture on people, disorders and treatment, and what this means for the psychological profession. This will be followed by an exploration of the theories of crime and the impact of these on the justice system. The most appropriate and informative research programs that have been (or could be) implemented to investigate these issues are discussed throughout. We then review various aspects of subjective wellbeing with focus on current theory and research.


Although HPS121 is designed to build upon the themes covered in HPS111, the unit has been constructed so that students may do the two units in either order, or do either unit on its own.


Examination (2 hours) 50%, written assignment and other work 50%

Prescribed texts

Gazzaniga, M., Heatherton, T., & Halpern, D. (2009). Psychological Science (3rd ed.). New York:  Norton & Co.


Lewandowski, G. W. (2009). Psychological Science: Study Guide (3rd ed.) New York: Norton & Co


Burton, L. (2009). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in Psychology (3rd ed.). Milton Qld: Wily & Sons.


*Please note that the prescribed texts are available in package form from campus bookshops.

Unit Fee Information

Student Contribution Rate*Student Contribution Rate**Student Contribution Rate***Fee rate - Domestic Students Fee rate - International students

* Student contribution rate for Commonwealth Supported students who commenced studies from 2010
** Student contribution rate for Commonwealth Supported students who commenced studies from 2009
*** Student contribution rate for Commonwealth Supported students who commenced studies from 2008
Please note: Unit fees listed do not apply to Deakin Prime students.

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