Cognition, Behaviour and Performance (Masters in Psychology Module)

For this part of the assessment, you will write a 2,000 word essay evaluating a task-based scenario of your choosing. Based upon the learning materials in this module, and your independent reading, you must consider the psychological theory underpinning the performance of your chosen everyday task.
Select one of the tasks from the four choices below:

• Examining a slide from a cervical smear test
• Using a community based defibrillator
• Solving a mental arithmetic problem
• Operating a vending machine (I would prefer to use this one)

When choosing your task, it is a good idea to consider the various sections of the module and plan how each of the topics covered apply to the task you have chosen. That said, you do not have to cover each topic – a smaller range is sufficient. For example, you might choose the task of solving an arithmetic problem (e.g., ‘467 x 765 = ’). When considering the psychological constructs that underpin this task, you would need to discuss theory and research in areas such as attention, memory (short-term and long term), problem solving and (possibly) decision making.

It will be useful to analyse the task and to break it up into its components. Identify key elements and problem areas – this helps with the structure of the essay and then to place the task in a psychological context. In order to break the task down into its constituent parts, a task analysis is a good place to start.

The key to success is to remember that you must position your task within the psychological literature, that is, show how psychological concepts impact on performance of the task. However, it is not sufficient to be descriptive; you must critically evaluate the psychological ideas and concepts that you write about. The task you have chosen is simply a tool to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts that were covered both in the learning materials and in your independent study. Do not let the task dominate what should essentially be a psychology essay.
A guideline to what is expected from the paper.
Indicative Grading Criteria

Your work should provide an explicit and original answer to the question set.
Your work should show excellent understanding of psychological theory as applied to the task described.
Your work should show a high level of critical appraisal that is primarily argument driven. You should successfully analyse the task into its constituent parts and systematically, consistently, and effectively elaborate the component tasks based on psychological theories and concepts.
Your work should show evidence of exceptional background research based primarily on primary sources (i.e. the original research article).
Your work should show coherence, clarity of ideas and logic. Style of presentation should be appropriate with only trivial weaknesses in presentation.
Your work should use proper citations and references should also be included in APA style at the end of the essay.

 
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