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Module

PSY1006 : Instinct, Learning and Motivation

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Caroline Allen
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts of instinct, learning and motivation.

Original Summary:
Behaviour is a product of influences from the individual’s genotype and from its environment; nature and nurture. These two influences interact in complex ways to influence behaviour throughout the individual’s lifetime. The causal path from gene to behaviour is complex but we are beginning to unravel some of this complexity. Simple learning occurs by classical and instrumental conditioning, but birds and mammals are also capable of learning that may require more complex cognitive capabilities. General laws of learning are constrained by evolutionary influences on the learning process. Motivation is concerned with the immediate causes of behaviour, both internal to the organism and from the environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Instinct
The concept of instinct.
How genes influence behaviour.
Principles of behavioural development
Learning
Non-associative learning.
Classical Conditioning
Instrumental Conditioning
Predispositions and constraints on learning.
Applications of learning principles in psychological treatments.

Motivation
Principles of motivation and approaches to motivation:
Some motivational systems: drinking; aggression; romantic love.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00This specifically relates to the coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:0075:00This is preparation for the exam: set reading, lecture note taking and practice exam questions
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are used as the principle and most effective mode of imparting the core knowledge of the module.

Some lecture materials will be interactive, providing an opportunity for testing of knowledge and problem-solving. For example, practice exam questions (with model answers) will be given alongside lecture materials as a form of formative practice. This will provide students with the opportunity to test their own knowledge as the course progresses. This will be in addition to a mock exam which students will be given at the end of the course for their own revision purposes (again with model answers).


The private study is essential for in-depth review of knowledge imparted through lectures, and requires students to use library and other information sources effectively; to work independently; to take responsibility for their own learning and intellectual development; and to practice time-management skills and effective scheduling of work-loads.

If the public health situation requires a pivot to remote learning, then teaching will be delivered remotely.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination902A80Multiple choice questions (90), unseen, present in person
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment2M20Computer simulation assignment of learning phenomenon- 7 MCQs and 2 short written question (approximately 200 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Computer Assessment 1 - Comment:
Computer simulation assignment of learning phenomenon-
Students design and run a conditioning experiment using open access software. Based on this they then submit their simulated data and then answer some MCQ’s and complete 2 short written questions (less than 200 words).

The assignment provides students with knowledge and understanding of the nature of learning processes, and of the formulation and testing of hypotheses. It also provides the opportunity to practice the following skills: problem solving; computer literacy; understanding and applying theoretical concepts; and time-management and the ability to schedule work-loads effectively. The assignment assesses the above aspects of knowledge and understanding, as well as the skills of problem solving and of understanding and applying theoretical concepts.


Rationale and Relationship of assessment methods to learning outcomes -
The examination is used to assess knowledge, independent learning and understanding of material relevant to the module. If the public health situation requires a pivot to remote assessment, then the examination will be delivered remotely.


FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Reading Lists

Timetable