DXR222 Exploring Psychology Project: Day 7

As usual with the final day there was lot of packing going on before breakfast.

The first task was to organise a group presentation of our results which went surprisingly well as indeed did the ur presentation to three other groups. Breaking the presentations into smaller units made for a much more satisfying pace to the morning.

The final presentation by the tutors was a mix of the serious and the comical. It was a little sad too as this was the final presentation of the module after what has been decades for some of the he tutors.

After that it was time for farewells before we went our separate ways. In my case it’s a very long drawn out trip that’ll take getting on for ten hours due mainly to a lot of sitting around between legs of the journey.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

DXR222 Exploring Psychology Project: Day 6

The final working day was a rather busy and stressful one. We spent the first hour assembling a list of newspaper articles for our thematic analysis but also had to “volunteer” an hour each to be participants in the experiments other groups were conducting (seemingly mainly on variations of memory).

With overlapping volunteering, our momentum was lost to an extent and it seemed to take quite long to get our first order coding done (although it was based on nearly 60 pages of articles) and we didn’t really get into 2nd order coding until well after lunch with sorting themes out running into the evening.

In the midst of that we had the tutorial on the report that we’ve to write for the course.

The schizophrenic lecture was fascinating and the only downside is that we only had the abbreviated version (it used to run well over two hours) but we have a video on it to look forward to later.

Finally there was the final performance of the DXR222 panto as, sadly, it’s “RIP DXR222 2002-2015”.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

DXR222 Exploring Psychology Project: Day 5

The morning starts off with the preparation of the second more complete project proposal which takes a surprising amount of time. That has to be handed in around 11am after which there’s a wait for an hour or so while the tutors evaluate each proposal. In our case, they’d picked up a couple of inconsistencies and wanted a couple more research papers to back it up. That set us off looking for the papers which used up the afternoon.

The evening saw a choice of two optional lectures which unfortunately were in two quite closely related areas.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

DXR222 Exploring Psychology Project: Day 4

Having finished the preparatory steps, the project work began this morning.

From 9am to 10am was allocated to forming the groups and choosing topics. The only organisation imposed was that there was one room allocated for the people interested in a communications project and another for those interested in memory so it was a little chaotic to begin with but settled down surprisingly quickly and in 15 minutes or so most project groups had been formed.

That notionally left an hour to work up the initial project proposal though several groups needed an extension on that for one reason or another (e.g. our original idea was vetoed on ethical grounds and required a few adjustments to the approach). After that, we’d a break for an hour to let the tutors sort out which groups they were looking after before a brief meeting with them and then we were off for the day.

I figured that I couldn’t leave Bath without seeing the Roman baths so it was off to town for me. Upfront the £14.50 seems a bit expensive but it’s actually quite good value given the sheer scale of the place and considering that both an audio guide and a tour led by a very knowledgeable and engaging guide is included. It takes around two hours to work your way around.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

DXR222 Exploring Psychology Project: Day 3

It was the turn of memory today with three distinct modules followed by a session on ethics and the project briefing before an optional lecture.

The first module looked at different strategies for learning word pairs (forming a sentence containing both words is the way to go as it engages deeper processing which in turn helps encoding and recall). We analysed our results using ANOVA in SPSS.

Next up was a consideration of a variation of Bartlett’s demonstration of the usefulness of schemas in recalling meaningful material and events. Even just omitting a title from a text can make it much more difficult to recall. This session finished with a brief look at autobiographical memory which looks like it would be quite difficult to study.

Finally, we looked at Edwards and Middleton’s approach to looking at collective memory which felt like a complicated way of describing the obvious i.e. If a couple if people get together to describe a film then they’ll remember more than either would individually.

The obligatory session on ethics was much more engaging than I had expected to be and the time flew in.

With our preparatory sessions over it was into the project briefing. That ran through the eight basic areas in which we can choose to do our project i.e. one for each broad topic covered over Sunday and Monday. It seems to have served to confuse most people in terms of what they might do but it’ll sort itself out in the morning.

The optional lecture was on the use of psychology in lion conservation projects in Africa and was thoroughly engaging.

Thanks to massively reduced numbers on the final residentials compared to a few years ago, the students union don’t organise their customary social events so there are some unofficial ones in their place, tonight being karoke night.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.