Adult Summer Courses
- General English and Culture Programme
- Business English
- Legal English
- General English and Oxford
- Introduction to Shakespeare
- Jane Austen: Her Novels, Life and Times
- Writers of the Great War
- Creative Writing - Fiction
- Stately Homes and Country Gardens
- Interface Between Religion, Science and Philosophy
- Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Psychology
The course is designed to give students a basic grounding in modern psychology, including the relationship between genes and the environment (nature/nurture); the relationship between the mind and the brain; the nature of consciousness, memory, attention, and perception. The emphasis is on participatory and reflective learning.
About the Course
|Course Length||2 weeks|
|Dates/Location||28th July - 10th August 2013||Corpus Christi College, Oxford University|
All students will be staying in Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
If you would prefer to organise your own accommodation, please contact email@example.com
|Prerequisites||Only suitable for native/near-native English speakers|
|Participants||Open access. Students attend from all over the world|
|Further Information||For further information on the college, the staff and the all inclusive activities and excursions click here|
If you have ever wondered about why we do the things we do, why we remember some things and not others, why first impressions are important, then this course might be for you.
If you have ever wondered about what goes on in a new-born baby’s head, why your lovely 12-year-old suddenly turns into a monster at 13, whether pregnancy really does make you dumber, and why some people suffer age-related cognitive decline and others don’t, then this course might be for you.
If you have ever wondered why two siblings from the same family can have such different personalities, or what makes you, “you”, then this course might be for you. If you have ever wondered about the relationship between the “mind” and the brain, or how we experience consciousness, or how visual illusions “work”, then this course might be for you.
We approach topics from a scientific perspective and look at historic and modern experiments into understanding the mind, brain, and behaviour, but no previous scientific knowledge is assumed. We use undergraduate textbooks, video resources and primary source material from peer-reviewed journals in order to furnish students with some answers to the questions raised above; but, such as is the nature of psychology, you will probably leave the course with more questions than you started with!
History of psychology
Main debates and theories in modern psychology
Key areas of current research and thinking
Developmental including attachment, child development, and adolescence
Social behaviour including group norms, conformity, obedience and social identity
Cognitive approaches, including memory, language, attention and visual perception
Neuroscience: a look at the brain, and the effects of brain damage
Competing and complementary ways of explaining human behaviour
Research methods and data analysis
The experimental approach
Ethical issues in psychology
How to carry out a piece of research, analyse the results and interpret them in the light of psychological theories and research
What is psychology anyway?
Introductory session outlining the course and introducing key themes and topics.
Are we driven by unconscious forces or are we just machines?
Different ways in which psychologists have explained behaviour – from Freud’s ideas about the unconscious to Skinner’s views of stimulus-response mechanisms.
The “cognitive revolution” and computer models of the brain – are we just computers after all?
Groups and individuals
How social psychologists study individuals and group behaviour
How psychologists do research
What methods do psychologists use to gain their data? Experiments, observations, interviews, brain scans
Your own research
Introducing a mini-research project, in which students identify a question to investigate, and then collect data to find out about it.
Is there a right way to bring up children?
Psychological views of child development, with a particular focus on the roles of “nature” and “nurture”
When brains go wrong
What happens to thinking and behaviour in cases of brain damage and deterioration? What can damaged brains tell us about normal brain function?
Solving the unsolvable – death and sex
We visit the Pitt-Rivers museum to investigate how different cultures have dealt with some of the mysteries of human existence
Presentations and feedback; plenary and farewells
Students present the findings of their own mini-research project and we bring together the different threads of the course.
Course Reading List
All readings for the course will be provided on arrival.
If you would like to read around the subject a little before you arrive, you could try the first chapters in
Atkinson and Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology 15th edition by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Barbara L Fredrickson, Geoff R Loftus, and Willem A Wagenaar, published by Cengage Learning
You could also try:
Psychology: A very short introduction by Gillian Butler and Freda McManus, published by Oxford University Press
Other optional reading that you might like to dip into:
Beyond Freedom and Dignity by Burrhus Skinner
The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
Freud: A very short introduction by Anthony Storr
The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
Phantoms in the Mind by V Ramachandran
Your Memory: A User's Guide by Alan Baddeley
**Please note** While every effort is made to give participants an accurate description of the course content and structure, they should note that details of course content and structure may change as a result of tutor availability, interests, and expertise. In addition, participants should note that tutors will make efforts, where practicable, to address, and include material relating to, students' specific interests and requests where these are notified beforehand.
Further Information about the Summer School
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