CQUniversity Unit Profile
PSYC11008 Biological Foundations of Psychology
Biological Foundations of Psychology
All details in this unit profile for PSYC11008 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

In this unit you will be introduced to the biological bases of human behaviour. The content of the unit examines: the structures and functions of the brain and nervous system; sensory and perceptual processes; learning and memory; states of consciousness; and neurological disorders. The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) states that graduates of psychology must be able to comprehend and apply a broad range of knowledge including the neurological elements underpinning human experience and behaviour. The brain and nervous system are significant factors which contribute to the aetiology of psychological disorders and the maintenance of mental health. Consequently, a sound understanding of biological principles is essential to psychology students seeking future careers either as clinicians or as researchers. A further competency required by APAC is the ability to analyse and critique psychological theory and research, and be able communicate these findings in a written format. Psychologists are expected to become "scientist-practitioners" and you will learn how to conduct basic literature searches and communicate your findings in short written assessments using conventional APA style and formatting.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 3 - 2019

Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Online Quiz(zes)
Weighting: 60%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 10%
3. Essay
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Have your say survey

Feedback

Students reported that the content was made relevant by incorporating examples and case studies.

Recommendation

Continue to incorporate case studies to illustrate the relevance of course content.

Feedback from Have your say survey

Feedback

Students reported that the first few weeks were challenging and suggested that students could be informed that later content is easier.

Recommendation

The first few weeks are content heavy and include material related to neuroanatomy and neurochemistry. It is recommended that students be informed that early lectures serve as a foundation for later content and once the foundation is formed, learning becomes somewhat easier.

Feedback from Have your say survey

Feedback

Some students stated it was difficult to know what was expected of them in assessments.

Recommendation

Next term it would be worthwhile taking students through the marking rubric and explaining what is required.

Feedback from Have your say survey

Feedback

Several students commented that the on-campus tutors were instrumental in doing well in this unit.

Recommendation

Continue to offer on-campus tutors where possible. Continue to offer Zoom tutorials for distance students.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Explain the major theories and principles underpinning biological psychology
  2. Conduct a basic literature search on a topic in biological psychology and compose a brief written submission which summarises current research
  3. Develop the capacity to link principles of biological psychology to perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour.


Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Online Quiz(zes) - 60%
2 - Written Assessment - 10%
3 - Essay - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Online Quiz(zes) - 60%
2 - Written Assessment - 10%
3 - Essay - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Psychology. Fifth Australian and New Zealand edition 5th (2019)

Authors: Burton L, Westen, D, & Kowalski, R.
Wiley
Milton Milton , Queensland , Australia
ISBN: 9780730363262
Binding: eBook
Supplementary

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th (2009)

Authors: American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
Washington Washington , DC , USA
ISBN: 978-1433805615
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Access to Zoom (session log-in details will be provided)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 6th Edition (APA 6th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Brenton Williams Unit Coordinator
b.williams@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 11 Nov 2019

Module/Topic

Introduction and overview of Biological Psychology

Chapter

Chapter 1 (pages 5 - 34)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 2 Begin Date: 18 Nov 2019

Module/Topic

Neurons: the basic building blocks

Chapter

Chapter 3 (pages 136 - 152)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 3 Begin Date: 25 Nov 2019

Module/Topic

Brain Bits

Chapter

Chapter 3  (pages 153 - 177)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 4 Begin Date: 02 Dec 2019

Module/Topic

Making sense of the senses Part A

Chapter

Chapter 4 (pages 205 - 232)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Journal Summary Due: Week 4 Monday (2 Dec 2019) 9:00 am AEST
Vacation Week Begin Date: 09 Dec 2019

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 5 Begin Date: 16 Dec 2019

Module/Topic

Making sense of the senses Part B

Chapter

Chapter 4 (pages 233 - 254)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 6 Begin Date: 23 Dec 2019

Module/Topic

Thinking, emotions and behaviour

Chapter

No reading this week

Events and Submissions/Topic

Quiz 1   Opens Thursday 2 January at 1200  / Closes Friday 3 January 2345

Week 7 Begin Date: 06 Jan 2020

Module/Topic

Learning about learning

Chapter

Chapter 6


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 8 Begin Date: 13 Jan 2020

Module/Topic

Memories are made of this

Chapter

Chapter 7

Events and Submissions/Topic

Short Essay - Heredity or environment as the primary determinant for personality Due: Week 8 Monday (13 Jan 2020) 9:00 am AEST
Week 9 Begin Date: 20 Jan 2020

Module/Topic

Contradictions of consciousness

Chapter

Chapter 5

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 10 Begin Date: 27 Jan 2020

Module/Topic

Intelligence

Chapter

Chapter 9

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 11 Begin Date: 03 Feb 2020

Module/Topic

Neurological disorders

Chapter

Chapter 15

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 12 Begin Date: 10 Feb 2020

Module/Topic

Review of course content

The future of neurological health

Chapter

No reading this week

Events and Submissions/Topic

Quiz 2  Opens Thursday 13th February at 1200  /  Closes Friday 14th February at 2345


Online Quizzes (2) Due: Week 12 Friday (14 Feb 2020) 9:00 am AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 17 Feb 2020

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Assessment Tasks

1 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title
Online Quizzes (2)

Task Description

There are two online quizzes

  • The first is in Week 6 (covering weeks 1-5).
  • The second is in Week 12 (covering weeks 7-11).
  • Each quiz contains 60 multiple choice questions.
  • You will have 60 minutes to complete each quiz.
  • At the end of 60 minutes all completed quiz questions will be submitted automatically.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question, it is best to move onto the next question.
  • Feedback will be provided on the Moodle site one week after the quiz closes.


Number of Quizzes

2


Frequency of Quizzes

Other


Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (14 Feb 2020) 9:00 am AEST

Submit online via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Exam Week Monday (17 Feb 2020)

Feedback via Moodle


Weighting
60%

Assessment Criteria

Each of the two quizzes is worth 30 marks each.

Each quiz has 60 multiple choice questions.

Each quiz question is worth half a mark.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit via Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Explain the major theories and principles underpinning biological psychology
  • Develop the capacity to link principles of biological psychology to perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour.


Graduate Attributes
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Technology Competence

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Journal Summary

Task Description

Assessment 1 introduction

  • It is hypothesised that experiences in life fundamentally alter neural networks and brain activity - often referred to as neural plasticity.
  • Your task is to read and critically review a journal article that discusses the evidence for neural plasticity in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder.


Assessment 1 instructions:

  • Download the following journal article:

Badura-Brack, A., McDermott, T.J., Heinrichs-Graham, E., Ryan, T.J., Khanna, M.M., Pine, D.S., Bar-Haim, Y., & Wilson, T.W. (2018). Veterans with PTSD demonstrate amygdala hyperactivity while viewing threatening faces: A MEG study. Biological Psychology, 132, 228-232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2018.01.005


  • One way to find and download the article is cut and paste the title into the CQU library search bar and then click on “Full text available links” in the search results, then download the PDF to your hard drive.
  • Write a critical summary of 270 - 330 words. This does not include your references. Include a title page.
  • Use appropriate APA formatting in-text. Include a reference page with correct APA formatting.
  • An abstract is not required.
  • Submit the assessment via the Moodle as a Word doc or docx file with your last name and initial i.e. crawfordc.doc
  • It is good practice to upload and check the assessment a couple of days before the due date to allow Turnitin to review your work.
  • Make sure you click the submit button to completely submit the assessment for grading.


Assessment Due Date

Week 4 Monday (2 Dec 2019) 9:00 am AEST

Online via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Week 5 Monday (16 Dec 2019)


Weighting
10%

Assessment Criteria

Total possible of 10 points.

Introduction and literature review (2 points)

  • 0 Introduction not present or was not relevant to the journal article.
  • 1 Introduction present, literature summarised, only loosely applied to the journal article.
  • 1.5 Introduction present, literature summarised, Related clearly and effectively to the journal article.
  • 2 Introduction and literature concisely summarised, Related clearly and effectively to the journal article using original language and interpretation.

Method (2 points)

  • 0 Discussion on methodology not present or was not relevant to the journal article.
  • 1 Methodology discussed but only loosely applied to the journal article.
  • 1.5 Methodology discussed. Related clearly and effectively to the journal article.
  • 2 Methodology discussed. Related clearly and effectively to the journal article using original language and interpretation.

Results / discussion (4 points)

  • 0 Results / discussion not present or were not relevant to the journal article.
  • 2 Results and discussion have been loosely summarised and relate to the journal article.
  • 3 Results and discussion are summarised and relate well to the journal article.
  • 4 Results and discussion are clearly and effectively summarised Related clearly and effectively to the journal article using original language and interpretation.

APA formating (2 points)

  • 0 APA formatting not present.
  • 1 Attempt made with APA formatting but contained many errors.
  • 1.5 APA formatting contained few errors.
  • 2 Exceptional formatting with very few errors.

Word limit

  • The work limit is 270 - 330 words not including title page or references page.
  • Submissions outside of this limit will be subject to a 5% penalty.

Late submission

  • Late submissions will be subject to a 5% penalty per day.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit online via Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Conduct a basic literature search on a topic in biological psychology and compose a brief written submission which summarises current research


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Information Technology Competence

3 Essay

Assessment Title
Short Essay - Heredity or environment as the primary determinant for personality

Task Description

Short Essay - Introduction

  • Personality is commonly defined as ".. enduring patterns of thought, feeling, motivation and behaviour that are expressed in different circumstances." (Burton, Westen & Kowalski, 2019, p. 707).
  • Historically there have been two perspectives on what contributes to personality.
  • The first is heredity - the organism's inherited genetic code which provides an innate advantage or disadvantage over other organisms.
  • The second is environment - the circumstances in which the organism finds itself including social setting and available learning opportunities.
  • It is currently accepted that these two factors interact and both contribute to personality.
  • However, your task is to use current research and argue that one is more important than the other.

Assessment 2 - Instructions:

  • Write a brief essay which takes a stand on whether personality is determined primarily by heredity or environment.
  • Search the CQU library database or Google Scholar for the terms “heredity,” "environment"and “intelligence”.
  • To widen the search, you may want to include terms such as: nature, nurture, genetics, twin studies, etc.
  • Select and download the full-text version of two articles which both support your stance.
  • The essay to be 900 - 1100 words. This does not include your references or title page.
  • Include a title page.
  • Use appropriate APA style. Use appropriate APA in-text referencing.
  • Include a references list for the two articles in APA formatting.
  • An abstract is not required.
  • Submit the assessment via the Moodle as a Word doc or docx file with your last name and initial i.e: crawfordc.doc
  • It is good practice to upload the assessment a couple of days before the due date to allow Turnitin to review your work.
  • Ensure you click the final Submit button so your submission can be assessed.


Assessment Due Date

Week 8 Monday (13 Jan 2020) 9:00 am AEST

Online via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Week 11 Monday (3 Feb 2020)


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Total possible of 30 points.

Introduction and literature review (4 points)

  • 0 Introduction not present or was not relevant to the journal articles. Student did not take a clear stance on the topic.
  • 2 Introduction present, literature summarised only loosely. Student took a stance, but not well supported by the literature.
  • 3 Introduction present, literature summarised well. Student took a stance which was adequately supported by the literature.
  • 4 Introduction and literature concisely and effectively summarised. Student took a clear stance which was very well supported by the literature using original language and interpretation 4 marks.

Utilisation of journal article one (8 points)

  • 0 The journal article did not relate to the topic, was not summarised effectively or correctly. Summary was not linked to the stance taken by the student.
  • 4 The journal loosely related to the topic and was summarised, but missed key points. The summary was only loosely linked to the stance taken by the student.
  • 6 The journal article related to the topic, was summarised correctly. The summary covered most key points. The summary was linked well to the stance taken by the student.
  • 8 The journal related clearly to the topic and was effectively summarised. The summary was effectively covering all key points. The summary was creatively linked to the stance taken by the student using original language and interpretation.

Utilisation of journal article two (8 points)

  • 0 The journal article did not relate to the topic, was not summarised effectively or correctly. Summary was not linked to the stance taken by the student.
  • 4 The journal loosely related to the topic and was summarised, but missed key points. The summary was only loosely linked to the stance taken by the student.
  • 6 The journal article related to the topic, was summarised correctly. The summary covered most key points. The summary was linked well to the stance taken by the student.
  • 8 The journal related clearly to the topic and was effectively summarised. The summary was effectively covering all key points. The summary was creatively linked to the stance taken by the student using original language and interpretation.

Conclusion (5 points)

  • 0 Conclusion not present or not related to the stance taken by the student and / or not supported by the journal articles.
  • 2.5 Conclusion related loosely to the stance taken by the student. Not well supported by the journal articles.
  • 4 Conclusion related well to the stance taken by the student and is supported by the journal articles.
  • 5 Conclusion related clearly and effectively to the stance taken by the student, very well supported by the journal articles and uses original language and interpretation.

APA formatting (5 points)

  • 0 APA formatting not present.
  • 2.5 Attempt made with APA formatting but contained many errors.
  • 4 APA formatting contained few errors.
  • 5 Exceptional formatting with very few errors.

Word limit

  • The work limit is 900 - 1100 words not including title page or references page.
  • Submissions outside of this limit will be subject to a 5% penalty.

Late submission

  • Late submissions will be subject to a 5% penalty per day.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit online via Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Explain the major theories and principles underpinning biological psychology
  • Conduct a basic literature search on a topic in biological psychology and compose a brief written submission which summarises current research
  • Develop the capacity to link principles of biological psychology to perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?