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Describe the trait theorists and the humanistic approach to understanding personality. Identify three main features that distinguish these approaches.

In your final examination you will be required to answer THREE mini essay style questions in one hour (out of a choice of FOUR).

These mini-essay questions are designed to be answered in about 20 minutes (approximately one side of A4) using a short essay style format. Please write in full paragraphs, with a short introduction and conclusion.

What is a permitted materials examination?

In this examination students are presented with unseen questions under formal conditions, however they are permitted to take reference material into the examination venue. For this module you will have to answer 3 mini-essay questions based which cover a range of issues and questions arising from the lectures.

What can I bring in with me to the exam?

For the module you are permitted to bring 4 pages of notes on white A4 paper. This is therefore one page of notes for each topic - which can be handwritten or typed, with any diagrams or pictures that you have written yourself. For example you could have a spider gram, table or list or anything else you have written (but not stuck on the page). You can use both sides of the page.

It is important to explain that under university regulations this is called permitted material. 4 sheets of white A4 are the only thing you are permitted to bring into the exam. Please do not bring any colored paper into the exam, or any textbooks or photocopies. Any other materials (books, photocopies etc.) or more than 4 pages will be reported by the exam invigilators as suspected academic misconduct.


No electronic notes, no notes on phones, netbooks or lap tops are permitted.

What are the notes collected in by the university?

They are collected so that we can always be absolutely clear what was brought in to the exam by the student. However you can ask for your notes back after the end of marking. Your notes do not receive a grade.

What Topics will I need to revise?

You will need to revise 4 topics that will be given to you in advance. The topics are shown at the bottom of this page. There will be 4 topics on the examination paper and you have to answer three out of four questions.

It will be possible to answer all of the questions using the core textbook, lecture notes.as well as seminar materials.

What references will I need to use?

Just use the author and date (such as Smith, 2005). You do not need a references list at the end of each mini essay.

When will the exam be?

The exam date will be set by the academic registry and published on student space – in the summer resit period

Jess Prior

Dr J Prior. Module Convenor. Foundations of Psychology

Exam topics -

Topic 1 will be on Psychology as a Science (Teaching block 1 week 1; Lecture on the introduction to the module)

Hint: Think about what makes psychology a science (or not!). See the lecture notes TB1 week 1 from slides 32-49 which looks at psychology as a science.

There is also an excellent chapter freely available online in Brysbaert, M., & Rastle, K. (2012). Historical and Philosophical Issues in Psychology. See chapter 10. Is Psychology a Science? This is freely available as an e-chapter through the university icat system.

Topic 2 will be on infants’ cognitive abilities in their first year

Hint: Please focus on in particular, how infants see the physical world in terms of objects and things, and how they see themselves in the social world of interactions, prior to the development of language. You will need to be able to discuss at least two different aspects of infants’ cognitive abilities in some detail.

Please read the excellent and detailed lecture notes from Developmental 2: Infant social and cognitive development delivered by Dr Claudia Uller in TB1 week 5. See slides 36-55 – on understanding the physical world. See also Gleitman, H., Gross, J., & Reisberg, D. (2010). Psychology (8th ed.). US: W.W. Norton and Company. Chapter 14, pp. 550-563. (especially early conceptions of the physical world p. 557-558; Number and mathematical reasoning p. 558-559. The earliest interactions p. 562-563).

Topic 3 will be on personality.

Hint: make sure you can outline 2 keys approaches to understanding personality, and what characterises these approaches in some detail. Please make use of the lecture notes on approaches to studying personality by Dr Sania Shakoor in Teaching block 1, week 1.where she covered the psychodynamic approach, the humanistic approach, trait approach, learning approach, social cognitive approach. Make sure you can discuss any of these approaches – just two will be on the resit paper. See also Gleitman, H., Gross, J., & Reisberg, D. (2010). Psychology (8th ed.). US: W.W. Norton and Company

Topic 4 will be on creativity, expertise and problem solving

Hint: this question will explore links between creativity, expertise and problem solving

Please read the very detailed lecture notes from TB2 week 8 creativity and problem solving delivered by Professor Fred Vallee-Tourangeau.

Gleitman, H., Gross, J., & Reisberg, D. (2010). Psychology (8th Ed.). New York, London: Norton and Company. See Chapter 9. Thinking. Especially the sections on creative thinking (pp. 71-72) and experts (pp373-375).

Past papers

Past papers

I have been asked to provide examples of past papers – so here are some questions that have been used in previous past papers. These are topics that are on the exam paper (psychology as a science and personality) so these are particularly useful- although the wording will not be the same. Please read the exam hints above to make sure you revise properly:

**Describe the trait theorists and the humanistic approach to understanding personality. Identify three main features that distinguish these approaches.

**Is psychology a science? Discuss with reference to theory and research from at least three sources that argue psychology is a science, and three sources that suggest psychology should not be viewed as a science

I give you my log in Kingston university 
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You will find some notes as well is useful 
Each topic I need everything in details and some research and conclusions

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