Surrey University Stag


Module code: PSY3095

Module Overview

This module explores a range of myths across the discipline of psychology with a focus on scientific evidence, methodological robustness, theoretical frameworks, and the interface between scientific research and their representation in the media.

This module also represents an opportunity for students to develop advanced critical thinking skills, and synthesise their study of psychology to date. In particular the module will explore areas of research relating to areas such learning styles, the impact of social media, environmental psychology, aging and loneliness,  sexuality and gender and left brain right brain differentiation.   Each lecture will address a specific area of research and encourage critical thinking in terms of methods, measurement, theory and the discipline of psychology.  It will also evaluate the ways in which research evidence is adopted by the media and lay literature in the context of strategies of persuasion. The module will also take a historical approach, considering the context in which the myth developed, and the status of the myth in light of contemporary research and approaches in psychology and will conclude with an analysis of the notion of scientific truth.

Module provider


Module Leader

OGDEN Jane (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: C800

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BSc Psychology Levels 4 and 5 or equivalent

Module content

Indicative key topics will include:

An overview to critical thinking and the role of persuasive strategies

Learning styles

Left brain / right brain

Sexuality and gender

Environmental psychology

the impact of social media

Aging and loneliness

Scientific truth

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online ONLINE 2 HOUR EXAM WITHIN A 4-HR WINDOW 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A Students must pass each unit of assessment to pass the module

Assessment Strategy

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Seen examination (online within 4 hours, 100%)

The seen exam will involve answering 1 question to offer a critical analysis of one research paper and one associated media report using the critical tool kit.


Justification for assessment methods

Both assessments will address all learning outcomes.  

Module aims

  • Describe a number of areas of psychology across all domains that have been adopted by the lay literature as ‘truths'
  • Develop students' skills in advanced critical thinking
  • Critically evaluate the evidence for these areas with a focus on methods, measurement, theory and the disciplinary focus
  • Explore how each area is located within its historical context, and its status in the light of contemporary research
  • Explore how each area has been adopted by the lay literature with a focus on theories of persuasion.
  • Encourage students to adopt a holistic view of psychology as a scientific discipline

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Evaluate research evidence with a focus on methods, measurement, theory and the disciplinary framework CPT
002 Understand and evaluate the historical and conceptual contexts in which psychological myths have developed KC
003 Understand the relationships between commonly held psychological myths and the subdisciplines of psychology in which they are situated K
004 Critically analyse the implications of commonly-held myths for key groups within society (e.g. school pupils, patients, consumers) CPT
005 Analyse the ways in which scientific research is translated into a literature accessible by the lay public CPT
006 Understand the use of methods of persuasion K
007 Critically evaluate the process of reporting research, and the importance of responsible reporting CPT
008 Understand the relationship between scientists, the media, and the general public K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 2 hour lectures, 2 x 1 hour optional drop in sessions and 128 hours of independent study, which involve:

Week 1 -  Lecture setting the scene for the module with a general overview of critical thinking

Weeks 2-10  – lectures presenting information regarding a specific myth with time for small group tasks and class discussion

Weeks 3 and 4 – hour long optional drop in sessions to resolve queries on the coursework essay assessment.

Week 11 – A revision overview to consider key ideas, areas of critical thinking, skills and theories. 

Formative feedback will be given each week.

Dedicated SurreyLearn page including space to discuss readings and the week’s critical questions.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3095

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.