THE SELF AND RELATIONSHIPS - 2023/4
Module code: PSY3102
Please note: This module is part of the Social Psychology stream of Level 6 optional modules and will not be running every year. In some years an alternative optional module within the Social Psychology stream will be offered instead.
This module focuses on the interplay between the self—people’s cognitions, emotions, and motivations relating to themselves—and interpersonal relationships in adulthood. Self-related constructs and processes permeate the way that we think, feel, and behave in social interactions and ongoing relationships. At the same time, our experiences with other people, especially close others, affect the way we feel about ourselves in the short-term and feed into the way we view ourselves in the long-term. There are also notable individual differences in both effects. These reciprocal processes underlie much of everyday social experience and wellbeing, and can help us to understand our own relationships and feelings, as well as inform applications in therapeutic and organisational settings. However, so far, elements of each process have mostly been studied separately. In this module, we will discuss theory and research addressing different ways that the self and relationships are interdependent and attempt to synthesise the literature to achieve a more holistic understanding of the issues.
HEPPER Erica (Psychology)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: C880
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 115
Seminar Hours: 22
Guided Learning: 11
Captured Content: 2
Indicative key topics will include:
- Need to belong, relationships and health, major theories of relationships
- The self-concept (including sociometer theory)
- Attachment theory, the self-concept and relationships
- Self-regulation in interpersonal context
- Self-esteem and excessive reassurance-seeking
- Narcissism and relationships
- Contingencies of self-worth
- Self-expansion and inclusion of other in the self
- The role of culture
- Applying theory and research to relationship case studies
- Integration: How do the self and relationships influence each other?
Some of these topics focus on how the self impacts interpersonal processes, and others focus on how relationships impact the self; but throughout we will consider reciprocal and bidirectional processes. The order and specificity of the topics above is flexible.
Each week we will discuss and evaluate the contribution and potential applications of the topic at hand.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Examination Online||EXAM (CASE STUDY POSTER PRESENTATION)||30|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate each of the learning outcomes.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
Literature Review Coursework (6 pages)
Each student’s literature review will develop and propose a novel research question based on one or more key theories/topics covered in class, and should review and critique the current state of the literature in order to identify an important next step for research (i.e., approximating the first section of a research proposal or a dissertation introduction). Specifically, the review should (a) set the context for why the topic is important, (b) provide the theoretical background and summarise the literature, (c) critique the literature, (d) describe a specific question for future research, and (e) suggest possible methods for testing the research question.
For support, we will discuss the assessment in class. Students will also be encouraged to swap drafts with each other to give each other feedback.
Online Exam (Poster + 5 minute recording)
Each student will identify a case study of an everyday relationship in the public domain (e.g., a celebrity or fictional relationship). They will prepare a poster that analyses the case study using a critical application and discussion of appropriate theory and research covered in the module. Students will record a 5-minute presentation in which they talk through their poster, and will upload the recording on a specified date in the exam period.
Formative assessment and feedback
Each student has the opportunity to submit a 100-word literature review proposal a few weeks before the coursework deadline to obtain formative feedback on the feasibility of the idea.
Each student has the opportunity to submit their chosen case study before the exam to obtain formative feedback on its suitability for the assessment.
Students will also receive verbal feedback (from the module convenor and each other) on their topic understanding, conceptualisation and ideas in each class discussion session. The module convenor will engage with the SurreyLearn discussion board and respond to queries or issues that arise there.
Justification for Assessment Methods
Literature reviews will assess Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4, and 5. The format is very similar to the dissertation introduction, providing students with an opportunity to practise this type of writing and receive feedback before they write their dissertation. It also reflects a common part of postgraduate and academic professional work.
Poster presentations will build oral and visual communication skills. This assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 5.
- Discuss and evaluate different theoretical perspectives on the interplay between the self and interpersonal relationships
- Highlight the range of research methods used in this area (e.g., experiments, longitudinal studies, experience-sampling)
- Consider how knowledge of the self can inform applications in relational settings (e.g., relationship satisfaction, couples therapy) and how knowledge of relationships can inform applications in individual settings (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy)
- Appreciate the strengths and limitations of merging the two literatures
- Gain insight that can be applied to students' own self and relationships
|001||Discuss and synthesise key theoretical perspectives on the interplay between the self and interpersonal relationships||K|
|002||Critically evaluate theories and research in terms of strengths, limitations, and gaps in the literature||C|
|003||Apply key concepts to everyday life and relationships||C|
|004||Generate appropriate critical questions and research ideas to contribute to the field||P|
|005||Communicate concepts, findings, and ideas in the field in ways appropriate to the profession||T|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to engage students with learning about the state of the field as well as equipping them to contribute to the field themselves. Therefore, it includes a combination of lecture and discussion. It is essential that all students read the core reading before class each week to enable them to contribute.
The learning and teaching methods across 11 x 2-hour class sessions will include:
- Beginning and ending weeks: Lecture and interactive discussion
- Weeks 3-8 (approx.): Discussion and formative feedback on essential reading; lecture focusing on recent evidence (option for students to do a practice presentation if they wish); discussion of key questions
- Preparation for assessments: partial sessions in appropriately timed weeks to discuss effective presentation skills and literature reviews
In addition, formative feedback will be available from module convenor on literature review proposals and chosen case studies a few weeks before the relevant assessment deadline, and students will have the option of signing up to deliver a formative presentation in one of the classes where they will get formative feedback.
Dedicated SurreyLearn page including space to discuss readings.
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.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3102
Programmes this module appears in
|Psychology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
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.