General introduction and background to the assessment tasks for HPS307/791
HPS307/791 has four main aims:
Understand the major theoretical approaches used to explain consistent
patterns in thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
This is important as these theories underlie the major approaches used to treat clients
in clinical and health-related contexts, and are also relevant to understanding
behaviour in other settings such as organisations.
Be able to apply these theories to solve realistic problems.
It is important that you have some understanding of how to apply theoretical
frameworks in a way that allows you to gain insights into behaviours you may want to
Develop your analytic and communication skills.
Research has shown that both employers and recent graduates rate graduate skills
(especially communication skills) as one of the most important factors affecting
employability. Also, many of you want to move into a fourth year and then
postgraduate programs. Analytic and communication skills (especially written) are
very important to success in these courses, which have a substantial thesis component.
Understand how personality inventories are used to assess personality.
Like almost all constructs that we study in psychology, personality is a not a physical
‘thing’ that is able to be objectively measured. Hence, in order to try to measure
something we can’t see, we make scales that are tested on big populations and
hopefully feel reasonably confident that they are measuring what we think they are
measuring. Understanding the psychometric properties of different scales, as well as
their strengths and weaknesses, is an important part of being able to decide what scale,
if any, you use in clinical practice or a research design.
The readings and assignment tasks are designed to not only improve your application,
analytic, and writing skills in the context of personality theory, but also your interest in
the subject matter. We hope that this will help you perform well on the assessment
tasks, but, more importantly, that it will teach you important skills that will help you in
your next challenge, regardless of whether you enter the workforce or continue to do
Overview of Assessment Ta