Psychology In Everyday Life

Psychology In Everyday Life


  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underpinnings of everyday behaviours from a theoretical and research based perspective.
  2.  Show evidence of professional, career and transferrable skills in the context of the application of psychological theory to everyday life.

All information in your essay should be relevant to the question you have been asked.  There should be examples that clearly illustrate a theory, model or approach to understanding the topic.

There is an end of unit two-hour seen examination. This will contribute 60% towards the unit grade. In the week beginning 10.2.20, you will be provided with a choice of examination questions from which you will have to prepare two essay style answers. You will be required to produce a reference list (APA style) for each of the answers that you intend to produce which will become part of the submission. You will be able to use the reference list as an aide memoire during the examination. The examination will permit you to demonstrate a depth of knowledge and to develop your skills in analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

The essay questions are designed to allow you to relate the contents of the course (the various theories, models and general approaches to topics) to examples in everyday life. Your answers should be written in an essay style and include the following sections (please note that you DO NOT need to include subheadings, but that your essays should flow as below):

Outlines the issues and/or position you are arguing for. Your grade will reflect how clearly and completely the argument is outlined.

Relevance and understanding

All information in your essay should be relevant to the question you have been asked.  There should be examples that clearly illustrate a theory, model or approach to understanding the topic.

Discussion and Critique

You should include a clear discussion often where two or more opposing approaches, theories or pieces of evidence are evaluated.  Your critique should be supported by citations.


Your conclusion will draw on the threads of your argument together and link back to your original outline of what you said you would do in the Introduction. By the end of the Discussion you will have answered the question posed in the essay title.


The aim of the essay is to apply what you have learned in lectures, tutorials and in your readings to everyday life. The essay should therefore explain and evaluate theories and evidence you have come across. Be careful of including lots of theories or concepts as your essay may end up looking like a kind of list. However, if you just pick one or two you won’t have the chance to show off how much you know.

Your introduction should set out how you will be tackling the essay question – i.e., your thesis – what you are arguing for.

Most typical comments from previous years:

  • Do not simply list studies. For example, too often we see “A&B (Year) conducted a study to look at [TOPIC] and found that [RESULT]. C&D (Year) also looked at this, and found similar results…”. You should provide a detailed critical review of the A&B study – their rationale, hypotheses, methods, results, discussion, before going on to do the same thing for C&D, possibly in a new paragraph.
  • Most comments referred to aspects that were poorly written and unclear.
  • Next came the use of examples: some did not seem to relate well to the theories being discussed or how they related was not made clear.
  • The thread of the argument gets lost – there is no flow to the argument so the reader can’t follow where the essay is going.

In-text references aren’t in the Reference section and vice versa

  • No evidence of any research having been carried out to write the essay.
  • Lots of theories but very little use of examples to illustrate them or lots of examples and very little theory.
  • Make sure that by the end of the essay you have clearly answered the essay question. Try to relate each piece of evidence back to the specific essay question asked – do not just write about everything you can find on the topic.

Is there a size limit?

There is no word limit. You will write essay style answers to two seen exam questions, and will have two hours to complete the examination.

What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)

  • Demonstrate topic knowledge and ability to apply learning gained from scheduled, independent and autonomous learning activities to interpret everyday behaviours
  • Show evidence of knowledge and comprehension of how psychology can be applied to a range of topics in everyday life.

How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

Attend lectures and follow this up by reading widely. Attend tutorials for further essay and examination guidance, and where we can look together at the seen essay questions and consider appropriate references, and style.

How does assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

You are learning how to apply psychological theory to everyday life. This examination tests your ability to apply that knowledge, using content from the lectures, tutorials, and your wider reading.


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