PSY111 Foundations of Psychology

PSY111 Foundations of Psychology

Task: For this assessment, you must complete ALL parts of ALL three (3) exercises. Each of the exercises is broken into smaller tasks.

Rationale: This assessment will allow you to further develop your skills in selection of material, comprehension and application of theory, and referencing. The exercises explore the topics of Memory, Psychological Disorders and Treatments, and Indigenous and Cross-cultural psychology.

Presentation: Each exercise should start on a separate page and have clear headings (e.g. Task 1, Task 2, etc.) to indicate which questions are being answered. You do NOT need to provide the actual full question for each task, just a heading such as “Task 1”. You should provide a separate reference list at the end of each exercise, so altogether you will have 3 reference lists within the assignment.

Important note: Please remember that this is a psychology assignment, so you should try to include principles and theories of psychology wherever appropriate, and use appropriate psychology sources (e.g. psychology textbooks, psychology journal articles) to support your answers.

**Remember to also refer to the detailed information about this task including format/presentation

requirements and the marking criteria in your Subject Outline**EXERCISE 1: MEMORY

Find the article titled “Remembering to perform actions in the future: Can intentions pop into mind?” by Gilles Einstein published in 2014 in the Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science (Volume 12, Issue 1). This article will help you answer questions in this exercise.

In this exercise, you will need to apply your understanding of prospective and retrospective memory to things that you have forgotten recently and things that your future clients may forget. You will also need to apply your understanding of how memory works and applying memory strategies to real-life situations.

Task 1

List 2 things that you have forgotten in the last week. One of these should be a prospective memory (PM) failure and one should be a retrospective memory failure (RM).

  1. For these 2 things that you have forgotten, identify whether they were prospective or retrospective failures.
  2. For these 2 things that you have forgotten, briefly indicate what you think caused you to have this memory failure.
  3. For these 2 things that you have forgotten, briefly describe whether there were any consequences that occurred as a result of your forgetting.

You should present this response in table format using the template below.

I forgot… PM or RM? Reason for failure Consequence

Word count: 50 words (0.5 marks)

Task 2

Prospective memory is multifaceted and involves a variety of cognitive processes including attention, working memory, retrospective, and executive functioning (i.e. switching between tasks, monitoring the environment for cues, and inhibiting responses). When these processes are disrupted as a result of brain damage or psychological disorders, impairments in prospective memory functioning may occur.

  1. Conduct a database search and identify TWO clinical populations (e.g. people with acquired brain injuries, dementia, schizophrenia, or Multiple Sclerosis) that have been found to have impairments in prospective memory functioning.
  2. For each of the 2 populations, provide a reference for ONE article that investigates prospective memory in these populations i.e. you need to provide two (2) references, one for each clinical population.

(0.5 marks)

Task 3

  1. Using an example from your chosen career path (e.g. social work, oral health, physiotherapy, nutrition, etc), describe a memory failure that may commonly occur in your clients. In your response, indicate whether this memory failure is prospective or retrospective, and why this memory failure may act as a barrier in their treatment (50 words, 1 mark).
  2. Describe a strategy that could be used to help your client avoid having the same memory failure in the future, and how you would use this strategy with your clients. This may be an internal memory strategy or an external memory aid – the strategy should be specific and evidence-based, see your textbook or read the literature on memory aids and strategies when choosing your strategy (50 words, 1 mark).
  3. Explain why this strategy would help your client avoid memory failure in the future. In this response, you should use your knowledge from reading the textbook and the literature about memory processes to explain why this strategy facilitates cognitive processing in the memory task (150 words, 2.5 marks).
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy in improving memory. In this response, use evidence from the literature to support your argument (i.e., what is the existing evidence for the effectiveness of this strategy?). You should also consider the limitations of this strategy (150 words, 4 marks).



Choose ONE (1) of the following case studies (at the end of this exercise). Write which case study you have chosen (e.g. Case study #1, John). (Required but no marks)

TASK 2 (200 words)

Identify the psychological disorder in your chosen case study (use the proper name for the disorder as per the DSM-5 and be specific e.g. Social Anxiety Disorder not just Anxiety) and provide a rationale on how you identified this disorder using the diagnostic criteria, including key symptoms. (4 marks)

TASK 3 (300 words)

It is common for psychologists to use a combination of therapies in treating an individual patient. Based on your diagnosis of the disorder in TASK 2 (above), choose a combination of TWO (2) therapies that you believe would be the most effective for treating the disorder you have identified in the case study. In your response, you should provide a justification for:

  • why these two (2) therapeutic approaches would be effective based on evidence from the literature (that is, why are the techniques used within each of these therapeutic approaches suitable for this patient), and
  • how the two (2) therapeutic approaches might work together to treat the disorder

(300 words, 6 marks) List of therapeutic approaches

  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive therapy (either Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy or Beck’s cognitive therapy)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Client-centred therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy

 (Criteria: Selection of material, Comprehension and application of theory, Critical thinking; evaluation and analysis of psychological literature, Referencing and presentation)


CASE STUDY # 1 – John

John, 53, a married man, whose life is complicated by his mother living with him and his wife, complains that he feels tense and irritable most of the time. He fears that something will happen to his mother, his wife, his children, or himself. He has no definite idea what it is that he fears might happen. He also worries about work, money and his health and finds it difficult not to worry. Often he breaks out in profuse perspiration. His mouth always seems to be dry, even though he drinks a great deal of water and he cannot sleep.

CASE STUDY # 2 – Heather

Heather, a 20 year-old University student, has an intense fear of speaking to people she does not know very well. During her first and second years, she chose subjects with large lectures, where she could hide in the back of the lecture theatre and not speak to other students or participate in class discussions. Heather received high marks in all of her subjects. In her third year, Heather is now required to attend subjects of smaller class sizes in which class participation and small group work is required. She is sure that she will do something embarrassing, such as vomit, and others will judge her negatively. Because of these fears, Heather has trouble sleeping at night and is considering dropping out of University.

CASE STUDY #3 – Karen

 Karen is 24 years old. She describes often having difficulty breathing, where her breaths get very shallow and she feels like she is going to stop breathing. She feels that the air feels like it gets thinner and is not coming up through her nose. She then takes short rapid breaths and gets very dizzy and disoriented. She reports feeling like she cannot sit or stand still and will start pacing, then shaking and sweating. She describes feeling like she is losing her mind and that she will flip out and hurt herself or someone else. She describes how her heart starts beating fast and how she starts getting pains in her chest and then her chest tightens up and she becomes very frightened. Karen is afraid that these feelings will not go away, which causes her to get very upset. She feels that no one will be able to help her and then is frightened that she will die. She says when this happens she wants to run to some place safe but she doesn’t know where. Karen dreads these occasions so much that she avoids any situation in which she thinks it is likely she will feel this way.

CASE STUDY # 4 – Eddie

Eddie is 42 years old. He presents as a reasonably fit person, although he appears not to have shaved for a few days and his hair is unkempt. He describes feeling down over the past 12 months and having very little energy; he reports having many hobbies and interests, including sports, spending time with friends and family (including with his wife and a 3 year old son), and mountain bike riding, yet recently reports not having a desire to do any of these. He feels like spending time with his friends is too much effort and he “cannot be bothered” to do the activities he used to do outside of work. Eddie has been drinking daily for the past 12 months, he has little appetite and finds it hard to get up out of bed in the morning.

CASE STUDY # 5 – Marie

 Marie, a 50-year-old female, believes that her niece and other relatives are plotting against her, trying to take away property she owns in 5 other countries which she was planning to use to train missionaries to establish missions to convert heathens. She is separated from her husband and although he visits her regularly, she maintains that he is dead and that he has been killed by FBI agents who are watching her. She reports that she learned that the FBI have been spying on her from the television where they were portraying her life in several television programs. She had learned other things about the plot from the voices that came between the television programs and the commercials. She is convinced that her family are in on the conspiracy and that poison is being placed in her food. She is also concerned about the electrical waves that are “messing up” her mind.

CASE STUDY #6: – Susie

 Susie is a 20 year-old University student.  Susie suffers from insomnia, poor appetite, and difficulty concentrating.  A few months ago, Susie was too tired and depressed to get out of bed and attend classes. For the past five days she has gone without any sleep whatsoever and she has spent this time in a heightened state of activity which she herself describes as “out of control.” Her behaviour is strange and lacks inhibition in her expression of thoughts and ideas as well as in her behaviour.  She has very grandiose ideas and much of her thinking revolves around politics.  She believes that she has switched souls with a senior politician from her state.  From what she believes are his thoughts and memories, she has developed theories of government that would allow her to single-handedly save the world from nuclear destruction.

She has been approaching other students and lecturers on campus, explaining these theories and is planning to run a campaign for an elected position in the Australian government.  She feels that her recent experiences with switching souls with the politician would make her particularly well suited for a high position in government; perhaps even the prime minister. Susie often worries that she will forget some of her thoughts and has begun writing notes to herself everywhere; in her notebooks, on her computer, even on the walls of her room.  Susie’s family and friends, who have always known her to be extremely tidy and organised, have been shocked to find her room in total disarray with frantic and incoherent messages written all over the walls and furniture.  These messages reflect her disorganised and grandiose thinking.


This exercise is designed to develop your skills in applying theory to the real world and your chosen career. It requires you to apply the principles of cultural competence to an example (that you decide upon), that you might actually encounter in your chosen career (e.g. Social Work, Policing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, or Oral Health). So you will need to do some reading on cultural competence to assist you with your answer, making sure that you properly reference your sources.

Your answer should be a piece of writing of approximately 500 words in total (see recommended word limit for each section), which includes all of the following:

  1. Give a brief explanation of what cultural competence is (Approx. 100 words including references, 2 marks).
  2. Give a brief description of your actual chosen field/career for the marker (e.g. “I am studying psychology with the aim of becoming a clinical psychologist who will treat people with mental illness” (1 sentence, no references required, 1 mark).
  3. Provide a specific example (which you have come up with yourself) of:
    1. a client/patient/individual from either an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background OR culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background AND
    2. a specific problem or concern that this individual might be coming to you with (Approx. 50 words for Task 3, no references required, 1 mark).
  4. From your reading on cultural competence, what are some barriers that might prevent your client from seeking or receiving healthcare? (approximately 200 words including references, 3 marks)
  5. Using your example client from Task 3 above, provide an explanation of how cultural competence might shape the way you work with that individual and the actions or steps you might decide to take, based on the principles of cultural competence (such as those suggested in Chapter 19 for culturally competent psychologists) (Approx. 200 words including references, 3 marks)
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