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In this subject, students develop the knowledge and skills to prepare them for professional practice in psychology, focusing on ethical and evidence-based practice grounded in the scientist-practitioner model.
Students will learn about the ethical codes that govern psychological research and practice, and apply these in varied contexts and scenarios, incorporating relevant legal frameworks relating to privacy and human rights. Students will also be given the opportunity to learn and practice foundational interviewing and behaviour change skills used in varied contexts, and will observe and practice pre-professional skills in the implementation and interpretation of some of the most commonly used tests of cognition and personality.
Evidence-based practice is emphasised as a core ethical issue in psychological practice. Framed within the 'scientist-practitioner' model, it provides a means of evaluating the efficacy of psychological interventions. Students will gain an understanding of the theoretical and empirical bases of psychological assessment and intervention, and will learn to critically analyse the assumptions underlying different approaches to psychological research and evidence-based practice, including assumptions relating to the applicability of psychological interventions and tests across cultures. Special consideration is given to developing sensitivity to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Intended learning outcomes
Knowledge: On completion of this subject students should demonstrate knowledge of:
- The major concepts, theoretical perspectives, research methods, and empirical findings relating to ethical research and applied practice in psychology;
- Ethical and appropriate behaviour in research and professional contexts with reference to the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics, NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and current legal frameworks relating to privacy and human rights;
- The importance of the scientist-practitioner model in evidence-based psychological practice;
- Key principles underpinning the application and evaluation of common psychological tests and programs of behaviour change;
- An awareness of and respect for diverse experiences and culture in research, assessment and interviewing contexts, including reference to the experiences and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Skills: On completion of this subject students should have developed competency in:
- Critical thinking, utilising logic, evidence and psychological science to evaluate claims and solve problems regarding human behaviour;
- Evaluate published studies for evidence of diagnostic validity or treatment effectiveness;
- Communication, including written reports, clear verbal communication in small group contexts and reporting back to class, and basic interviewing skills including active listening, clarifying and reflecting, effective questioning, summarising and paraphrasing, developing rapport and empathic responding, awareness of issues relating to sensitive cross-cultural communication;
- Pre-professional applied skills including the administration and interpretation of the most commonly used tests of cognition and personality.
Application of knowledge and skills: On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:
- Critically evaluate perspectives on psychological research and practice in relation to an ethical and evidence-based framework;
- Apply relevant codes of ethics and professional practice values to common ethical dilemmas encountered in psychological research and practice;
- Evaluate the scientific evidence base underlying claims of efficacy for psychological assessment tools and psychological intervention techniques;
- Administer, score, interpret and provide feedback on some of the widely used psychological test instruments using interview skills with appropriate cultural responsiveness;
- Undertake a brief self-directed behaviour change intervention and evaluate outcomes.
Students in this subject will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills in:
• analysis and construction of arguments
• working proactively as a team member
• problem-solving in novel contexts
• written communication in academic assignments and reports
• verbal communication in presenting information in small group formats
• basic interviewing and reflective listening
• workload planning and task management
Last updated: 31 January 2024