first come up with a topic then choose two theories from the list bellow that explains the essay question, read the example and choose the best theories that best explains the question. the topic should be essay question not a research question. A Summative written Essay of at least 2,300 words on a specific topic chosen from the topics presented in Term 2 Lifespan Issues (Weeks 13-20)
The essay should show clear evidence of a full literature review that compares and contrasts theoretical and empirical evidence pertinent to that topic. Students will be asked to compare and contrast at two theoretical understandings of the topic and to critically evaluate how the theories and research underpinning them have contributed to their understanding of that topic.
Choosing a Topic
The idea of introducing two theories in your essay is to offer a psychological explanation for what happens to an individual in relation to the topic you choose. This can be any topic from the SECOND TERM – Some example ideas are:
¥ the psychology of why women may be susceptible to media conceptions of femininity in modern society;
¥ the psychology of how men cope with the pressure of popularised icons of masculinity;
¥ understanding the process of feeling stigmatised because of mental health issues;
¥ the psychology of why some people cope better with traumatic circumstances early in
¥ the psychology of how culture affects the development of identity – for example religious,
¥ the psychology of dealing with conflicted sexuality;
¥ how and why attitudes towards parenthood in society affect self-esteem?
These are just a few possibilities. It will be up to you as the lifespan psychologist to firstly pick a lifespan issue and secondly find a special focus to investigate. The focus must be psychological, not medical.
Relating Theory to Research – Perspective and Process
All lifespan models suggest internal processes that in turn affect outward coping and behaviour. We call these ‘theoretical models’ because they are theories based on a unique perspective and proposed process. Your task in the essay is to:
1) choose and present clearly two theories which you can relate to the topic in terms of perspective on the topic and a process of psychological adjustment;
. 2) to evaluate the usefulness of each model in explaining findings in literature and
. 3) to decide which one best offers an interpretation, in your opinion, of the topic you have
chosen – after your investigation.
Critically Evaluating the Contribution of Theory to Knowledge
The essay must therefore PRESENT TWO CLEAR MODELS at the outset. These models must be RELATED TO THE TOPIC. The models must then be DISCUSSED WITH REFERENCE TO RESEARCH ON THE TOPIC. The essay will then culminate in a summary/conclusion where you decide whether WHICH MODULE OFFERS THE BEST EXPLANATION of the psychological process you are investigating. You may feel that both models do this – so in what way? Be careful not to just report different studies in isolation but RELATE them to the models you’re investigating. Guidance will be given on this in sessions. Please remember this is a Level 6 module and requires an ability to think abstractly and creatively about theory and process. This is what is being examined in this assessment.
Criteria your Essay must meet with in order to pass:
4. A clear topic related to one of the lifespan aspects presented in weeks 12-19, articulated in a meaningful working title
5. A clear focus within the topic identified – i.e. not just ‘trauma’ but ‘recovery from single incident trauma’ or some other specific aspect
7. An evaluation of how each of the two identified frameworks can explain findings in research and literature.
8. A clear conclusion, evaluating the contribution of the two frameworks to knowledge in your chosen area.
Please note that any Assessment 2 Essay that does not integrate TWO LIFESPAN THEORIES as above will be AUTOMATICALLY FAILED. This is because you are required to demonstrate an ability to engage with theory and theory relating to research. It is also a common problem with essays which are obtained through ‘Essay Mills’ – so an incentive not to cheat
gender and sexuality
gender issues/ femininty
gender issues/ masculinity
trauma and lifespan
disability and stigma
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