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Psychology, Philosophy, Culture, History and Law

Psychology Topics: #Biological Psychology, Consumerism & Shopping


Start date: 4th May 2022

Time: 19:00 - 21:00

Cost: £95

Day: Wednesday

Duration: 10 weeks

Tutor: Keith Rice

Course code: 22SU120


“I have really enjoyed my weekly classes with you and you always made the lessons fun and entertaining! I think the group we had were good fun too which helps!”– Sue Allan, learner, 2021

 This course aims to

  • Build on the introductory course, ‘Knowing Yourself & Others: an Introduction to Psychology’*
  • Provide an academically-robust, more in-depth approach to key topic areas
  • Create enjoyable learning experiences and foster a love of learning
  • Stimulate students to explore areas that interest them in even greater depth

 It is for

  • Anyone interested Psychology who wants to explore their specific interest in one or both of the topics under discussion
  • Anyone wanting generally to build their knowledge of Psychology

*Note: it will help if you have participated in the introductory course or otherwise developed a basic knowledge of Psychology. However, there will be recaps at various points in the course and additional study materials provided to enable those with little prior knowledge of Psychology to catch up.

 For all sessions students will need

  • An open and curious mind
  • Willingness to participate in questionnaires, activities and exercises

Note: both topic areas can touch upon sensitive issues. Workshop participants will not need to divulge any information of a sensitive or confidential nature.

 Additional Costs

  • Learners should bring along a folder/binder they can keep their handouts in
  • Learners should bring along a notepad they can make additional notes on

 By the end of the course Learners should

  • Feel equipped to study the specific topic areas in greater detail if they wish
  • Be generally more confident in applying psychological concepts in general

 Brief details of the topics to be covered each week

 Week1 - Introductory

  • Introduction to the course
  • Introduction to pertinent psychological concepts - including appropriate recap of the introductory course

 Week2 – Biological Psychology #1

  • The underpinning principles of Biological Psychology
  • How exploring biological processes helps us understand behaviour and psychological issues
  • The limitations of biology as an explanation for psychological processes

 Week3 – Biological Psychology #2

  • Genes, genetics and genetic determinism – are you a prisoner of your genes?
  • Epigenetics and switching genes ‘off’ and ‘on’

 Week4 – Biological Psychology #3

  • How stress hormones influence thinking and behaviour
  • Sleep, light and melatonin
  • Neurotransmitters and mental illness

 Week5 – Biological Psychology #4

  • Sex differences in brain structure
  • Do sex hormones produce ‘gender-appropriate’ thinking and behaviour?

 Week6 – Consumerism & Shopping #1

  • What is consumerism?
  • The Capitalist cycle – the Functionalist view
  • The Capitalist cycle – the Critical view

 Week7 – Consumerism & Shopping #2

  • Advertising and persuasion
  • The Elaboration Likelihood Model – hard sell and soft cell
  • Influence of the Internet

Week8 – Consumerism & Shopping #3

  • Consumerism, shopping and status
  • Bauman’s Seduced & Repressed

 Week9 – Consumerism & Shopping #4

  • Shopping as stress relief
  • Shopping as excitement
  • Shopping for fulfilment

 Week10 – Integration

  • Work with partners on a case study to do with either Biological Psychology or Consumerism & Shopping
  • Ideas for exploring your psychological interests further

Note #1: As the course builds understanding cumulatively, Learners should attempt to attend all sessions and catch up if they should miss one.

Note #2: ‘Homeplay’ mini-tasks will be given on some sessions to apply and consolidate the learning.

 “I thoroughly enjoyed being part of your class and have gained lots of new strategies for thinking and approaching life and situations. I would love to be part of one of your future classes.” – Brenda Simpson, learner, 2021

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Keith Rice

As well as teaching our Adult LEarning classes, Keith has taught A-Level Psychology, Sociology and Health & Social Care for Rossett 6th Formers. He has also been Head of Psychology at another school nearby and taught Psychology and Sociology on a university access course.

Keith has studied Psychology since first entering university in the early 1970s. He has trained with some of the world’s leading consulting psychologists such as Don Beck & Christopher Cowan and L Michael Hall. He numbers leading researchers such as Alex Haslam & Steve Reicher, Marc Lucas and Aaron T Beck among his networks of contacts.

In between spells of teaching, Keith worked as a management consultant and trainer, applying advanced Psychology models and theories to the workplace and to sales & marketing. He wrote and delivered courses on a wide variety of occupational applications, including salesforce training for one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of ‘fast-moving consumer goods’. He also worked as the national administration manager for the UK’s largest freight forwarding operator.

Keith is author of the acclaimed book, ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You: an Integrated SocioPsychology Guide to Personal Fulfilment and Better Relationships’ – described in one 5-star review on amazon.com as “the best Psychology book of the year”. He has contributed articles to Quality World, Integral Leadership Review and Eros & Kosmos. Keith had two key chapters in the ‘Developmental Innovation’ compendium published in Summer 2015.

Describing himself as ‘semi-retired’ these days, Keith works nearly full-time as a private tutor for A-Level Psychology and Sociology students and has supported Psychology undergraduates right up to their finals. He also sees a small number of private psychotherapy clients. Keith sees these activities as mutually beneficial. “Keeping up with the academic through tutoring ensures I always have access to the latest thinking to apply to my clients’ situations. But (suitably-censored) anecdotes from my own client base inform my tutoring and enable me to create scenarios which students gone onto university consistently say have prepared them well for the required depth of analysis they are required to undertake.”

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