Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience

Module summary

Module code: PSYH1036
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Human Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): David Luke

Specification

Pre and co requisites

None

Aims

The overarching aim is to allow students the opportunity to apply to the psychology of exceptional human experiences what they have learned throughout the previous duration of their honours module, and specifically:

• To introduce students to the phenomena of study and the historical and conceptual dimensions within parapsychology, transpersonal psychology and the psychology of anomalous experience.

• To develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of parapsychology, transpersonal psychology and the psychology of anomalous experience.

• To engender critical thinking and develop students’ skills critically evaluating psychological research, methodology and theory of exceptional human experiences.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Demonstrate an awareness of the development and history of concepts within parapsychology, transpersonal psychology and the psychology of anomalous experience.

2 Critically analyse exceptional human experiences from a psychological perspective.

3 Critically evaluate the core theories, methodologies and research strategies used by transpersonal, anomalistic and parapsychologists.

4 Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the theories, methodologies and research strategies used by transpersonal, anomalistic and parapsychologists.




Indicative content

This module provides students with an overview of the different approaches to the
psychology of exceptional human experience and allows them to critically evaluate their
relative strengths and weaknesses. This will be achieved through studying the theories
underpinning various phenomena, methods and methodologies (in lectures and videos), followed
by a critical engagement with practical examples of psychological research drawn from the
published literature on exceptional human experience (in seminars and on-line).
It includes topics such as anomalistic psychology, paranormal belief, psychical research, psi research
out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, altered states of consciousness, mystical
experiences, transpersonal psychology, parapsychology, paranthropology and research methods in
the psychology of exceptional human experience.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures, seminars, film, and exercises. A substantial portion of the module will involve participative learning and students will be expected to make a significant contribution. Some of the work will be lecturer led but students will also be expected to reflect on their own observations, to understand and validate theories, methodologies and research findings of parapsychology, transpersonal psychology and the psychology of anomalous experiences, and critically evaluate relevant papers.

Assessment

Extended Essay - 100%
LO - 1-4
Pass mark - 40%
2,500 words.
One from a choice of five titles.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Essay plan submitted mid-term with formative feedback.