Contemporary Research in Social Psychology - SOC00021H

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Robin Wooffitt
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the latest social psychology research on topics of relevance to contemporary society (e.g. identity and social media, consciousness and introspection, police investigation and sex offending)
  • To demonstrate the practical application of postmodern approaches to social psychology, such as discursive psychology and discourse analysis.
  • To give students hands-on experience of working with real-life data.
  • To encourage students to think critically about different theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary topics in social psychology.

Module learning outcomes

This module will enable students to:

  • recognise how critical and postmodern theory and method have contributed to empirical work in contemporary social psychology
  • engage with contemporary debates relating to experimental and critical approaches to social psychology
  • consider the relevance of contemporary social psychology to applied settings
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different explanations for social behaviour and demonstrate the ability to use this knowledge to develop a critical argument


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback at University level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme by providing commentary on your work to date. So feedback means more than just written comments on written work. We aim to help you to reflect on your own learning and to feel clearer about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you informative and summative assessments. The University guidelines for feedback are available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.


You will receive feedback in a number of forms:

  • On any formative (non-assessed) work, you will receive written or verbal feedback about how to improve your work (though you may not receive a mark)

  • On summative work (work that is assessed) you will receive detailed written feedback from the marker. This is intended to show areas in which you have done well, and areas in which you need to improve.

  • Your supervisor will also give you feedback on your work. S/he will be able to look across a range of your work and discuss ways in which you can build on your strengths and improve in any areas


Feedback on your summative written work is made available to you online via e:vision. You will receive an email telling you when it is ready to look at. You are then advised to take this work (printed out or on your laptop) to your regular meeting with your academic supervisor. Your supervisor will be able to look at your work with you and address any queries you have, as well as advise you on ways to improve your work.


Feedback on Exam Scripts


You can ask for feedback on your exam performance from your supervisor, who will go through your examination script(s) with you and discuss the areas in which you did well, and those in which you need to improve. However, you may not take the script away with you, or photocopy the script. If you would like to discuss your exam performance, please let your supervisor know at least two working days in advance of your meeting, so that they can make sure they have the script with them when you meet.


Indicative reading

  • The reading for this module will be available at the library, on the Internet, and via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Some of the more general resources are listed below.
  • Benneworth, K. (2010) Negotiating paedophilia: How sexual offences are constructed in the investigative interview. In M. Coulthard and A. Johnson (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics. Oxon: Routledge. (139-154).
  • Benneworth, K. (2009) Police interviews with suspected paedophiles: A discourse analysis. Discourse and Society. Vol. (5), 555-569.
  • Benneworth, K. (2007) Just good friends : managing the clash of discourses in police interviews with paedophiles. In J. Cotterill (Ed.) The Language of Sexual Crimes. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (42-62).
  • Wooffitt, R. (2007) Communication and laboratory experience in parapsychology experiments: demand characteristics and the social organization of interaction. British Journal of Social Psychology. 46(3) 477-498.
  • Wooffitt, R. and Holt, N. 'Introspective discourse and the poetics of subjective experience forthcoming, Research on Language and Social Interaction
  • Wooffitt, R. and Holt, N. (2010) 'Silence and its organisation in the pragmatics of introspection' Discourse Studies, 12(03). 379-406
  • Wooffitt, R. and Holt, N. (in preparation) Achieving Poetics Looking In and Speaking Out: Introspection, Communication Consciousness. Exeter: ImprintAcademic, chapter 8
  • Wooffitt, R. and Holt, N. (in preparation) Poetics Looking In and Speaking Out: Introspection, Communication Consciousness. Exeter: ImprintAcademic, chapter 7

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.