Assessment Task 2: Case study
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Limit: 3000 words -References not included in the word count
Pick one of the cases in the guidance below and devise a social psychology intervention to address the issue presented.
1.1. You need to pick one of the cases below and devise an intervention to address this using social psychology principles and research to help you. The cases are as follows:
1) You have been asked by the manager of a local nursing home to find ways to improve the quality of life for the community of long-term residents in this home. She has heard that increasing group cohesion can help to improve well-being and quality of life and would like to hear some suggestions as to how this might be implemented. Your task is to plan an intervention which will improve the quality of the community, to justify your plan with reference to research and to indicate what well-being/quality of life benefits will result from a stronger community.
2) You have been asked by the management of a residential refugee centre to help improve the situation for those coming into the centre following a recent wave of migration from a neighbouring country. The management have noticed tension between the existing refugee residents and the incoming residents and need to find ways of defusing this tension. Your task is to plan an intervention which will improve the relations between the two groups, to justify your plan with reference to research and to explain how to maintain good intergroup relations once the intervention period is over.
3) You are assisting a local community who have recently been displaced following an environmental disaster. Community leaders have noticed an increase in mental health issues, a decrease in general well-being and a disruption in community cohesion following this displacement. Your task is to plan an intervention which will help to bring the community back together and help them to cope and move forward from this difficult situation. You should justify your plan with reference to research on social, environmental and health psychology (if appropriate).
This assessment is a case study assignment which means that we are looking for you to develop a plan which relates to the case under consideration and support it with reference to appropriate academic literature. You need therefore to take research which has been applied to other contexts and generalise it to this new one. You also need to predict what the outcomes will be and how you will both ensure and measure success.
Each case is quite general and so there is scope for you to place each in context, according to your own experience and interest. For example, you could specify the age range and health issues of the residents in case 1, decide on which refugee groups are in conflict in case 2 or decide what type of disaster and what size community in case 3. If you are planning to do this, you need to ensure that you do not contradict the information given. Additionally, you will need to justify these choices and will need to ensure that your argument and research can be applicable to this more specific context.
1.2. Key Points Required for this Assessment
|Key Point 1: Clarity & Consistency
A clear and consistent argument needs to be maintained throughout this assignment. It should be evident to the reader how the different points link to your recommendations and how the evidence clearly supports the recommendations. You also have a certain amount of freedom about how you present your assignment; better answers will use a format that allows for the clearest and most persuasive account of your argument to your audience.
|Key Point 2: Awareness of Your Audience
As this is a case study, all assignment titles have a “practice” element to them. However, they also have an intended audience (e.g. the nursing home manager, the residents, the centre management, the two refugee groups, the community leaders, the displaced community members). You need to consider who the audience is, what their expectations are and how your answer addresses those expectations. Better answers will link to these potential expectations in the recommendations, evidence or structure of the answer.
|Key Point 3: Critical Evaluation
As well as presenting a coherent argument, your assignment should include some analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the research evidence which links to this. Better answers will also resolve contradictions in the research evidence and present a clear synthesis based on valid information.
|Key Point 4: Originality
As this is a Level 7 assignment, your essay should show an original or novel contribution to knowledge. This can be through suggesting a better way to apply an approach to a problem, generating some points of critical evaluation that have not been presented by others or combining research/ideas in a novel way. Better answers will suggest ways that these original conclusions could be tested/verified by further investigation.
|Key Point 5: Use of Evidence
It is important that you are using evidence which is from appropriate sources – with a strong balance towards peer reviewed journal articles. You need to present both theory and empirical research. All research must be relevant to support your argument but better answers will include research which is more current or contemporary to support the points.
1.3 Assessment Structure
As this is a 3000-word assignment, we would suggest the following split of content:
· Introduction and analysis of the problem – 300 words
· Explanation of the intervention/plan; including details/elements and Implementation – 600 words
· Justification of the elements of the plan from literature – 1400 words
· Any practical or ethical issues associated with your plan and how you intend to address them – 300 words
· How you will measure/assess success – 200 words
· Conclusion – 200 words
|Concise/Indicative Reading List|
Ellemers N., Spears R. and Doosje B. (1999). Social Identity. Oxford: Blackwell
Harre, N. (2012). Psychology for a Better World: Strategies to Inspire Sustainability. University of Auckland
Haslam, C., Jetten, J., Cruwys, T., Dingle, G. & Haslam, S.A. (2018) The New Psychology of Health. Unlocking the Social Cure. Routledge, New York.
Hogg, M. A. & Vaughan, G. M. ()
Jetten, J., Haslam, C. & Haslam, S.A. (2011) The Social Cure: Identity, Health and Well-Being. Psychology Press: Hove.
Steg, L., van den Berg, A.E. & de Groot, J.I. (2012). Environmental Psychology: An Introduction. BPS Blackwell
British Journal of Social Psychology
European Journal of Social Psychology
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Journal of Social Issues
Learning Outcomes to be assessed
1. Critically reflect on the role of social psychology in facilitating individual responses to societal challenges
2. Critically appraise the efficacy of social psychological interventions to address societal and individual issues.
· Demonstrate that the problem at hand is actually a problem.
· You will need to demonstrate this using statistics or research as evidence. In some cases these might come from academic papers, in other cases they might come from other sources (e.g. government reports, information from charities, items from the news).
Explanation of the intervention/plan (20%)
· Although you won’t actually get the chance to carry out your intervention, you will need to maintain some grip on reality here!
· Make sure that you consider the practical implications of your interventions.
· Make sure that you suggest clear guidelines for how things will practically work. This will differ for different projects; some people will need to include more discussion here than others; what is key is that the marker can discern exactly what you want people to do from the information that you include and that this is practical and achievable.
|Literature review (45%)
· Demonstrate that you have read more widely than just the papers supplied and that that this reading is relevant to the topic. Better assignments will include more evidence of independent literature searching to locate the most suitable supporting evidence.
· As well as simply reading extensively around the area, you’ll need to synthesise the information effectively to demonstrate the current understanding in the field. This will include outlining current perspectives and interventions within social psychology but also considering other relevant perspectives and interventions. It would be useful to consider examples where interventions have been successful (and why) as well as instances where interventions have not been successful (and why).
· Think of this as an essay where you are arguing towards your own intervention – use it as a way of presenting the rationale for your idea.
· You will need to demonstrate that you can take the theory and/or research findings and link them successfully to your intervention/plan. What we are looking for here is for you to argue strongly, using evidence effectively to bolster the points that you are making.
· For example, if you present a specific idea, you should then present evidence to back up that idea. If you are presenting a number of different ideas, you should organise these logically so that the reader can follow what you are saying.
· Better assignments will show your reader that you understand the difference between opposing perspectives/different topics. Additionally they will demonstrate that you understand how similar perspectives and topics fit together.
Ethical/practical considerations and measurement (10%)
· You need to briefly consider assessing the efficacy of your intervention/plan. What measures/apparatus are you going to use and why have you selected those?
· You also need to consider the ethical issues here. Think about how your plan fits in with the BPS ethics guidelines for instance. If you have any aspects of your plan that are ethically difficult, how will you deal with them?
· Well developed
· Follow the line of argument within the overall piece of writing and have a basis in critical evaluation of the literature.
|References – Presentation (5%)
· Correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling
· Appropriate writing style (use of “third” person)
· References reported accurately in essay text
· References reported accurately in attached ‘References’ section
Students should recognise that the marking criteria are weighted to indicate its importance in relation to the information required.
NB: these subsections should only be used as guidance towards marking and content. This is an academic essay and subsections should not be used within the main body of work.