PL3234 (Sem 2, AY2016/17)

By: Hoo Xun Yi
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2016/17

Lecturer: Dr Nina Powell

Lecturer Review: Nina was a clear speaking and accommodating lecturer. Although she can sometimes run through content quickly, she is especially clear in her delivery and often paces her lecture quite well. She adopted the flipped classroom approach this time around, complementing face-to-face lectures with online lectures beforehand. Her online lectures were good but unfortunately had no transcript, making it very difficult to revise without watching the lecture again.

Module Review: Content was very manageable. A lot of content had been cut down to the really important bits for the online lecture, while the face-to-face lecture helped to reinforce the points raised by the online lecture as well as provide other information. Despite the textbook being a supplementary reading, there was almost no need for it.
Examinations were pretty standard, some MCQs, and a 6-choose-5 short essay segment. Nothing too difficult and nothing out of the ordinary. The questions were almost all (if not all) fact-based.

PL3234 (Sem 2, AY2011/12)

By: Alan
Module taken in Sem 2 AY2011/12
Developmental Psychology

Lecturer(/s): Dr John Elliot

What is it about?: The development of an individual in the various domains such as emotions, moral reasoning, cognition, etc, from infant to adolescence.

How’s the workload?: One mid term essay, one ‘mid term’ MCQ test (was in week 13), one essay finals (two sections, 6 choose 3 short answer and 3 choose 1 essay)
One 2 hour lecture weekly, one 2 hour tutorial fortnightly.
Textbook is  a typical Psych textbook, 40-60 pages a chapter a week. Some weeks 2 chapters.

How difficult is it?: Do you like memorizing things? If you do this is the module for you! Enjoy memorizing everything in the textbook as well as everything he says during lectures as well as everything in the tutorial.

Miscellaneous Tips: Lectures are important – he tests things that he talks about during lectures and his lectures cover his areas of focus, which he is likely to test in the finals. (you probably still have to know everything for the MCQ though) This made spotting rather easy – all his past year questions are available (just look for the distinctive style of 6C3, 3C1 format) and he doesn’t really repeat questions, so based on what he covers in lectures as well as what’s been asked in the previous year (s), you can spot some topics that will be tested.
Tutorials are not worth any CA, but some things that you discuss during class is important. Just have a clear idea of how to argue for/against the prominent issues and be aware of the various points/studies that you can use.
He does test details, such as age of learning how to walk and whatever crap, in the MCQ, so… happy memorizing. Do also know the studies that he cites in his lectures, he tested quite a few questions on those too (not in textbook).
To sum up, memorize the textbook and his lectures, and when you revise for finals use his ‘focus points’ based on what he touches on in lectures to think more deeply about those topics so you can write stuff in the essay.

Should you take it?: It’s a compulsory mod, so Psych majors don’t really have a choice. John Elliot is like a super old fellow who has been around for ages, so if you’re looking for a knowledgeable old man, he is the one. If you’re looking for an entertaining lecturer… look elsewhere.


Predicted grade: B

Actual grade: B-
-_- Suck ittttt devt psych. Guess my finals pulled me down. Really expected a B and in the case of a miracle, a B+, but I was left with a sour B-. All these intensive memory modules are pulling down my grades! (Biological Psychology was another one, and I got B- too)

Retrieved from Alan’s blog

PL3234 (Sem 2, AY2014/15)

By: Damien Chan
Module taken in Sem 2 AY2014/15
Developmental Psychology

Lecturer(/s): Prof John Elliott
Ok this review might be a biiit biased because I am a huge fan of Prof Elliott. He’s the godfather of Psych in Singapore ok and he’s so cute!! All his examples are hilarious and I could go on listening to him forever.
I will try to make this review as neutral as possible but if the fanboy appears then I apologise in advance.
Prof Elliott has said that this will be the last time he’s teaching PL3234 because he’s retiring soon, so I’m not sure how relevant this review will be. Still, a chance to exalt the legendary Prof Elliott is better than none at all. THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW HIS GREATNESS.
Many people would agree that Prof Elliott basically just teaches whatever’s in the textbook, so all you have to do for his module is to burn the textbook and drink. That is true to a certain extent, because he also supplements the textbook material with his own material that he has amassed over the decades as the king of Psychology. Reading the textbook he prescribes will definitely allow you to go through the lectures at a comfortable pace so that the little snippets of information that he adds on will be easier to absorb. The textbook and his lectures go hand in hand, see?
Plus he webcasts his lectures.

Textbook: Developmental Psychology. Leman & Bremner.

Content: Dev is usually seen as a heavy core mod. You will learn a lot about babies and their first few years of life, from their cognition, perception and sensorimotor skills to the development of feelings, attachment and morality in later years. Along the way there will be some big names like Piaget and Vygotsky, as well as a bunch of experimenters like Ainsworth and Bowlby, and you will learn what all of them did and how their findings were crucial contributions to understanding babies.
Doesn’t that sound like a lot already?
What’s tricky about dev is that it spans a wide range of baby-related topics that may not be as consistently structured (like Abnormal’s epidemiology-aetiology-symptoms-treatment structure across the chapters) or as interrelated (such as Cognitive’s four memory chapters/ problem solving + reasoning chapters/ sensation + perception chapters) as the other modules. That being said, the content is mostly very straightforward and not difficult to understand at all; just difficult to memorise in whole.
That being said, the textbook is really fun to read because of all the cute baby pictures.

Workload: Easy tutorial work, an MCQ test which happened in Week 13 (which was actually good; it was a bit like pre-finals so you don’t have to re-mug the entire mod by the time finals comes since you just had a test on the entire mod one week before), finals, and a 1000-word term paper. The term paper question was to design an experiment to find out something about babies. You could do any topic you wanted to.

Tutorials: My tutor was Charlene (and for 2 sessions Prof Elliott). For most tutorials, there was a reading you had to do (either an article or the textbook) and then the tutorial was spent discussing questions, so there is some work to be done before tutorials. During tutorials we were split into groups and after discussing would share our views with the rest of the class. If you get similar discussion-based tutorials, the best way to do it is to just say whatever you think. That’s when you’ll learn the most from each other. If everyone also paiseh then go tutorial waste time. Charlene is great, a nice and friendly tutor who knows her stuff (especially since she’s working in the Infant Lab) and expects us to be in charge of our own learning. So if nobody answers just stare at each other lor.        Comments: If you’re majoring in psych, you don’t really have a choice whether or not to take this module. While it may be daunting (40 pages per chapter, on average), doing the textbook readings beforehand help A LOT. Plus, start early on your term paper (e.g. recess week) so you won’t have to fret about it by the time submission comes along. Because the term paper question was to design an experiment, taking at least Stats 1 will help. Stats 2 gives you more options to design your experiment (i.e. 2-way instead of 1-way).
You might also find it helpful to do summaries of people and their studies/ the ideas they championed. Consolidating all the fragmented pieces of information (e.g. everything you can find about ToM) lying throughout the textbook on a single page really helped me remember stuff better.


PL3234 (Sem 1, AY2014/15)

By: Julene Ong
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2014/15
Developmental Psychology

One of the core psych mods. My lecturer was Qin Lili whose voice sounds really suitable for developmental psych because it’s really high-pitched like a 5 year old kid’s =X

Assessment format:
Term Paper (20%)
Midterms (30%)
Finals (50%)

I thought developmental psychology would be my favourite module this sem cos i kinda like kids and thought dev psych was most aligned to my interests among all the psych cores but nah it’s not.
I’m not sure whether it’s because of the lecturer or the textbook or maybe developmental psych just wasnt really what i imagined it to be?

The content was pretty dry like a lot of months milestones to remember, like at 18 months they can understand a person’s intention when they do something, at duno how many months they have object permanence, at duno how many months they can have depth perception etc etc.
The readings given for each lecture was quite little in a sense because usually it’s only like 10 pages per topic? But the textbook by Berk is not the most readable textbook there is. 10 pages of dev psych reading feels more tedious than 30 pages of social psych readings.
Don’t need to waste money buying the textbook because the readings are not extensive and there’s a free pdf version online somewhere.
Anyway I survived by repeatedly going to RBR in CLB to borrow the textbook to do the required readings, probably borrowed it about 20 times throughout the sem.

Prof Qin speaks reallyyyyyyyy slowlyyyyyyy.
I fully realised that when I watched her lecture webcast at 2x speed and it sounds pretty normal. Then when i switch back to the normal speed, it sounds like she is speaking in slow mo.
But on the bright side, you can save time to watch webcasts because you can finish a webcast in half the time and still understand the content well hahaha.
Overall, I think she’s still okay as a lecturer bah and it was quite cute that she was pregnant while teaching us which made things feel more interesting when you think that these developmental stuff will happen to your lecturer’s kid soon. Haha abit weird to think about that =/

Tutorials were on alternate weeks like most psych mods and i think tutorials are what I enjoy most for this module.
My tutor was Yeo Geck Hong (using pure names without salutations for easy reference because i always have this problem of formality levels with tutors, not sure to call them by their names or by Miss. Yeo etc)
Anyway Geck Hong is a pretty nice tutor, she makes tutorials more interesting by always encouraging us to discuss with our tutorial mates and gives us thought-provoking questions and doesnt just spoonfeed us.
Tutorial materials tend to be more interesting than lecture materials too because there’s less emphasis on remembering months but more on factors that affect attachment, factors that lead to aggression etc.

The term paper was quite interesting to write. We had three topics to choose from: 1. find a toy in the market and describe how it promotes development for the child 2. find a kid (with informed consent) and conduct one of Piaget’s conservation tasks on them and talk abt the findings 3. interview two parents and talk abt their parenting styles
I did the third question because it sounded like the easiest and most interesting to do.
Didnt do very well for it though haiz but at least I had fun in the process of asking my mum and grandma about my childhood haha.

Midterms was before recess week and because of my dance practices, I didn’t really have the time to study for it. It was a mix of MCQ, fill in the blanks, short answer questions (which are essentially like fill in the sentences) and one essay question. Got the same score as the mean and median which I realise that when you get the same score as the mean, it just makes you feel very average, no matter what your actual score is because nus works on a bellcurve and the mean is a B..

Finals was terrible. I think I was a little complacent on the actual day of the exam because I studied quite hard for it so I didn’t revise much on the morning itself (the paper was at 1pm). When I went in for the exam, my mind blanked out for the short answer questions and the essay because i couldn’t remember the exact stuff. Her short answer questions are like fill in the sentence questions in the sense that she asked “list the three levels and six stages of Kohlberg’s theory of development”. It was similar to the type of questions she asked in midterms where we simply had to list stuff but i overestimated her and thought she wouldnt ask such lame questions in finals but well she did.
And the worst thing is that this is so simple and i couldnt remember the answers which means that everyone else is going to do much better than me T_T
And i think the readings were kinda pointless, she tested almost exclusively from her lecture notes..
Kinda regret that last minute complacency, could have done much better. =/

Predicted grade: at least a B pleaseeeeee
Actual grade: B- 😦

Retrieved from Julene’s blog