PL4880F (Sem 1, AY2013/14)

By: Alan
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2013/14
Addictive Behaviours

Lecturer(/s): Dr Marlene Lee

What is it about?: You will learn to answer the question ‘ what is an addiction?’ (not as simple as you think), the two main groups of addictions – substance and behavioral addictions, their etiology, treatment, prevention, and some ongoing controversies and issues in the addictions field.

How’s the workload?: One group paper (about 12 pages), one group presentation based on your paper (20-30 minutes), finals (open book; 2 essays, 1st qn compulsory, 2nd qn is 2C1)
Readings are about 2-4 each week, about standard Honors level reading workload

How difficult is it?: The group paper is entirely up to your group to decide the topic (about addictions of course, and after prof’s approval), and you need to be creative in presentation delivery (not standard PPT slides). The final exam questions are quite manageable if you prepared well for her ‘style’ of questions.
I wasn’t really enjoying the content much as I’m not a clinical psych kind of person, but as I was preparing for the exam I realized what we were required to answer wasn’t really what the readings were saying, and some of her lectures were useless for finals, e.g. one entire lecture where she talked about the properties of many drugs, their effects, etc.  And since it’s an open book exam, there’s no need to memorize anything much. 🙂

Miscellaneous Tips/Exam: Be creative, and keep within the time limit for your presentation. Do note that she does follow the 5 criteria she set out in IVLE (e.g. Creativity, Time, etc) when giving you your marks.
My group made a video for this:
Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Music Video –
(I’d recommend only watching Part 1 and Music Video, as Part 2 is abit technical)
For the exam, the compulsory question asks something along the lines of the different conceptualizations of an addiction, and asks you to explain the controversies and existing issues and the implications. (Same for two semesters that I’ve seen the questions)
The 2C1 questions can include: Can ABC be an addiction? ; Something about how to help individuals to change (MI, Transtheoretical model stuff) ; Some application kind question, like Imagine you are planning a nationwide prevention programme for internet addiction, what would you have in place, what would you consider.

Should you take it?: If you plan on doing clinical next time, I guess this is a natural module to want to take, since you learn about the current status of the field. I’m kind of ambivalent about it – I felt lectures were generally boring as I had little interest, and the prof has a droning voice, but I did quite well for the CA components.

Predicted grade: A-
I’m really hoping for an A considering I did really well for my CA components (about 98%). It depends on my finals.

Actual grade: A
Cheers! My CA did really well, so as long as I didn’t screw up my finals (I didn’t think so after the exam), I should have been on track for A-/A at least. And I did! Though one of my group mates (who shared the same CA as me) got an A+ lol she wrote a better finals essay I guess. It’s ok! Be content and happy for what you got! Don’t do upward social comparisons!

Retrieved from Alan’s blog