PSYC3082 Contemporary Psychological Issues

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


3rd year

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of delivery:

On-campus and Online Delivery




This unit is an elective subject in the 3rd year of the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences degree. The main objective of PSYC3082 is to introduce students to a variety of contemporary issues within the field of psychology.

Unit description

This unit explores the psychological impact of changes in society spurred on by technology and physical and social environmental change. Topics examined include media and internet representation of the global village, terrorism, surveillance technology, climate change, natural and human disasters, psychiatry and mental health, technologically assisted interaction, sex, and intimacy, created virtual realities, and reality television. The unit will also examine the role of psychology as a discipline in creating social change and the ways in which the science of psychology is used to explain and understand social events and changes. The unit concludes with a plenary session and discussion of topics introduced during the unit.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • describe major psychological impacts of technology, global warming and natural and human disasters
  • articulate the psychological mechanisms of how computers encourage human involvement and connection
  • identify psychological components of terrorism, surveillance technology
  • outline ways in which psychology and technology may combine to create improved human environments

Unit content

  • What are contemporary psychological issues? The psychological impact of societal change

  • The psychology of terrorism
  • The psychological impact of surveillance and evaluation technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • The psychology of global warming, climate change, and natural disasters

  • Technologically assisted psychological change.

  • The monopoly of psychiatry in mental health

  • Technologically assisted sex and communication
  • Psychology and assistive technology: A new generation of rehabilitation

  • Discussion of issues that have been examined and a consideration of the ways in which psychology as a discipline examines, analyses and understands its subject matter.

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly 2.5 hour lectures and 9 weekly 1 hour tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

Assessment Summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space.

Recommended text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the School of Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.