A U.K. Perspective on Psychological Literacy and Citizenship

Annie Trapp and Jacqueline Akhurst

in The Psychologically Literate Citizen

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794942
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914500 | DOI:
A U.K. Perspective on Psychological Literacy and Citizenship

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This chapter explores the concepts of psychological literacy and the psychological literate citizen within the context of the UK. The concept of citizenship is explored and it is argued that the ability of psychology students to become psychological literate citizens will depend on their understanding of the contested nature of “citizenship”. The chapter highlights the breadth of psychology education within the UK and confirms that existing course specifications and benchmark statements define a high degree of psychological literacy and contribute to national consistency in psychology education. In other parts of Europe there is more departmental autonomy in teaching psychology as national discipline-specific course accreditation and quality assurance mechanisms are rare. Consideration is given to the potential for developing psychological literacy. Suggestions include helping students to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different research methodologies, the role of psychology in society, and ways in which psychological theories may be applied to real-life situations. Additional ways to develop psychological literacy discussed include assessment methods, capstone courses, work experience and international study.

Keywords: psychological literacy; citizenship; subject benchmarks; UK psychology education

Chapter.  6569 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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