Review your reflective journal entries and select two examples of your own experiences to analyse for this TMA. Your essay should start by describing the experiences you have chosen, and the main psychological theories and concepts which help you to understand those experiences

There are two parts to this TMA. Please note that you must complete both Part 1 (essay question) and Part 2 (multimedia presentation). This TMA contributes 20% towards your overall continuous assessment score (OCAS). Part 1 carries 70% of the marks for the TMA and Part 2 carries 30% of the marks.


Part 1: Essay question

. You will then need to explain those theories and concepts, using your selected reflective journal experiences to illustrate your answer.

Word limit: 1500 words

Part 2: Multimedia presentation

Create a multimedia presentation to (1) illustrate an experience from your reflective journal and (2) analyse how the way you have illustrated the experience demonstrates its connection to the psychological theories and research covered in Block 3.

Word limit: 500 words

Note: For the purposes of this TMA (both Part 1 and Part 2), the term ‘experience’ can be construed quite widely, covering both short, specific events and longer-term life circumstances. A single bus journey could be an ‘experience’, but so could a two-week holiday or a thirty-year career. Pregnancy could be an ‘experience’, as could childbirth, as could being a parent. Climbing Mount Everest, living in Edinburgh for a few years, or visiting Kew Gardens for an afternoon could all be ‘experiences’ for the purposes of this TMA. The key point is to choose experiences from your own life that link to Block 3’s psychological content, and communicate those experiences and links effectively. Remember also to consider the points raised in Week 13, Section 8, about selecting an experience that is appropriate for sharing in a TMA.



This part of the TMA aims to check your understanding of some of the psychological theories and concepts presented in Block 3 and encourages you to relate theoretical ideas to real-world experience.

Throughout Block 3 you have been adding entries to your reflective journal, relating your learning to your own everyday experience. This TMA helps you to come full circle and practise applying the theoretical understanding you have gained from the module to your own personal experiences. This is probably a new type of assignment for you but it should be a relatively simply task. If you get stuck, looking back through the Block for the points where you were asked to make journal entries will help you to identify the relevant theories.

Command words

This assignment asks you to describe and then explain, and it is important that you do both. You are asked to describe two different experiences from your online reflective journal and the main psychological theories and concepts from Block 3 that would help you to understand each of those experiences. You are then asked to explain each of the identified theories and concepts by referring to your chosen experiences as illustrations to support your explanation.

Tips for Writing

To start with, choose two different experiences from your journal which you think could be used to help explain some of the psychological theories and related concepts you learned about in Block 3. Think about the key points of each of those experiences, then work out which of the theories and concepts each experience relates to. Make sure that the chosen experiences can be used to explain different theories – you should avoid repeating yourself!

In your essay, give enough description of your experiences for the reader to understand it (remember that they will not have read your journal), and make sure you also explain clearly which theory or theories each experience relates to. Remember that all theories and concepts mentioned should be properly referenced, but that you do not need to reference your journal (you may want to re-visit the Week 15 skills activity

on ‘when to reference’).

As an example, imagine that a patient in Roger Ulrich’s hospital study (Chapter 8, Section 3.1) was studying DD210 and had written about their stay in the hospital as an entry in their reflective journal. They may have written about their experience of looking out of the window onto trees and adjoining fields, watching some cows and hearing the birds sing. They may also have written about how they felt better when they had this view: more relaxed, less pain, and more positive. If they chose this example for their TMA, then the related theories could include Ulrich’s psychoevolutionary theory and attention restoration theory, as both of these concern the potentially beneficial responses humans have to natural environments. The idea of ecotherapy and fractal preference could also be relevant when considering how the environment affects ongoing medical treatment and the mental state of the patient. This student would therefore need to describe these theories, explain how and why they relate to the student’s experience in the hospital, and of course reference them appropriately throughout their essay.

Whilst this is not intended to be specifically a compare-and-contrast essay, you may find that there are points of similarity and difference between the two experiences you choose to write about and/or between the theories that you use to explain them. If so, you may find it helpful to reflect back on TMA 02 and apply some of the skills that you developed through that assignment to this essay.


Relevant materials:


The theories and concepts relevant to your essay will depend on the specific examples you choose, and you can draw on any of the material from Block 3. However, the main psychological theories and concepts in Block 3 that may be relevant are:

Week 12 Boundaries of the self:

  • Neisser’s types of self-knowledge (in Chapter 7 [
Tip: hold ⌘ and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] 

, Section 2)
  • Embodiment and Embedment (in Chapter 7, Section 3)
  • Thick and Thin Boundaries, and Place attachment (in Chapter 7, Section 4)
  • Body ownership (in Section 3 of the online materials)
  • Body boundaries (in Section 4 of the online materials)

Week 13 Relationships with the natural world:

  • Evolutionary responses (in Chapter 8, Section 2)
  • Landscape preference, Fractals (in Chapter 8, Section 2, and Section 4 of the online materials)
  • Restorative environments, Attention Restoration Theory (in Chapter 8, Section 2)
  • Ecotherapy (in Chapter 8, Section 4)
  • Causal features (in Section 4 of the online materials)
  • Biophilia (in Section 5 of the online materials)
  • Nature Deficiency Disorder, social support (in Section 6 of the online materials)

Week 14 The urban world:

Week 15 The wider environment:

  • Defence mechanisms (in Chapter 9, Section 3)
  • Socially organised denial (in Chapter 9, Section 4)
  • Separation, dissociation (in Chapter 9, Section 5)
  • Human exemptionalism, the New Ecological Paradigm (in Section 3 of the online materials)
  • Pro environmental behaviour, non-informational factors in behavioural change (in Section 4 of the online materials)

You may also draw on relevant additional material that you have found in your independent study time, but it is not a requirement of this TMA that you do so.

Student notes for Part 2


This part of the TMA draws directly on Week 14, Section 7


, ‘Developing your study skills: using non-text content to present your ideas’, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to communicate ideas using non-textual material in addition to text.

The focus of this task is to make use of non-textual content to convey information to an audience. Using multimedia, you will create a representation of an experience you have had, in order to illustrate that experience for someone else to be able to understand it. You will then analyse how you have presented the information in order to show your audience how it relates to the psychological content of Block 3.

Command words

Here you are asked to illustrate an experience, which means to give an account of it using examples. You are also asked to analyse the illustration of that experience, which means to unpack an issue, idea or proposition, breaking it down into its different elements; to examine something critically or in detail.


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