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Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context

1. Exploring Atypical Behaviour

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In this first module, we think about an atypical behavioural scenario and how we might explore why it has occurred, focusing in particular on: (i) the scenario whereby a person’s date behaves very unpredictably and seemingly contradicts themselves in what they do and what they say; (ii) questions that could be posed to explore why this happened, including why the person acted the way they did, how we would find out those reasons, and why the other person interpreted those actions as unexpected; (iii) the range of levels at which you can consider these issues, including individual (micro), social (middle), culture (macro) and general trends; (iv) why this matters as a psychology researcher, including a focus on the replication crisis and cultural differences.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores context-based approaches in psychology. In the first module, we think about an unusual social interaction and the ways in which a psychological researcher might approach understanding it. In the second module, we think about idiographic and nomothetic approaches to investigation, and how these tie into personal and social factors. In the third module, we think about individual and social research methods, including the role of attributions and circumstances. Next, we think about attribution models, focusing on Jones and Davies’ theory and Kelly’s covariation model. In the fifth module, we think about biases, including gender bias (within which are alpha and beta biases) and culture biases. In the sixth and final module, we think about some conclusions and controversies within this field, including the importance of psychology pursuing both scientific methodologies and compassion.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. His research centres around social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health. Dr Bouguettaya is interested in how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might taken on those issues. His recent publications have spanned a breadth of topics including social identification, eating behaviours, conspiracy theories, and behavioural economics.

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APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, April 07). Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context - Exploring Atypical Behaviour [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, Ayoub. "Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context – Exploring Atypical Behaviour." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Apr 2022,

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