PSA_0SZ Comprehensive Examination

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 0 credit(s). Type of Completion: SoZk (examination).
doc. PhDr. Iva Burešová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Jaroslava Dosedlová, Dr. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Jana Marie Havigerová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Anton Heretik, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Pavel Humpolíček, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Martin Jelínek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Helena Klimusová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Irena Komendová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Katarína Millová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Alena Slezáčková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Zuzana Slováčková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Zdenka Stránská, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Čeněk Šašinka, Ph.D. (lecturer)
prof. PhDr. Josef Švancara, CSc. (lecturer)
prof. PhDr. Tomáš Urbánek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Lubomír Vašina, CSc. (lecturer)
PhDr. Dalibor Vobořil, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Tatiana Malatincová, Ph.D. (assistant)
PhDr. Katarína Šafárová, Ph.D. (assistant)
Mgr. et Mgr. Monika Víchová, Ph.D. (assistant)
Guaranteed by
PhDr. Zdenka Stránská, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Supplier department: Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Preconditions for the comprehensive examination are to submit a paper (research project) accepted by a responsible teacher, than submit a psychopathological case study and to obtain relevant number of credits. During the first cycle of study student has to obtain 180 credits in total (140 A credits and 40 B credits).
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Comprehensive examination has two parts: written and oral.
The examination consists of 7 subjects:
general psychology
developmental psychology
social psychology
psychology of personality
One part of the oral exam is a discussion about the research project.
Upon completion of this course, students demonstrate their ability to combine knowledge from different psychological disciplines that are part of a comprehensive examination.
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of Cognitive psychology, Emotion, Motivation and Action:
  • 1. Subject matter and research methods of cognitive psychology Historical roots of cognitive psychology. The cognitive revolution in psychology. Areas of research in cognitive psychology. Methods of research in cognitive psychology. Cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology.
  • 2. Perception Sensation vs. perception. Perceptual organization, the theory of Gestalt psychology. Perceptual constants. The perception of the size, depth and movement. Color perception. The theories of perception: constructivist theory, the theory of direct perception, integrating theory. Object recognition. Disorders of perception.
  • 3. Attention Attention and consciousness. Pre-conscious information processing; priming. Automatic processes. Habituation. Focused attention. Signal detection. Theories of attention. Attention deficit disorder.
  • 4. Memory Methods of memory research. Traditional models of memory, memory structure. Working memory model. Connectionist models. Memory processes: encoding, storage, retreiving. Theories of long-term memory. Episodic and semantic memory. Implicit memory and learning. Theories of forgetting and amnesia. Extraordinary memory capabilities. Autobiographical memory, flashbulb memories, witness testimony.
  • 5. Mental representation Definition of mental representation. Propositions and images. Schemas. The dual coding hypothesis. The proposition hypothesis. Models of mental representation. Mental manipulation of images. Concepts and categories, the categorization process. Theories of categorization. Production and production system. Connectionist models.
  • 6. Language and Speech Language conceps. The perception of speech. Theories of word recognition. Semantics and syntax. Understanding the language: the processing of sentences, discourse, narratives. Language acquisition, language development. Nature versus nurture in language acquistion. Speech production. Basic processes in reading and writing. Language and thought.
  • 7. Thinking, problem solving, creativity Reasoning and deduction. The theory of reasoning. Inductive reasoning. Heuristics and biases. Problem solving. Types of problems, problem-solving process. Gestalt psychology contribution to problem solving theories. The theory of problem space. The role of knowledge in problem solving, expert decision-making. Creativity - general approaches to creativity. Discoveries. Factors of creativity.
  • 8. Cognitive development, intelligence General principles of cognitive development. Maturation and environmental factors. Cognitive development in adulthood. Approaches to intelligence, measurement of intelligence. Theories of intelligence. Artificial intelligence.
  • 9. Motivation Motivation as a process. View of contemporary psychology to issues of behavior motivation. Basic theories of motivation and their comparison. Basic concepts of motivation (reflex, instinct, instinct, homeostasis, motivation, motiv) in the context of relevant theories. Achievement motivation. Field theory of Kurt Lewin, attribution model, the Zeigarníkova effect, the flow - phenomenon. The survival of the individual and the species. Regulation of food and fluids intake. Sexual and parental motives. Frustration. Strategies for coping with frustration. Theories related to the issue of frustration. Characteristics of volitional processes. Properties of the will. The relationship of motivation and emotion.
  • 10. Emotion Basic approaches to the study of emotion. Classical and modern theories of emotions. Basic theories of emotions and their comparison. Physiological basis of emotion. Psychophysiological indicators of emotions. Possibilities of using instrumental methods for recording psychophysiological correlates of emotion. Basic difficulties in emotion research. Subject matter and methods in emotions study. Classification of emotions in terms of power and time curve, and ontogenetic and phylogenetic terms. Current genesis of emotions.
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of Methodology:
  • 1. Introduction to science. Different ways of acquiring knowledge. Science as subject-matter oriented, systematic, critical, reproducible knowledge. The research in psychology according to the objectives and research designs. Objectives of research in psychology - description, prediction, explanation. Basic concepts - theory, hypothesis, construct, operationalization, variable. Basic research designs - experiment, quasi-experiment, correlation studies. Specific research strategies, longitudinal and cross-sectional research. 2. Measurement in psychology. Indirect measurement of constructs , validity and reliability of instruments. Validity of the research - the validity of statistical procedures, construct validity, external and internal validity . Types of variables according to their role in research. 3. Qualitative and quantitative data, types of scales . Descriptive and inductive statistics. The principle of falsification, hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis in the process of hypothesis testing , type I. and II . errors. 4. The research sample . Population vs sample . The compilation of the sample . Representativeness. Probability vs non-statistical sampling. The sample size . 5. A causal interpretation of relationships, Mill's canons of induction. Experiment versus correlation study. Types of experimental designs according to manipulation with the independent variables. Variants of one-factor and multifactor experiments. Sources of threats to internal validity. 6. Within-subject experiment. Randomization and balancing. Design of control groups and control conditions in psychological research. 7. Within-subject experiment. Effect of condition order, the progressive effect, effect of the transfer. Counter-balancing - complete and partial balancing, reverse balancing, block randomization. 8. Quasi-experimantal design. Design with non-equivalent control group, multiple time series designs. Specifics of threats to internal validity. 9. Correlation studies. Limited conclusions of the correlation studies. Confounding factors in the correlation study - spurious correlation, developmental sequence, missing middle variable, double cause. 10. Research proposal. Structure of the research project - name, theoretical background , research aim and hypotheses, method, discussion, sources.
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of the Psychopathology:
  • Definition – incorporation in the science-system.
  • History.
  • Social psychiatry.
  • Transcultural psychiatry.
  • Concepts of normality.
  • Ethiopatogenesis of psychic disorders.
  • Ethic in psychiatry.
  • Classification of psychic disorders.
  • Perception disorder.
  • Attention disorder.
  • Memory disorder.
  • Thinking disorder.
  • Speaking disorder.
  • I.Q. disorder.
  • Instinct disorder.
  • Emotion disorder.
  • Will disorder.
  • Behaviour disorder.
  • Consciousness disorder.
  • Personality disorder.
  • Incidence, epidemiology of psychic disorder.
  • Types of intervention and therapy (synopsis)
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of the Developmental Psychology:
  • Themes are deeply specified in syllabus of the subject Developmental Psychology.
  • Set A. General information and theories of developmental psychology
  • Developmental psychology: definition, content, goals and methods.
  • Concepts of: phylogenesis, ontogenesis, antropogenesis, actual genesis of psychic processes.
  • Methodology of the developmental psychology: methods, research designs (e.g. cross-sectional, longitudinal, anamnestic and katamnestic).
  • Development and general criterias of psychic development.
  • Developmental changes. Diferenciation, integration, interiorization, fixation.
  • Developmental factors: nature vs. nurture. Maturation, learning/education.
  • Interactive model of the devlopmental factors.
  • Periodization of life-time.
  • Psychology of life-span. „Quality of life“ concept.
  • Developmental theories: S. Freud, E. Erikson, M. Mahler, J. Piaget, L. Kohlberg, W. Stern, J. Bowlby.
  • Paradigmas of developmental psychology: Geneva school, Vienna school, Paris school. Significant personalities: Ch. Darwin, H. Spencer, F. Galton, G.S. Hall, A. Gesell, E. Claparède, J. Piaget, L. Vygotskij, K. and Ch. Bühlers, A. Adler, C.G. Jung, E. Spranger, H. Werner, B.G. Anaňjev, R. Havighurst, S. Freud, E. Erikson, M. Mahler, J. Piaget, L. Kohlberg, W. Stern, J. Bowlby, R.Spitz.
  • Czech significant personalities: M. Rostohar, F. Kratina, V. Chmelař, L. Koláříková, R. Konečný; J. Langmeier, Z. Matějček, J. Švancara, D. Krejčířová, M. Vágnerová.
  • Developmental scales: Brazeltons neonatal scale, psychodiagnostic scales: Gesell, Bayley, Bühler-Hetzer.
  • Set B. Developmental periods and its characteristics, development of psychic functions
  • Periodization and characteristics of every specific period.
  • Body-development, development of specific psychic functions/processes, social, moral and personality developlment.
  • Set C. Special themes of developmental psychology
  • Childrens drawings.
  • Play development and use.
  • Fairy-tales.
  • Psychic deprivation.
  • Attachement.
  • Family development, nurture and nurture-styles.
  • Ageism.
  • Secular acceleration.
  • Fluid and crystal intelligence during lifetime.
  • Role-changes during lifetime.
  • Partnership. Marriage.
  • Parenting and its alternatives.
  • Middle-life crisis.
  • Theories of growing old.
  • Sensitive and critic periods.
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of the Social Psychology:
  • 1. Introduction into social psychology
  • Subject of study SP, SP in the context of related disciplines. History of SP. Basic trends in SP of 20th century, current influential paradigms. Research methods in SP, possibilities of application in SP.
  • 2.Social cognition
  • a) self-relationship as a product of social interaction - cognitive, affective and behavioral components of self-system
  • b)social perception and categorization.
  • Associationist and constructivist models of social cognition. Scheme of processes of social perception. First impression versus complex review. Creating of impressions of other people, connection between perception and motivation. Distortions and mistakes in social perception. Concept of social stereotype (auto and hetero-stereotype), social representations (Moscovici). Connection between perception and attribution processes. c) interpretation of social reality - theory of attribution
  • Theory of attribution (Heider, Fiske, Taylor, Jones, Davis, Kelley). Theory of causal schemes, basic principles of attribution. Mistakes in attribution processes (fundamental attribution failure), attribution of success and failure. Theory of optimism (Seligman, Carver, Scheier, Peterson, Cantor, Norem).
  • 3. Socialization and identity of personality
  • a) Socialization of personality.
  • Basic characteristics of socialization process, three exhibition levels of socialization: organism vs. environment, subject vs. object and personality vs. group. Imitation and identification as basic forms of social learning, importance of primary groups. Importance of early social experience and satisfaction of basal psychosocial needs for latter development.
  • b) personal and social identity - basic determination, evolutional view of their development. Theories of identity (Erikson, Marcia, Stryker, Tajfel, Giles, Garfinkel, Goffman, Harré, Weinreich).
  • 4.Social processes in groups
  • a) Microsocial processes
  • Basic characteristics of the small group. Group development, group dynamics. Leadership styles. Social influence (social facilitation, loafing, deindividuation, group polarization). Social Influence. Leadership styles. b) Macrosocial processes
  • Crowd, depersonalization. Introduction to the intercultural psychology (Hofstede). Ethnic relations.
  • 5. Social Communication.
  • Communication process. Syntax, semantics, pragmatics. Verbal end nonverbal communication.Communication styles and relationships. Communication axioms (Watzlawick, Bavelas, Haley, Jackson). Determinants of the efficient communication, assertivity. The process and effects of mass communication. Theories of mass communication.
  • 6. Interpersonal relations and behavior styles
  • Afiliation, social support. Interpersonal attraction, theories of human relations. Love and intimacy (Sternberg, Rusbult). Prosocial behaviour.
  • Aggression – forms, theories, causes, consequences, control. Chicance, mobbing, home violence.
  • 7. Attitudes and Attitude Change
  • a) Attitude theory. Attitudes measurement (Likert, Osgood, Bogardus).
  • b) Attitude change
  • Cognitive disonance theory (Festinger), Balance theory (Heider). Conformity and obedience to an authority. Theory of persuasion. Relationship between attitudes and a behaviour (LaPière, Fishbein, Ajzen, Madden).
  • Set of the themes for comprehensive examination of the Neuroscience:
  • 1.Human brain-What is it like to be human? History and a new perspective on the role of new neurophysiological kowledges (cortical plasticity, genes and the development of neural networks, cognitive neuroimaging, evolutionary design of a neurocognitive system etc.)in the understanding of human brain.Pattering of the cerebral cortex.
  • 2.Sensory systems. Somatosensory discimination. Auditory cortex. Determining an auditory scene.Olfaction-from sniff to percept. Mechanisms of image processing in the visual cortex.
  • 3.Motor system. Toward a neurobiology of coordinate transformations.Representation of action. Brain mechanisms of action. Basal ganglia and cerebellar circuits with the cerebral cortex. The basal ganglia and the control of action. Brain mechanisms of praxis.
  • 4. Attention and frontal lobes.
  • 5.Dopamin specificity in cognitive systems. An information framework for memory representation by the hippocampus. Prefrontal cortex.
  • 6.Biological foundation of language. The evolution of language.
  • 7. The human amygdala and social neuroscience.
  • 8.Neural correlates of human consciousness.
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Teaching methods
The comprehensive examination consists of seven subjects, which are covered during respective courses in previous study.
Examination by committee.
Assessment methods
The comprehensive examination consists of two parts: written and oral.
Written test - 7 subjects: general psychology, methodology, psychopathology, developmental psychology, social psychology, psychology of personality, neuroscience. The test is rated by a single mark, while student must reach the minimum limit in each subject. Written test is performed usually 1 or 2 days before the oral part.
Oral part: the above mentioned subjects are examined and classified together (student is expected to prove his/her ability to integrate knowledge from individual psychological disciplines). Discussion about written research project is also included.
For passing the comprehensive examination student must successfully complete all its parts, the overall outcome is classified by the standard classification scale as mentioned in the 17th article, paragraph 1 of the Study and Classification Regulations MU.
Vote of Comprehensive Exam Committee.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught each semester.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 1998, Spring 1999, Autumn 2001, Spring 2002, Autumn 2002, Spring 2003, Autumn 2003, Spring 2004, Autumn 2004, Spring 2005, Autumn 2005, Spring 2006, Autumn 2006, Spring 2007, Autumn 2007, Spring 2008, Autumn 2008, Spring 2009, Autumn 2009, Spring 2010, Autumn 2010, Spring 2011, Autumn 2011, Spring 2012, Autumn 2012, Spring 2013, Autumn 2013, Spring 2014, Autumn 2014, Spring 2015, Autumn 2015, Spring 2016, Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, Autumn 2017, Spring 2018.
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