PSYC 3430: Behaviour in Groups is a third-year psychology course at York University that revolves around the main aspects of human behaviour in groups of all sizes. You will be exposed to the applied, empirical, and theoretical perspectives of group dynamics, development, and leadership. It is a wonderfully engaging course but, like most upper year psychology courses, you will struggle if you do not adequately prepare. Here are a few skills you will need to survive PSYC 3430!

1. Communication and Team-work skills

PSYC 3430 is a course about Behaviour, dynamics, and communication in groups so it only makes sense that you will be asked to communicate for a large part of the course with other students. The professor adds the experiential component of the course through assigning students to groups at the beginning of the semester in which they will be tasked with collaborating on a number of tasks and projects. These groups are usually 6-7 people in size. Oral communication skills will be imperative to the success of all the group work you undertake.

2. Problem-solving skills

You will often be tasked throughout the semester with group work during the last half hour of each class. During the last half hour of each lecture, the professor will ask you to get into your assigned groups and complete a task he gives you. These assignments will force you to think critically, out of the box, and utilize problem-solving skills. This applied component of the course challenges you to be resourceful and work through conflict situations with your group in a timely manner.

3. Writing skills

The major graded components of this course appear in the form of essays, written assignments, and carefully thought out moodle posts in which you will need to write clearly and engage with the class material. Therefore, writing skills are critical to your success as a student in PSYC 3430. In order to ensure your skills are up to par, always write multiple drafts and have your work proofread. A great idea is to utilize the Writing Centre on the York U campus as it offers free assignment writing and editing help and support.

4. Research skills

Many of the assignments in this course require an extensive amount of research and literature review. You will need to understand how to write a research paper with the proper citation formats – this can be a real struggle for most students to master. Knowing how to look up research requires strategy in itself, and then relating that research back to course concepts and essay arguments require additional critical thinking. Try to look at some sample research papers before starting yours to ensure your formatting is correct. Furthermore, York University offers some great free resources for students who seek assistance with writing research papers – one of these is SPARK research resource found online. SPARK is an online module guide created by York University for students writing academic research papers.

5. Active Listening Skills

Listening skills will be imperative for success in PSYC 3430 because the style of this course is one that requires participation and active listening. Although the lecture slides are comprehensive, the professor lets you know at the beginning of the semester that class attendance will be mandatory because many of the notes he will articulate verbally rather than on the lecture slides. If you aren’t able to actively listen and critically question what you are hearing, you will have huge gaps in your knowledge when it comes to the final exam.

PSYC 3430 is an incredibly enjoyable, enlightening, and informative course which students do extremely well, if they take the initiative to master these skills beforehand. The professor is lively and the group work allows you to see the concepts you learn in the course play out in real-life. With the proper time and dedication, you are sure to finish the course with a great grade.


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Sahar J


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