This part of the EMA is intended to assess your ability to evaluate a claim (that ‘psychologists who have studied
a range of different phenomena have offered valuable insights into why people sometimes have difficulty
understanding the world and each other’). You will need to give careful consideration to what is meant by the
claim and then present some carefully selected material that allows you to evidence and support your arguments.
You are explicitly asked to draw upon examples of research from at least two blocks of the module to support
your answer. A particular challenge of this essay is to select appropriate examples from a potentially very broad
range of relevant material, from across the module topics.
The command word in the essay question is evaluate. This means that you will need to make an appraisal of the
worth, validity and/or effectiveness of the claim that is stated within the question (that ‘psychologists who have
studied a range of different phenomena have offered valuable insights into why people sometimes have difficulty
understanding the world and each other’). You should consider some of the explanations that psychologists have
offered for why people have difficulty understanding the world and each other, and the research evidence that
they use to support their theories. You should consider the strengths and weaknesses of those explanations, and
The essay question specifically asks you to draw on research examples from across the module, so when
selecting which material to include make sure you demonstrate a breadth of knowledge (e.g. don’t draw
exclusively or very heavily on just one book chapter or module week, no matter how interesting you find it).
It would be appropriate for you to draw on additional material that you have found in your independent study
time to help illustrate your points, such as recent research papers. However, you should make sure that you use
these to support points that are based on examples from within the module, rather than introducing entirely new
topics or areas.
You should think carefully about an appropriate selection of research examples to discuss in your answer. You
may find it useful to select a smaller number of examples/research areas to discuss in more detail, while
mentioning other examples/topics more briefly. When planning your essay, you may find it useful to classify the
examples you consider including into an order of preference. This will mean that you can prioritise your ‘best’
examples (e.g. the ones you find most persuasive or interesting, or that support each other, or that serve as point
and counterpoint) if you find that you can’t include everything you want to within the word limit.