SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3I624529
Module Leader Gianna Cassidy
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

HCI (or equivalent)

Summary of Content

This module provides and appropriate grounding in the areas of human psychology most important to the design of an interactive experience. Topics include personal motivation, human perception, cognition, creativity, memory, and learning. It will provide students with core understanding of human brain behaviour necessary for user design and experience.


Introduction Defining The Study of Psychology and its Relevance to User Experience History - Approaches - Research and Application Ethics and Research Methods Creating a Research Document - Running Experiments - What are Statistics and why are they used? Current diversification of research in interactive design Perception Sensory Perception - Sensation and the Brain - Virtual Perception - Auditory Perception - Tactile Perception Perceptual Processes - Perceptual Organisation - Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up processing - Perception and Illusion Learning What is learning? - Classical Conditioning - Operant Conditioning Learning in Relation to Game Design - Association - Judgment Memory What is Memory? - Episodic - Semantic - Long Term and Short Term Motivation What is Motivation? - What Motivates us? - Theories of Motivation - Theories of Drive Reduction and Arousal Application to Design - What Motivates Users? - How can you Design for User Motivation? Review of Emotion and Communication Developmental Psychology What is Developmental Psychology? - Nature vs. Nurture - Cognitive development Application to Design - Role of Design in Learning and Development Personality What is Personality? - Approaches - Assessment Application to Design - Personality and User Experience Social Influence and Group Behaviour What is Social Psychology? - Approaches - Over self and Others - Conformity, Compliance and Persuasion - Group Processes Gender Application to User Design research The social nature o f Design - Single and Multi-User Participation - Gender in Design Aggression What is Aggression? - Theories of Aggression - The Effects of Media Consumption on Aggression - Aggression and the Media Creativity - Definition - Problem Solving and Creative Thought - Creativity in Media Design

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to: Evaluate the Contribution of the study of Psychology to User Experience and the design of Interactive Experience. Examine Psychological theories of Development, Behaviour and Experience.Evaluate Psychological Approaches to Research Methods and Ethics.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The module material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide Lecture-based and related study materials, along with sample solutions of Tutorial and Laboratory exercises, thus encouraging the development of independent learning and allowing self-reflective feedback on student performance. Staff-based feedback on student performance for submitted work will be provided in line with the University feedback policy, with summative feedback and grades on the coursework assessment utilising GCU Learn. The additional interactive discussion features of GCU Learn will be utilised, as appropriate to the module, to stimulate independent and flexible student learning outwith scheduled class time.

Indicative Reading

Bernstein, D.A., Penner L.A., and Clarke-Stewart, A., (2006). Psychology, (7th Edition) Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Gross, R.D.(2003). Key Studies in Psychology, (3rd. Edition). London: Arnold Publishers; 4th edition. Gee. J., P (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, 1st edition., Palgrave Macmillan. Vorderer, P., and Bryant, J (2006). Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc,US. Nielsen, J.,(1993), Usability Engineering, Morgan Kaufmann,ISBN: 978-0125184069 Rosson, M. and Carroll, J.M., (2001), Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human Computer Interaction, Morgan Kaufmann,ISBN: 978-1558607125 Sharp, H., Rogers, Y., & Preece, J., (2011), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (3 rd Edition), John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-0470665763 Shneiderman, B., and Plaisant, C., (2009), Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th Edition), Pearson Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 978-0321537355

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D7 Computer literacy D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D16 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership D17 Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% 5000 word written report