PS1061: Sensation and Perception 2010

Coursework Essay Instructions

Describe some examples of hearing impairments and their possible origins - how do such impairments interfere with everyday life?

(deadline: 02/12/2010)

Course co-ordinator: Johannes M. Zanker,, (Room 214)

Hearing aids

Hearing impairments are as old as m. This is mankind (womankind), and there is a long history of technical tools to help individuals to pick up sounds when the ears' function is reduced - from the ancient ear trumpet that simply channels sound waves into the inner ear, to contemporary digital hearing aids that can selectively amplify particular sounds and filter out noise.




The topic relates to the everyday experince of a large number of people, which therfore has a huge relevance for Psychology and society in general: It was estimated that in 2004 mor than 30 Million suffered from some kind of hearing loss (Kochkin 2005). There is a wide range of possible causes for hearing impairments, and understanding the basic mechanisms of hearing and their malfunction offers opportunities for biological/pharmacological, technical and behavioural interventons, which are intended to enable affected individuals to manage their impairment (Steel 2000).

And here you can download your essay instruction sheet...

What to do

Think about some interesting questions that you may want to include in your essay, such as (starting points for further reading are given in brackets ):

Don’t worry, you don’t need to answer all of these questions, a 1500 word essay certainly can only scratch the surface. At some point you should, however, define what hearing impairments are. You will also should describe how hearing loss is assessed (see main textbook). What are the main consequences for an individual living with a hearing loss (here some self-help websites may be helpful, such as Consider what social and ethical questions arise from interventions, and the consequences of neglecting or refusing treatment. At the end, you could write a summary paragraph to evaluate the question what (if anything) we can learn from hearing loss about the general importance of using sensory systems...

Have fun!


The basic framework fro this essay is covered in the lecture on the 28th of October, and can be found on the lecture webpage ( Starting from the lecture material, the best way forward is to read the chapters on hearing in the main textbook (Zanker 2010) and/or Goldstein (2007), and collect infromation and ideas that can be relevant for your essay. The you can move on to other sources, som of which ar listed below, to gain deeper understanding of some more specific issues. When you search the internet fro additional material, make sure that you always end up with reliable sources (i.e. material published in academic journals that you can include as references).

Reading materials (core texts in library, partially available from virtual resources room):

Further reading(available from virtual resources room, library electronic journals, or internet):

A note on Plagiarism

Plagiarism consists of a person presenting another person’s ideas, findings or work as their own by copying or reproducing the work without due acknowledgement of the source. The University regards plagiarism as a very serious offence. At the very least, it is a misuse of academic conventions or the result of poor referencing practice. Where it is deliberate and systematic, plagiarism is cheating.

By completing your submission declaration, you are confirming in written form that the work you are submitting is original and does not contain any plagiarised material.

When plagiarism is suspected in any work, it will be scrutinized further in line with college policy. Furthermore, to assist with plagiarism detection the Department is implementing random checks of all coursework. We routinely check from the electronically submitted copies of coursework essays approx.10% of all submissions, selected at random.

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last update 27-10-2010
Johannes Zanker