A Thematic Analysis of the Role of Culture and the Media in Shaping Preferences on Physical Attractiveness and Sexual Behavior

Effect of Accessible Cultural Values on Cross Cultural Differences in Body Image, Body Composition and Sociosexuality: A Thematic Analysis of the Role of Culture and the Media in Shaping Preferences on Physical Attractiveness and Sexual Behavior
Your literature review should be 2,000 words in total. Your empirical report should be 8,000 – 12,000 words in total.
Title: Portfolio
Assignment
For the portfolio, you must submit a 2,000 word literature review and a 8,000-12,000 wordBempirical report. The portfolio assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Literature Review
Students are expected to present evidence of their ability to review relevant contemporary and classic sources relevant to their chosen research question. This going to be in the same or a closely related area as the empirical report but it needs to have a slightly different angle or focus. When it comes to writing up, you need to make sure that you do not repeat information in the introduction of your empirical report that you already presented in your literature review. It’s OK to refer to some of the same

authors but avoid repeating yourself.
Guides to writing the literature review can be found under the Assessment menu tab on the Blackboard module webpages. Essentially, students will be expected to include the following in their literature review: title, abstract, introduction, review methods, review findings, conclusions of the literature review, references. The referencing and presentation conventions that are required in the review are those specified in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Empirical Report:
Students are expected to present evidence of their capacity to execute a substantial piece of independent research that builds clearly upon their prior learning and which draws upon appropriate methodologies. The word limit does not include the title, abstract (maximum 150 words), references or appendices. Guides to Report Writing (for quantitative and for
qualitative projects) can be found in attach file.
Essentially, students will be expected to follow the standard psychology research report format, i.e., to include a title, abstract, introduction, methods, results/analysis, discussion, references and appendices. Reports must also provide details of how students addressed ethical considerations. The referencing and presentation conventions that are required in the empirical report are those specified in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Marking scheme
Portfolios are marked independently by two internal assessors, normally the supervisor and a member of the module team. The two assessors will together agree a grade for the work.
Where there is a discrepancy, assessors will meet to agree a grade. If agreement cannot be reached, a third marker will be brought in to arbitrate. The agreed grade for the work is then sent to the External Examiner for moderation and is ratified by the next

Assessment Board. The grade awarded will be derived from the criteria given on the Postgraduate Grading
Scale and by meeting the learning outcomes for the module and the requirements described in the Guides to Report Writing.
Assessment criteria for Portfolios
Literature Review
Title
? Is the focus of the literature review clear?
? Are the major factors mentioned?
? Is the length reasonable?
Abstract of the literature review
? Is the background/rationale summarised clearly?
? Is the way the review was conducted briefly summarised?
? Is the aim of the literature review clearly stated?
? Is the process for the literature searching clearly and concisely summarised?
? Are the main outcomes of the analysis of material summarised?
? Are conclusions briefly stated?
? Can the abstract be clearly understood?
Introduction to the literature review
? Is there a clear rationale for the literature review and a summary of the background?
? Is the relationship to psychological research clearly explained?
? Is the topic meaningful, relevant and timely?
? Is the structure of the review explained?
? Are the questions or issues that are the focus of the review clearly explained?
Review methods
? Is the scope of the review clearly explained and the parameters defined?
? Is the process of the literature searching (search terms, databases, inclusion and exclusion criteria, approach to reviewing papers and extracting information) clearly explained?
Review findings
? Is appropriate data extracted from the literature searches?
? How well is the information organised and presented?
? Is the research that is reviewed analysed and critically evaluated?
Discussion and conclusions
? Are the main findings from the literature review summarized appropriately?
? Are the findings discussed in terms of the background material presented in the introduction?
? Are the findings discussed in relation to theory?
? Are the implications of the findings discussed sensibly?
? Are the strengths and limitations of the literature review sensibly reviewed?
? Are there suggestions for further research?
? Are there appropriate conclusions?
Literature review overall
? Is the literature review clearly and appropriately structured?
? Is it well written in appropriate academic language?
? Are references present and correct in text and Reference List?
? Are references correctly formatted?
Empirical Report: Unless explicitly indicated, the features listed below apply to reports of both quantitative and qualitative

empirical studies.
Title
? Is it clear what the investigation was about?
? Are the IVs and DVs (quantitative studies) / topic of analysis (qualitative studies) mentioned?
? Is the method of analysis identified (qualitative studies)?
? Is the length reasonable?
Abstract
? Is the background briefly reviewed?
? Are the methods summarised?
? Are results stated in words (quantitative studies) / are themes clearly summarised (qualitative studies)?
? Are conclusions briefly stated?
? Can the abstract be clearly understood?
? Is the abstract succinct?
Introduction
? Is there a logical structure, outlining a broad area then focussing on a precise topic?
? Is there a clear argument for why the topic has been studied and why it is interesting?
? Is there sufficient relevant background material?
? Is there critical analysis and evaluation of previous research in the area (i.e., theories, models or theoretical frameworks;
empirical evidence; methods used in previous research)?
? Is there a clear rationale for the study and methods?
Quantitative studies:
? Is there a sound justification of the factors chosen for the design of the study, and of the measure/s (DV/s)?
? Are the hypotheses well justified by the background material?
? Are the hypotheses specific and testable, and clearly stated?
Qualitative studies:
? Are the research questions or aims clearly stated and achievable?
? Are the research questions and methods well justified by the background material?
Methods Section: Participants
? Are participants described sufficiently?
? Are inclusion and exclusion criteria clear and appropriate?
? Are participant recruitment/sampling methods explained?
Quantitative studies:
? How many participants took part?
? Are relevant attributes of this sample described?
? Are methods of selection and allocation to conditions rigorous and appropriate?
? Have extraneous participant variables been controlled for?
Qualitative studies:
? If applicable, how many participants took part?
? Is there a justification for why the chosen sampling method was used?
? Is brief background data regarding each participant included where relevant?
? If data was not collected from interviews/focus groups etc., is there a description of the source of the data (e.g., media reports, online forums etc), how it was selected, and how much data
was collected?
Design
Quantitative studies:
? Is the design appropriate to investigate the hypotheses?
? Is the type of design described completely and accurately?
? Are any independent variables and their levels described clearly?
? Are measured (dependent) variables and their measurement described clearly?
? Were potential confounding variables considered and addressed?
? Did the study combine a novel set of factors and/or measures?
Qualitative studies:
? Is the approach explained clearly?
? Are the research methods explained and justified and appropriate?
? Is the form of analysis explained and justified and appropriate?
Materials and/or Apparatus
Quantitative studies:
? Has enough detail been given to allow replication?
? Has the source or development of instruments and stimuli (items) been detailed?
? Have example items been given in this section and has the reader been directed to the full set of items/materials in the appendices?
? Have extraneous variables been controlled for?
Qualitative studies:
? How was interview or other data recorded?
? What was the basis for any interview schedule/focus group topic guide?
? Were any other materials (e.g., DVD, article) used to prompt data generation?
Procedure
? Does the description of how the study was conducted allow replication?
? Are participant instructions and debriefing fully described?
? Does the procedure control for extraneous variables, including researcher and interactional artefacts?
? Are ethical aspects of the procedure described and appropriate?
Qualitative studies:
? What was the setting of the study?
? What was the nature of the interactions between the researcher and participant(s)?
? How was the data transcribed?
Analytic strategy/plan for data analysis
Quantitative studies
? Is a clear strategy set out for the data analysis?
? Is there an explanation of how the data analysis strategy relates to the hypotheses?
? Does the data analysis strategy fit with the hypotheses/research questions/study aims?
Qualitative studies
? Is a clear analytical approach outlined and justified?
? Does this fit with the research questions?
? Has analytical software been used and if so is it clearly identified?
Results (Quantitative studies)
? Has data screening been conducted to choose appropriate analytical techniques?
? Are appropriate descriptive/summary statistics given?
o Were tables/graphs used effectively to summarize results?
o Does the table/graph provide an appropriate indication of the mean results and a measure
of variance (where relevant)?
o Is the table/graph referred to appropriately in the text?
? Are results clearly and completely summarised in words?
? If graphs and tables are used, are they appropriate and informative?
? Are analytical (inferential) statistics appropriate to the design, hypotheses, and scales of measurement?
? Are the results of analytical statistics fully & correctly reported?
? Are the findings clearly described, but not interpreted?
Analysis (Qualitative studies): Should be laid out following the conventions in the analytical method the student has chosen. This can be seen in any published work in the area.
? Is there an overview introducing the main points of the analysis?
? Are themes clearly outlined?
? Are relevant extracts/quotations used to support and evidence each theme?
? If IPA is used, is there a table of themes?
? Is the interpretation/analysis of themes justified and appropriate?
? Is the interpretation linked to the extracts/quotes?
? Is the analysis linked to the research aims?
? Is the analysis linked to the relevant theoretical approach?
? Is the analysis linked to the literature presented in the introduction?
? If a discursive approach is used (e.g., DP, CDP, DA etc.), is the analysis linked to the literature presented in the analytic

strategy?
Discussion
Quantitative studies
? Does this section begin by summarizing what the study did and what it found (without including numerical values)?
? Are the results discussed in terms of the background material presented in the introduction?
? Is there an attempt to interpret and explain the current findings with respect to previous studies and theories or models?
? Is there a discussion of what the present study adds to our understanding of the chosen topic?
? Are the strengths and limitations of the study discussed and evaluated?
? Are there specific and well justified suggestions for further research?
? Is there a discussion of the wider or applied potential impact of the present study?
? Does the report end with a summing up of the general conclusions? Do these conclusions follow from the preceding discussion (they

should not add anything new)?
Qualitative studies
? Are the outcomes of the analysis restated and summarized appropriately?
? Are the key messages from the analyses drawn out in the discussion?
? Are the findings discussed in relation to theory?
? Is there evaluation of methods used and of contribution that the study has made to knowledge and understanding of this area of

psychology?
? Are the strengths and limitations of the study discussed and evaluated?
? Are there specific and well justified suggestions for further research?
? Is there a reflexive element describing the researcher’s personal involvement with the research?
? Does the report end with a summing up of the general conclusions? Do these conclusions follow from the preceding discussion (they should not add anything new)?
General points: References
? Are all references that were cited in the text also included in the Reference List?
? Does the Reference List only include cited works?
? Are references correctly formatted?
Breadth & depth of reading
? How well was the study researched?
Clarity and quality of writing
? Are ideas clearly expressed? Is overall presentation of the portfolio of a high standard? Is writing style coherent and logical?
? Is there evidence of critical analysis and evaluation?
? Is there evidence of original thinking?
Appendices
? Are recruitment materials (invitation to participate, debriefings etc.) and instructions to participants included?
? Are relevant special materials (e.g., stimuli, items, questionnaires, interview schedules etc.)
included in appendices?
? Are appendices clearly labelled, and annotated where appropriate?
Quantitative studies:
? Have computer printouts of statistical tests been included, and are they clearly labelled or annotated?
Qualitative studies:
? Are appropriate transcripts/data extracts available if required until marks are confirmed?
Organization/presentation
? Is the report organized and structured clearly and sensibly?
? Is the formatting and layout sensible?
? Is non-sexist and non-racist language used?
Indicative grading criteria
Grade descriptors for portfolios
90-100%
Knowledge and understanding
? Excellent subject knowledge and understanding of key issues and debates
? Very strong evidence of critical understanding of psychological theories and research
Analysis
? Very strong evidence of ability to make a sustained argument on the basis of appropriate evidence
? Evidence of incisive original thinking and an ability to synthesise information in a way that shows a full grasp of the material
? Very high level of critical analysis and evaluation of research
Empirical research skills
? Elegant or original design and methods to address the research questions/aims
? Impressive use of statistical or other data analysis techniques
Reading and research
? Excellent depth and breadth of reading
? Highly effective use of a wide range of relevant sources
? Highly skilled deployment of reading in supporting arguments
Academic writing
? Lively and articulate writing that shows evidence of knowledge, enthusiasm for the material and strong control of the arguments being deployed
? Persuasive, authoritative, economical, academic writing
70-89%
Knowledge and understanding
? Evidence of a wide knowledge of relevant theory applied in a thoughtful way
? Evidence of full and precise knowledge used in evaluating theoretical and methodological approaches
Analysis
? Strong evidence of ability to make a sustained argument on the basis of appropriate evidence
? Evidence of original thinking and an ability to synthesise information in a way that shows a full grasp of the material
? High level of critical analysis and evaluation of research
Empirical research skills
? Very good design and methods that are appropriate to the research questions/aims
? Demonstration of very good knowledge and skills in data analysis
Reading and research
? Very good depth and breadth of reading
? Effective use of a wide range of relevant sources
? Very skilled deployment of reading in supporting arguments
Academic writing
? Use of English that makes the meaning clear to the marker and shows control of the arguments being deployed
60-69%
Knowledge and understanding:
? Very good subject knowledge and understanding of key issues and debates
? Evidence of a full understanding of the strengths and weaknesses theoretical and methodological approaches
Analysis
? Evidence of ability to make a sustained argument on the basis of appropriate evidence
? Evidence of ability to evaluate explanations of evidence
? Evidence of an appropriate level of critical analysis and evaluation of research
Empirical research skills:
? Sound design and appropriate research methods competently executed and reported
? Appropriate knowledge and skills in data analysis methods which are competently executed and reported
Reading and research
? Appropriate reading, showing good depth and breadth
? Good use of a wide range of relevant sources
? Skilled deployment of reading in supporting arguments
Academic writing
? Clear and correct usage with very few imprecise statements
? Strong evidence of familiarity with the appropriate technical terminology
50-59%
Knowledge and understanding
? Evidence of sound knowledge of relevant theory and debates
? Evidence of understanding and knowledge used in evaluating theoretical and methodological approaches
Analysis
? Some evidence of ability to make an argument on the basis of appropriate evidence
? Some evidence of ability to weigh up evidence and construct general conclusions about the information
? Evidence of a satisfactory level of critical analysis and evaluation of research but criteria used not always clearly stated
Empirical research skills
? Adequate design and research methods with some flaws executed and reporting
? Evidence of correct approach to data analysis with some flaws in execution and reporting
Reading and research
? Appropriate reading, showing some depth and breadth
? Use of a n appropriate range of relevant sources
? Satisfactory deployment of reading to support arguments
Academic writing
? Correct English usage with few imprecise statements
? Some evidence of familiarity with appropriate technical terminology
40-49%
Knowledge and understanding
? Evidence of some knowledge of relevant theory and debates but lacking detail and depth
? Some understanding of key issues, debates and methodologies
? Evidence of accurate reproduction of published material but limited interpretation or evaluation
Analysis
? Limited evidence of ability to make an argument on the basis of appropriate evidence
? Evidence of preparedness to weigh up evidence and construct general conclusions about the information
? Evidence of some level of critical analysis and evaluation of research but criteria used not clearly stated and limited in scope
Empirical research skills
? Some evidence of research design and methods skills but with flaws in execution and/or reporting
? Evidence of some understanding of data analysis but with serious flaws in execution and reporting
Reading and research
? Evidence of selection of mainly relevant material from a range of sources, but evidence not deployed accurately
? Materials used come from inappropriate sources but are treated as if they were from more usual sources
? Narrow selection of material
? Limited evidence of research
Academic writing
? Mainly correct English usage, but with lack of precision
? Limited familiarity with appropriate technical terminology
? Use of English in such a way that the marker cannot understand some of the points made, thus limiting the mark to the material that

can be understood
35-39%
Knowledge and understanding:
? Serious omissions and misunderstandings of relevant theory, issues and debates
? Some evidence of appropriate deployment of language and concepts from the topic under consideration
? Evidence of accurate but mechanical reproduction of material but no interpretation or little evidence of deeper understanding
Analysis:
? No real evidence of evaluation or interpretation
? No real articulation of positions or arguments
Empirical research skills:
? Empirical work conducted but in an ineffective and unsystematic way
? Data analysis presented but inappropriate or inadequate
Reading and research:
? Scant or superficial reading
? No evidence of research beyond some basic reading
? Over-reliance on a single textbook source, without analysis, criticism or interpretation
Academic writing:
? Substantially incorrect use of English
? Consistent failure to use terminology appropriately
? Use of English in such a way that most of the material cannot be understood
? Incoherent notes in place of prose text
? Failure to adhere to specified formats
1-34%
Knowledge and understanding:
? Material presented is marginal or irrelevant to the topic or issue
? Significant misconceptions and basic errors in understanding
Analysis:
? No attempt at evaluation or interpretation
? No attempt to state positions or arguments
Empirical research skills:
? No empirical work, or empirical work that is incoherent, disorganised or inadequate
? No data analysis, or data analysis that is incoherent or disorganised
Reading and research:
? Superficial reading of inappropriate sources
? Failure to use reading appropriately in support of argument
? No evidence of reading
Academic writing:
? Writing rambles with little coherence or structure
? Incorrect use of English to such an extent that the assignment cannot be understood
Other reasons for fail grades
? Intentional plagiarism – formal University procedures will be followed
? Collusion – formal University procedures will be followed
? Use of work that has been previously or simultaneously presented for assessment
? Falsifying data in empirical research
? Failure to follow ethical procedures and guidelines
? Partial submission of work

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