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PSYC FPX4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review

Literature Review

Psychology, the study of the mind and behavior, is a vast field dependent on influences from social, biological, and environmental factors on individual thoughts and feelings. Psychological research is centered on studying the experiences and behavior of individuals or groups for specific applications (Sugden, 2020). This assessment would be aimed at psychological research and ideas predicting human behavior and providing a detailed literature review of the hypothesis.   

PSYC FPX4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review

Psychological Concepts

The psychological concepts are all summed up into five major categories despite the numerous theories linked to them. These concepts encompass various approaches to understanding human behavior and psychology, such as biological processes, unconscious drives, learned behaviours, thought patterns, and individual experiences and growth. These concepts have their weaknesses and strengths, but integrating all concepts generates a better understanding of human behavior (Mcleod, 2023). 

The behavioral concept stands out from the rest because of its unique view of people from the environmental standpoint, which tends primarily to factor in how stimuli affect response or observable behavior (Li et al., 2021). Conversely, the psychodynamic concept focuses on how unconscious minds and childhood experiences affect adulthood behavior. It considers a person’s past experiences a strong predictor of his/her likely behavior toward familiar stimuli (Immordino-Yang et al., 2019). 

This is done by studying the person’s mental functions, like memory, perception, and attention, and how they are processed and responded to. Finally, the biological concept assumes that all emotions, beliefs, and behavior have a biological rationale (Drigas & Mitsea, 2021).

Psychological Research Methods 

These concepts can be studied using various research methods, which are essentially descriptive. It involves recording what has been observed and analyzing recorded data. Naturalistic observations enabled psychological observations within the subject’s natural habitat, enabling a realistic view of behavioral occurrences (France et al., 2019). These habitats could be the classroom, hospitals, or other necessary locations. 

A large sample size of a specific ethnic group can be targeted for data collection through surveys and questionnaires. Experimental research methods enable the proper development of a hypothesis to study the cause-and-effect relationships of human behavior (Scholtz et al., 2020).


This research hypothesizes that the Ethnicity of students has a significant impact on the grades obtained by them.” The hypothesis proposes that the grades of the students are dependent on their ethnicity, with ethnicity being the independent variable and grades being the dependent variable. This study’s control factors will be those that can otherwise affect the student’s grades. It includes the students’ social status in the sample, their financial situation, parents’ literacy, and the quality of education provided at school.  

Predict Human Behaviour

Despite the diversity of humans, their behavior can be predicted. This is possible through observation of various psychological concepts because human behavior is based on general experiences (Parlia, 2020). Since students from different ethnicities go through different general experiences, the prediction that it might impact their educational performance is plausible. Human behavior is consciously founded on an individual’s worldview. Therefore, behavioral concepts are essential to this study. A comparison can also be employed to view deviation in outcomes of grades of students with different ethnic backgrounds (Zhang et al., 2021).

Value and Limitations of Psychological Concepts

The psychological concepts employed within this paper are behavioral and psychodynamic. Behavioral theory focuses on the belief that all actions are learned via interactions with the environment but emphasizes that only observable behaviors are to constitute the object of study (Veissière et al., 2022). It follows that since students of a particular ethnic group are meted out a specific type of treatment at schools, their grades are comparatively poorer because of this. However, the limitation of this assumption is the exact socio-economic setting of students in the sample size. 

PSYC FPX4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review

The behavioral concepts are limited as they would not incorporate unobserved factors like the degree to which ethnic discrimination occurs. Hence, behavioral concepts would only focus on the present. The psychodynamic concept on the other hand focuses on the significance of drives and unseen forces that fuels these drives (Vinney, 2019). Therefore, linking the students’ experiences to their academic performance could be helpful. The internal environment that influences their behavior is considered. 

These psychological analysis tools are helpful for studying ethnicity’s role in students’ educational performance. Since psychodynamic concepts would not address the genes and biological traits of the various cultural groups in the study but focus on the experiences of these individuals, it must be projected by the hypothesis (Wiss et al., 2021).

Plausible Hypothesis

The hypothesis for this study posits that there is a significant correlation between the ethnicity of students and the grades they obtain. Existing literature points to the possible role of ethnicity in educational performance, stemming from evidence that Blacks, Latinos, and Asians are less likely to get good grades (Caraballo et al., 2022). The ethnic background of students could play a significant role in their education dynamics and affect their grades. Therefore, ethnicity is the independent variable, and grades obtained by students are the dependent variable. 

Literature Review Supporting Thesis

The assumption that the ethnicity of the students has an impact on their educational performance stems from underlying considerations that are related to their ethnic realities. Students from minority ethnicities perform relatively poorly because of factors related to their daily living (Phojanakong et al., 2019). He found that these students had relatively limited access to healthcare facilities which might be related to their educational performance. Moreover, he found that students from minority ethnic backgrounds had little food security. This greatly added to the mental stress of the students, who then performed comparatively poorly in school. Phojanakong et al. (2019) has established a plausible relationship between the ethnicity of the students and their academic performance.

The recorded instances of ethnic and racial discrimination around the US are rising. In such a scenario, the students belonging to ethnic minorities are under considerable mental pressure. According to Weeks and Sullivan (2019), students who go through discrimination have higher levels of mental stress. Their study surveyed over 60,000 students in the US. The study concluded that students belonging to ethnic minorities had higher levels of anxiety, behavior disorders, and depression. There was found to be a proven correlation between the ethnic background of the student and his mental health.

These instances of racial discrimination, or chances of them happening, force students to develop coping strategies, which disengage them from academic activities. According to research (Verkuyten et al., 2019), ethnic diversity in the classroom, teacher-student relations, and multicultural educational environments play a decisive role in this disengagement. The research concludes that students of minority ethnic backgrounds continuously have to engage in spheres other than the academic sphere, and several factors can play a significant role in their academic performance.


The various concepts of psychology play their part in better understanding human behavior. Literature shows a possible connection between the students’ ethnicity and grades. Therefore, research exploring this relationship can reveal new understandings of ethnic diversity in educational institutions. In this case, a better understanding would lead to better planning and response concerning school diversity.

PSYC FPX4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review


Caraballo, C., Ndumele, C. D., Roy, B., Lu, Y., Riley, C., Herrin, J., & Krumholz, H. M. (2022). Trends in racial and ethnic disparities in barriers to timely medical care among adults in the US, 1999 to 2018. JAMA Health Forum, 3(10). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.3856 

Drigas, A., & Mitsea, E. (2021). 8 Pillars X 8 Layers Model of Metacognition: Educational Strategies, Exercises &Trainings. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (IJOE), 17(08), 115. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijoe.v17i08.23563 

France, E. F., Uny, I., Ring, N., Turley, R. L., Maxwell, M., Duncan, E. A. S., Jepson, R. G., Roberts, R. J., & Noyes, J. (2019). A methodological systematic review of meta-ethnography conduct to articulate the complex analytical phases. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19(1). 


Immordino-Yang, M. H., Darling-Hammond, L., & Krone, C. R. (2019). Nurturing nature: How brain development is inherently social and emotional, and what this means for education. Educational Psychologist, 54(3), 185–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2019.1633924 

Li, X., Zhou, Y., Wong, Y. D., Wang, X., & Yuen, K. F. (2021). What influences panic buying behaviour? A model based on dual-system theory and stimulus-organism-response framework. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102484 

Mcleod, S. (2023, February 20). Psychology perspectives | Simply Psychology. Www.simplypsychology.org. 


Parlia. (2020, April 7). Psychology can predict human behaviors – Parlia. Www.parlia.com. https://www.parlia.com/a/psychology-predict-human-behaviors 

Phojanakong, P., Brown Weida, E., Grimaldi, G., Lê-Scherban, F., & Chilton, M. (2019). Experiences of racial and ethnic discrimination are associated with food insecurity and poor health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health16(22). 


Scholtz, S. E., de Klerk, W., & de Beer, L. T. (2020). The use of research methods in psychological research: A systematised review. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 5(1). frontiersin. 


Sugden, R. (2020). Hume’s experimental psychology and the idea of erroneous preferences. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2020.11.017

Verkuyten, M., Thijs, J., & Gharaei, N. (2019). Discrimination and academic (dis)engagement of ethnic-racial minority students: a social identity threat perspective. Social Psychology of Education22


Veissière, S., Constant, A., Ramstead, M., Friston, K., & Kirmayer, L. (2020). Thinking through other minds: A variational approach to cognition and culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 43, E90. 

doi: 10.1017/s0140525x19001213 

Vinney, C. (2019, April 22). Psychodynamic theory: Approaches and proponents. Thought Co. https://www.thoughtco.com/psychodynamic-theory-4588302  

Weeks, M. R., & Sullivan, A. L. (2019). Discrimination matters: Relations of perceived discrimination to student mental health. School Mental Health11(3), 425–437. 


Wiss, D. A., Brewerton, T. D., & Tomiyama, A. J. (2021). Limitations of the protective measure theory in explaining the role of childhood sexual abuse in eating disorders, addictions, and obesity: an updated model with emphasis on biological embedding. Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01293-3 

Zhang, W., Shen, Q., Teso, S., Lepri, B., Passerini, A., Bison, I., & Giunchiglia, F. (2021). Putting human behaviour predictability in context. EPJ Data Science, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-021-00299-2

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