SCQF Level: 10
Module Code: PSY408
Credit Value: 20
Term: Term 2
School: School of Social and Health Sciences
This module is designed to develop students' understanding of social psychology and cognition, building on their second-year Cognition and Social Psychology modules. The module develops a deeper understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and explores how these processes underpin social processing.
The aim of this module is to provide the student with an in-depth and critical understanding of issues related to social and non-social cognition, including key theoretical approaches and research findings. This is a core BPS module where topics introduced at level 8 are revisited at a more advanced level. This will be achieved through lectures, practicals and research-focused assessments.
By the end of this module the student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of key cognitive psychological processes.
2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of social processing and its links to cognition.
3. Engage in effective, knowledgeable communication regarding cognitive and social research in both written and oral work.
4. Critically evaluate research relating to cognition and social cognition.
1 Historical and Conceptual Issues
Introduction to cognitive models in psychology and their influence on our understanding of social processing.
2 Visual perception
Models of visual perception – reminder of processes in the recognition of objects and categories, including prototype theory.
Understanding models of visuo-spatial and executive attention. Divided attention and dual processing accounts of cognition. Working memory.
Exploring types of long-term memory including semantic and episodic, declarative and non-declarative. Understanding associative networks in memory and priming.
5 Social memory
The storage and organisation of complex social information (i.e., about self and other) in memory. Exploring social categorisation and the formation and structure of stereotypes.
6 Activation and application of social categories
Understanding conditions of stereotype activation and application. Dual processing models of social cognition.
7 Social attention and perception
Detecting social information – how do we recognise and categorise faces? What social information is extracted automatically?
8 Attitudes and prejudice
Exploring the cognitive bases of attitudes such as prejudice. Exploring models of attitude-behaviour links and prejudice control.
9 Neuropsychological perspectives
Understanding the neural bases of the cognitive and socio-cognitive processes covered in the module. What can neuroimaging and patient studies tell us about social and non-social cognition?
Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The module is divided into two connected sections: the first six weeks (and Unit 1 assessment) will focus on understanding key cognitive processes, while the second half (and Unit 2 assessment) will explore how social psychology is underpinned by these processes. Teaching will be delivered through a combination of lectures and practicals. Lectures will focus on presentation of key module materials, presenting relevant theories and research that are closely aligned to the research expertise of the teaching staff. Practicals will incorporate experience of relevant experiments, research analysis and group discussions designed to deepen knowledge of core topics. This module structure gives students the opportunity to develop the Abertay Attributes, with professional and personal skills and intellectual understanding fostered by research and knowledge exchange, and active citizenship developed by learning about social issues relating to social cognition (e.g., prejudice). Learning will be assessed via a critical review essay and exam, allowing intellectual understanding, personal skills and professionalism to be gauged. Peer feedback will be incorporated into the Week 7 activity to improve depth of understanding.
Teaching and Learning Work Loads
|Supervised Practical Activity||8|
|Unsupervised Practical Activity||0|
Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.