Module details for Human Psychology: In what ways are we all the same?


Human Psychology: In what ways are we all the same?


The module aims to provide students with a critical and comprehensive understanding of the major topics, empirical research, theoretical and formal approaches in human psychology and how these have informed the development of AI. The student will learn about how psychology works as a science, its reach into AI principles and will participate in experiments to deepen this understanding.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand how neurons cooperate to form brains and how brains enable humans to navigate the world, communicate and learn from experience.

2.  Understand the operation and features of key psychological models.

3.  Demonstrate and understanding of key research findings in psychology and understand how psychological hypotheses are tested experimentally.

4.  Understand the importance of scientific rigour: avoiding bias, making sure that data are reproducible, accurate and that data privacy is ensured and research is conducted according to (BPS) ethical rules for human psychological research.

Indicative Content

1 Conceptual and historical perspectives in cognition

Origins of research in cognition, and cognitive neuropsychology. Understanding how cognitive processes operate in different brain areas.

2 Neural architectures

Neurones, receptive fields and vision. How does the brain connect the world outside with our thoughts and experiences? Historical perspectives on Hebbian learning, perceptrons, XOR, backprop neural networks, deep learning. How is learning represented in NN?

3 Perception and recognition

The recognition of objects and faces. NN for computer vision.

4 Attention

Is cognition a limited resource to be allocated carefully or do we attend to everything?

5 Learning and memory

What circumstances determine how we learn new information? How is this information stored in our brains and how do we access this information while reasoning?

6 Decision making and problem solving

How do we choose responses, how do we solve problems?

7 Language processing

How do humans learn to communicate with each other? Is language innate? Link to NN for NLP?

8 Play and games

All humans seem to engage in recreation and play, what are these activities for? Do they serve a purpose beyond filling the time that isn’t taken up by work or sleep? Addiction/Flow and games and interactive media (link to UX)

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Practical Activity 16
Assessment 40
Independent 120
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.