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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Human Cognitive Abilities (MSc) (PSYL11069)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaPsychology Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionTo explore the structure, development and content of human cognitive abilities.

- To review cognitive ability research and the evidence it provides for theories about the development, structure, and biological basis of human intelligence
- To discuss this evidence and its implications for educational and occupational policy
- To foster critical thinking, independent reading, and ability to integrate theoretical concepts with real-world outcomes and practical applications

Each session will include both lecture and discussion, critically examining issues raised in lecture and readings. You will be expected to bring discussion questions to class and to participate in addressing the discussion questions raised by your classmates. You may be asked to give short presentations of research papers or point-counterpoints on specific issues during class.

Course Content:
Lecture 1: Structure and Content of Cognitive Ability: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives
Lecture 2: Life-Span Development of Cognitive Ability
Lecture 3: Heritability and the Biological Basis of Cognitive Ability
Lecture 4: Education, Social Class, and the Culture of Cognitive Ability
Lecture 5: The Roles of Attention, Emotion, and Motivation in Cognitive Ability

Formative feedback available;
- Students will submit their essay topics to the Course Organiser with their approach provided in outline form and at least 5 references identified. It will be due in the 4th week of class; the Course Organiser will hand back on the last day of class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Block 3 (Sem 2), Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 87 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Evaluate critically and in depth the major theories of the structure of intelligence and its development
- Discuss the state of our understanding of the biological basis of human intelligence
- Demonstrate understanding of how human abilities impact educational, occupational and other social outcomes
- Discuss how and to what degree these associations and their biological underpinnings could be used to develop better educational programs and to help people find occupations suited to their abilities
Assessment Information
One 3000 word essay

Assignment deadline: Thursday 6th March 2014, 12 noon

Return deadline: Friday 28th March 2014
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Ceci, S. J. (1991). How much does schooling influence general intelligence and its cognitive components? A reassessment of the evidence. Developmental Psychology, 27, 703-722.

Deary, I. J., Johnson, W., & Hoolihan, L. (2009). Genetic foundations of human intelligence. Human Genetics, 126, 215-232.

Gottfredson, L. S. (1981). Circumspection and compromise- A developmental theory of occupational aspirations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28, 545-579.

Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life. Intelligence, 24, 79-132.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1992). American parenting of language-learning children Persisting differences in family child interactions observed in natural home environments. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1096-1105.

Johnson, W., Deary, I. J., & Iacono, W. G. (2009). Genetic and environmental transaction processes underlying educational attainment. Intelligence, 37, 466-478.

Johnson, W. & Bouchard, T. J., Jr. (2007). Sex differences in mental ability: A proposed means to link them to brain structure and function. Intelligence, 35, 197-209.

Johnson, W., McGue, M. & Iacono, W. G. (2007). How parents influence school grades: Hints from a sample of adoptive and biological families. Learning and Individual Differences, 17, 201-219.

Johnson, W., McGue, M., & Iacono, W. G. (2006). Genetic and environmental influences on academic achievement trajectories during adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 42, 514-532.

Johnson, W. & Bouchard, T. J., Jr. (2005). The structure of human intelligence: It's verbal, perceptual, and image rotation (VPR), not fluid and crystallized. Intelligence, 33, 393-416.

Johnson, W., Bouchard, T. J., Jr., Krueger, R. F., McGue, M., & Gottesman, I. I. (2004). Just one g: Consistent results from three test batteries. Intelligence, 34, 95-107.

Sackett, P. R., Kuncel, N. R., Arneson, J. J., Cooper, S. R., & Waters, S. D. (2009). Does socioeconomic status explain the relations between admissions tests and post-secondary school performance? Psychological Bulletin, 135, 1-22.

Schaie, K. W. (1994). The course of adult intellectual development. American Psychologist, 49, 304-313.

van der Maas, H. L. J., Dolan, C. V., Grasman, R. P. P. P., Wicherts, J. M., Huizenga, H. M., & Raijmakers, M. E. J. (2006). A dynamical model of general intelligence: the positive model of intelligence by mutualism. Psychological Review, 113, 842-861.

Wilk, S. L., & Sackett, P. R. (1995). Longitudinal analysis of ability-job complexity fit and job change. Personnel Psychology, 49, 937-967.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Wendy Johnson
Tel: (0131 6)51 1304
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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