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

Undergraduate Course: Developing Relational Concepts (PSYL10119)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe ability to reason relationally - based on the roles that an object plays, rather than the literal features of that object - is fundamental to some of our most interesting and unique cognitive capabilities (e.g., mathe,atics, humour, science). In fact, the ability to think rela-tionally has been posited as the fundamental difference between human and non-human animal cognition (Penn et al., 2008).

Predictably, children do not appear to start out with the ability to reason using (or seemingly even to represent) relations. Rather, the ability develops on a seemingly domain by domain basis. This course will focus on the development of relational cognition. We will explore theories, empirical data, and neurophysiological results that seek to explain how the ability to reason relationally develops.

Each week's session will comprise a lecture as well as group discussions based on the course readings.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology Methodology 1 (PSYL10034) AND Psychology Methodology 2 (PSYL10035)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesDegree major in Psychology and passes in psychology courses at least to the equivalent of junior honours level in Edinburgh.

Prior agreement with the 4th year Honours Course Organiser
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should:

- Understand what relational cognition is.
- Appreciate the centrality of relational cognition in human thinking.
- Understand how the ability to represent and reason using relations changes with development.
- Appreciate the difficulty in accounting for relational cognition and for how relational cognition develops in children.
- Understand the various methodologies (developmental, empirical, neural, computational) that are brought to bear on addressing how relational thinking develops.
Reading List
Andrews, G. & Halford, G.S. (2002). A cognitive complexity metric applied to cognitive devel-opment. Cognitive Psychology, 45, 153-219.

Doumas. L. A. A., Hummel, J. E., & Sandhofer, C. M. (2008). A theory of the discovery and predication of relational concepts. Psychological Review, 115, 1 - 43.

Gentner, D (2003). Why we┐re so smart. In D. Gentner and S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought (pp.195-235). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gentner, D., Rattermann, M. J., Markman, A. B., & Kotovsky, L. (1995). Two forces in the de-velopment of relational similarity. In T. J. Simon & G. S. Halford (Eds.), Developing cognitive competence: New approaches to process modeling (pp. 263-313). Hillsdale, NJ: LEA.

Hosenfeld, B., van der Maas, H.L.J., & van den Boom, D. (1997). Indicators of discontinuous change in the development of analogical reasoning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 64, 367-395.

Morrison, RG, Doumas, LAA, & Richland, LE (2011). A computational account of the devel-opment of analogical reasoning: The importance of inhibitory control in working memory. De-velopmental Science, 14, 516-529.

Rattermann, M. J., & Gentner, D. (1998). More evidence for a relational shift in the development of analogy: Children's performance on a causal-mapping task. Cognitive Development, 13, 453-478.

Richland, L.E., Morrison, R.G., & Holyoak, K.J. (2006). Children┐s development of analogical reasoning: Insights from scene analogy problems. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 94, 249┐273.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Alex Doumas
Tel: (0131 6)51 1328
Course secretary
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