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

Undergraduate Course: Thinking and Reasoning (PSYL10138)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course would provide foundational coverage of classic research in reasoning (e.g. syllogistic reasoning, conditional propositions, and causal reasoning) leading up to more advanced material (judging and reasoning about probabilities, Prospect Theory).
Course description This course will cover the 'classic' research into the cognitive psychology of reasoning as well as more current issues/developments. Topics will include:

(1) rationality, computational theories of cognition/information processing systems approaches, and issues of formal representation;
(2) deductive reasoning in syllogisms and if-then conditionals, with a specific focus on the debate between mental rules and mental models approaches to these topics;
(3) dual process models of reasoning dealing with content effects; causal reasoning/covariance models;
(4) Bayes' rule and rational belief revision; bounded rationality and satisficing;
(5) probability heuristics;
(6) inductive and abductive reasoning.
(7) Subjective expected utility theory and Prospect Theory

Skills taught/developed in this course are hierarchical information integration with respect to empirical results and theoretical models; ability to evaluate computational models conceptually (not necessarily mathematically); critical analysis; and writing skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012) AND Research Methods and Statistics (PPLS08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students who are Psychology majors and in their third or final year at their home university are welcome to take this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% Mid-term short answers (10)
70% Final exam essay (1) + short answers (10) [60-40 weighting split]
Feedback Mid-term short answers will have correct answers posted and formative feedback regarding why students' answers did (not) earn maximum points.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Thinking and Reasoning2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge & understanding of rationality and its application to modes of reasoning/decision making
  2. Hierarchical information integration with respect to empirical results and overarching theoretical models of cognition and rationality
  3. Understanding of distinction, and relationship, between descriptive models and normative models in developing scientific theory
  4. Ability to evaluate competing models in light of ambiguous evidence (i.e. ongoing debate with results backing both sides)
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical analysis of complex theories, experiments, and patterns of data; knowledge and understanding of cognitive psychology of reasoning and decision making; ability to integrate information at multiple levels of conceptual hierarch (empirical to theoretical, and theoretical to meta-theoretical).
Course organiserDr Adam Moore
Tel: (0131 6)50 3369
Course secretaryMs Alexandra MacAndrew
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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