Undergraduate Course: Thinking and Reasoning (PSYL10138)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This 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).
This course will cover concepts of rationality, the 'classic' research into the cognitive psychology of reasoning, and decision-making. Topics will include:
1. Nature of representation, operations on representations, and levels of analysis. Different types of models in psychology (i.e., descriptive, normative, verbal vs formal).
2. Epistemic rationality and its connection to Bayes' Theorem. Issues of rational belief revision.
3. 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.
4. Probabilistic approaches to deduction. Dual process models of reasoning.
5. Instrumental rationality and its connection to decision theory.
6. Abductive reasoning & science of explanation.
7. Subjective expected utility theory and Prospect Theory
8. Decision by Sampling and heuristics within the bounded rationality paradigm.
Skills taught/developed in this course are hierarchical information integration with respect to empirical results and theoretical models; ability to systematically evaluate computational models; critical analysis; and writing skills.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting 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?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
||Mid-term short answers will have correct answers posted and formative feedback regarding why students' answers did (not) earn maximum points.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Knowledge & understanding of rationality and its application to modes of reasoning/decision making
- Hierarchical information integration with respect to empirical results and overarching theoretical models of cognition and rationality
- Understanding of distinction, and relationship, between descriptive models and normative models in developing scientific theory
- Ability to evaluate competing models in light of ambiguous evidence (i.e. ongoing debate with results backing both sides)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course will help students develop their aspiration and personal development as well as research and enquiry by improving skills related to understanding computational models (which can be challenging for most students) and evaluating them relative to each other and to empirical evidence. Similarly, engaging with rationality both theoretically and empirically, and with the wider rationality community via relevant readings, will boost outlook and engagement and personal and intellectual autonomy. Short answer assessments will develop communication skills.
|Course organiser||Dr Adam Moore
Tel: (0131 6)50 3369
|Course secretary||Mr Keith Deeley
Tel: (0131 6)50 9870