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

Undergraduate Course: Psychology of Language Understanding (PSYL10144)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the main current research areas in the psychology of language comprehension. The course covers the neural foundations of language, and gives an overview of current research in all levels of language comprehension, from the comprehension of single words to multi-sentence text. The course also covers language and social cognition, and considers some of the applications of language comprehension research.
Course description This course aims to cover the main current research areas in the psychology of language comprehension, aiming for breadth, but going into depth in some selected topics. We will start by discussing the neural foundations of language processing, drawing on evidence from aphasia and from brain imaging. We then go on to consider language processing at successively higher levels, starting with the perception of single words, and going on to discuss the comprehension of whole sentences, and then multi-sentence texts, paying attention to how the language comprehension system is supported by related cognitive processes, such as prediction, and memory encoding, storage and retrieval. Having established these foundations, we then discuss the role of language in social cognition, taking gender stereotype inferences as a test case.

The course encourages students to develop skills of critical analysis, and how to structure arguments to evaluate theories, leading to an understanding the nature of evidence for those theories. The course also allows students to understand how psychological research can be applied to real-world problems.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should be studying Psychology as their degree major, and have completed at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. **Please note that upper level Psychology courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understanding of the main theories of language comprehension
  2. Ability to evaluate theories of language comprehension based on empirical evidence.
  3. Understanding of the main experimental techniques used to study language comprehension
  4. Critical analysis
  5. Structuring of written work
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: students will learn how to draw on empirical evidence to answer theoretical questions.
Personal and intellectual autonomy: students will be encouraged to make their own individual evaluations of published research.
Communication: students will be encouraged to communicate their ideas effectively in their written work.
Course organiserDr Patrick Sturt
Tel: (0131 6)51 1712
Course secretaryMiss Susan Scobie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5505
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