Module code: PSYM139

Module Overview

This module examines human thinking, one of the most ubiquitous of human activities. It will explore how we should think, and examine if we are rational. It will ask how we actually think, exploring how thought functions or malfunctions. Finally, it will explore ways to use this understanding to improve judgement, decision making, and reasoning in personal and professional settings.

Module provider


Module Leader

BANKS Adrian (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C831

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

1.Introduction to the themes of the module
•Are we rational?
•How should we think and reason (normative question)
•How do we actually think and reason (descriptive question)
2. Probabilistic reasoning I
3. How do we make decisions I
4. Intro to TED talk themes
•How do we reason about moral issues?
•How do emotions affect our thinking?
5. TED talks – moral reasoning
6. TED talks – emotions
7. Probabilistic reasoning II
8. How do we make decisions II?
9. How can we design useful experiments?
10. How can we think and reason more effectively I?Dual Process Theory
11. How can we think and reason more effectively II?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation TED talk presentation 50
Coursework 2500 word essay 50

Alternative Assessment

Individuals to record presentation at an appropriate time.

Assessment Strategy

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Assessment 1: TED talk Presentation (50%).
Students will have the opportunity to present in the form of a TED talk an argument/research topic and to collaborate with other students. The marking will take into account the individual component/group work. Students will be provided with a marking scheme and the criteria used to assess the presentations.
LO 2

Assessment 2: 2500 word essay (50%).
LO 1 & 3

Formative assessment
Students will have the opportunity to discuss and debate on the main topics of the modules in class. They will receive formative evaluations on their contributions to in-class activities

Students will receive both verbal and written feedback during and after the lectures and assignments.

Module aims

  • To develop students’ ability to autonomously think, criticise, reflect and present on a topic in the field of human thought and reasoning
  • To provide students with the basic knowledge on and understanding of how research on human thought and reasoning has developed during the last few decades

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain and critically evaluate the main theories and experimental paradigms advanced to account for judgement, reasoning, and decision making CK
002 Be equipped to present, using current presentation technology, an engaging and insightful explanation of one aspect of human judgement, decision-making or reasoning PT
003 Be adept at critiquing, through written evaluation, the arguments presented by others in support of a relevant theoretical position CK

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

• Develop verbal and written presentation skills.
• Develop the capacity to explain key concepts.
• Develop a critical understanding of advantages and disadvantages of theory and evidence.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures (2 hours duration for 11 weeks, including, Group/class discussions, Classroom exercises).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Research Methods in Psychology MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.