THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE - 2020/1

Module code: PSYM143

Module Overview

This course gives an advanced overview of topics connected with language, thinking and learning. The course will draw on relevant experimental studies and familiarise students with a range of research approaches. The course is largely cognitive in focus but students will be encouraged to think about the wider theoretical and philosophical implications of relevant theories and debates.

Module provider

Psychology

Module Leader

GRANDISON Alexandra (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

The course will cover theories and findings related to the following general topic areas:

• Human language vs. animal communication
• The relationship between language and thought
• Concepts and categories
• Thought before language
• Language acquisition
• Speech perception
• Reading
• Written language
• Language comprehension

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 word Essay 50
Examination 90 minute Exam 50

Alternative Assessment

An essay may be offered as an alternative to the exam if appropriate.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that:

• They can systematically describe research into and key theoretical accounts of human vs. animal language, the relationship between thought and language, categorisation as a testing ground for this relationship, thought before language, language acquisition and specific language faculties including speech, reading and comprehension and writing.

• They can critically evaluate these theoretical perspectives and the empirical evidence that tests them.

• They are able to critically discuss the implications of key findings relating to language and thought.

• They possess the relevant skills and knowledge to be able to synthesise different perspectives to provide a broader understanding of various aspects of language and thought.

• They can demonstrate and apply research skills to design experiments, taking into account important theoretical models, philosophical issues and methodological considerations within this area of psychology.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: provide students with an advanced understanding of topics connected with language, thinking and learning. A key objective of this module is to develop students’ ability to evaluate psychological research within this context. Students will be encouraged to think about the interplay between theoretical and philosophical standpoints and interpret and evaluate empirical evidence.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 1. Systematically describe research into and key theoretical accounts of: human vs. animal language; the relationship between thought and language; categorisation as a testing ground for the relationship between thought and language; thought before language; language acquisition; and specific language faculties including speech, reading and comprehension and writing K
002 2. Critically evaluate these theoretical perspectives and the empirical evidence that tests them. C
003 3. Critically discuss the implications of key findings relating to language and thought. C
004 4. Synthesise different perspectives to provide a broader understanding of various aspects of language and thought. C
005 5. Demonstrate and apply research skills to design experiments, taking into account important theoretical models, philosophical issues and methodological considerations within this area of psychology. P

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:

• Provide students with the foundational knowledge to enable them to systematically describe research into and key theoretical accounts of human vs. animal language, the relationship between thought and language, categorisation as a testing ground for this relationship, thought before language, language acquisition and specific language faculties.

• Give students the skills to critically evaluate these theoretical perspectives and the empirical evidence that tests them.

• Provide students with the skills to critically discuss the implications of key findings relating to language and thought.

• Create links between different theories and topics that enable students to synthesise different perspectives.

• Enable students to develop, demonstrate and apply research skills by engaging with research questions, formulating hypotheses, describing appropriate methodologies and using relevant research to provide a rationale for such designs.

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

Reading list for THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/psym143

Other information

N/A

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 2020/1 academic year.