Emotion and Social Cognition
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Behavioral Science, Psychology
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Social cognition investigates the dynamics of people's thoughts, flings, and behaviors as they occur in everyday social situations. Some of the key questions in social cognition research are:
- How do people infer traits from the behavior of others?
- How do various kinds of stereotypes and prejudice influence our judgments of and behavior towards others? What role does language play in communicating stereotypes?
- Which factors shape how we think and feel about ourselves?
- What is the influence of the unconscious in our everyday judgments and decisions?
Social cognition thus challenges us to reassess our intuitions and preconceptions about our own and others' behavior.
This course is about how we think (cognition) and feel (emotion) about others. The course consists of lectures and students will perform a study with their workgroup. Each workgroup consists of four persons. Workgroups will be given a recent target article in the area of social cognition from the lecturer and then will design and perform an experiment related to the article’s topic. Workgroups then present and discuss the results they obtained from their study.
This course has the following learning goals:
- To be able to describe and understand the most important topics and approaches in the field of Social Cognition.
- To be able to explain results from a study and link these results to theory.
- To be able to construct and provide scientific arguments when discussing research findings.
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
The final grade for this course is composed of an exam grade, which accounts for 70%, and a grade for the workgroup presentation, which counts for 30%. To pass the course students need to have a 6 or higher for the exam and a 6 or higher for the workgroup assignment.
For the exam, students have to study the complete book, the lecture material, research articles and the material discussed by their own workgroup. The exam will contain 40 multiple choice questions (a,b,c,d), which accounts for 60% of the exam grade, and will contain 4 open-ended questions, which will account for 40% of the exam grade. The exam questions will be in English, but students may answer in Dutch or English.
The lecturer will give feedback on the research papers and presentations and will grade them. The grade for the workgroup presentation will also takes into account the quality of the experiment. Papers and presentations have to be in English and everybody has to present a part.
RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE
It is assumed that basic concepts of Social Psychology are known. It is recommended to have knowledge about performing statistics (such as repeated measures, one-way anova) in SPSS.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.