This course is designed to provide an in-depth look at the field of (grounded) social cognition. Social cognition in general is a branch of social psychology that deals with: 1) Processes underlying the perception, memory, and judgment of social stimuli, 2) Effects of social, cultural, and affective factors on the processing of information, and 3) Behavioral and interpersonal consequences of cognitive processes. The beginning of this course will provide a brief overview and introduction to this field. Throughout the course, we will discuss - hierarchically organized - different levels of approach that contribute to understanding how our mind operates, with an emphasis on understanding 'embodied' processes involved in social cognitive functioning, with a focus on "economy of action" principles. At the end of the course, you should have a greater understanding of how 'grounded' approaches may benefit the study of social cognition. Throughout the course, I will hope you will improve your understanding of social psychological methods (in particular in testing the process of acquiring concepts) and your critical evaluation of your fellow students.
Some formal knowledge of social cognition and social psychology is highly suggested for this course.
Participants in the seminar must complete four requirements: (1) read assigned material and submit thought questions prior to each weekly meeting and judge peers on their thought questions after; (2) write 1 research proposal; (3) provide a presentation on the basis of an article they have acquired, and (4) participate. More information on each requirement will be provided via Blackboard.
1 Research Proposal: 70%
Thought Questions: 20%
On top of that, I expect you to have satisfactory participation. Satisfactory participation includes actually being present (we are discussing course materials) and judging your peers' thought questions (your judging will be factored into the grade for thought questions).
Required PrerequisitesOnly for students who are qualified for the Research Master.
Social cognition researchers study many of the same topics that other social psychologists study. What distinguishes social cognition is not its content, but the level of analysis to which it applies. Beyond demonstrating social psychological effects, social cognition seeks to understand cognitive processes underlying these effects. The present course is predicated upon the notion that social cognition is “grounded”, that cognition is hierarchically organized and scaffolded onto physiological systems, and that the organizing principle is "economy of action". Topics may include verbal communication, joint action, situated action, metaphor-enriched cognition, perceptual symbols system, relational models (both physiological and neural correlates), and developmental approaches and applications of grounded cognition (such as culture, creativity, and personality).
Type of instructionsSeminars
Type of examsSee specifics