Module code: PSYM108

Module provider


Module Leader

RUSCONI P Dr (Psychology)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CRITICAL REVIEW (2500 WORDS) 50
Examination EXAM (90 MINUTES) 50

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Module overview

This module introduces students to the main concepts, methods, and findings of the cognitive approach to social psychology. Although it can be argued that social psychology has always been permeated by cognitive concepts, systematic research in social cognition began in the 1970s. In this module, we will examine the main theories, models, and empirical results of the research that in the last few decades investigated topics such as the following: social attention and memory, person perception, social categorization, and stereotyping.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Module aims

To develop students' ability to autonomously think, criticize, and reflect on theories and methods used in the social cognitive literature.

To introduce students to the main theories and domains of application of the cognitive approach to social psychology.

To provide students with the basic knowledge on and  understanding of how cognitive processes, such as attention, memory, and peception, are investigated to understand social phenomena. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Understand the main properties of the cognitive processes investigated in social contexts; KC
Explain, analyse and critically evaluate the main theories, experimental paradigms, and findings of the social cognitive literature; KC
Be adept at analysing and critiquing, through written evaluation, theoretical and methodological approaches; PT
Be familiar with cognitive approaches to social psychological phenomena. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction: What is Social Cognition?
Automatic vs controlled processes.
Social attention.
Models of memory in social cognition.
Attribution processes.
Person perception.
Social inference.
Social categorization.
Social cognition, affect, and behaviour.
Conclusion, revision, and summary.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop the capacity to explain key concepts in articles.
Develop a critical understanding of advantages and disadvantages of research methods used in social cognition.
Develop independent and critical thought.
Develop written skills of argumentation and analysis.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Group/class discussions.
Classroom exercises.

All lecture slides, the reading lists, and additional learning materials will be uploaded on SurreyLearn.

Assessment Strategy

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

Assessment 1: critical review (2500 words, 50%).

Students will have the opportunity to describe, analyse, and critically evaluate some social cognitive studies. Students will be given an assessment brief.

Assessment 2: Exam (90 minutes, 50%).

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to report on the topics of the lectures and to critically discuss them.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Critical review (for assessing skills of written presentation and critical evaluation).
Examination (for assessing breadth and depth of knowledge);

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback during and after the lectures so that they will be guided throughout the module and will be able to achieve the module’s learning goals and, consequently, pass all Units of Assessment.

Reading list

Reading list for SOCIAL COGNITION :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Social Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Psychology MSc 2 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 2017/8 academic year.