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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Education BSS Minor

Minor Psychology of Cognition, Development, and Performance

ECTS: 30
Code: MPCDP30

Description

This University Minor focuses on human information processing with regard to acquiring competences, in a developmental context.

Knowledge about perception, attention, and information processing are crucial for performance. How these work and interact are topics that the courses in the minor deal with. Other topics are: how mental performance changes over time, e.g., as a result of ageing, how mental condition and goals affect performance, in particular in applied fields such as sports and traffic psychology. Task analysis and knowledge on how human error occurs, increase understanding of mental processes and can help to improve performance and safety.

In this minor you will

  • Learn about psychological theories, and explain the functioning of the human information processing system in terms of cognitive theories.
  • Comprehend how healthy people function in daily life and how performance and safety can be improved in applied settings such as sports and traffic
  • Understand the effects of an ageing brain on performance and propose potential countermeasures

This minor is in particular focussed on students with an interest in functions of the brain/cognitive psychology, such as Biology/LST and AI students. Without basic knowledge of biology/cognitive/neuropsychology this minor has been shown to be difficult to complete, and therefore students with a broader interest in psychology, in particular social psychology, are advised to look at the other minor we offer: Psychology in Society.

Student capacity

50

Questions?

There will be a minor market in the Academie gebouw on Thursday May 23, 2024 (11:30-13:30) where you can get information and ask questions about the different minors. The Psychology minor stand will be manned by the minor coordinator. You can also contact him for questions.

Please note, there will be no waiting list in case the minor is full. All you can do is check regularly and hope that someone unenrolls, but actually the chance that people will unenrol is not large.

Please adress questions with regard to whether you are enrolled to the student service desk: Onderwijsbalie GMW.

Download the Minor Psychology of Cognition, Development, and Performance leaflet

Deadlines

First enrol for the minor, then, later, you can enrol for courses.

  • Enrolment is possible from May 24 2024 up to July 5 2024 (12:00 CEST, July 5 23:59 CEST) MPCDP30

  • July 9 - July 21 2024: enrol for the individual courses of your choice (you will receive an emailed invitation).


FROM July 23th 2024  - early September courses with a PSMIN code are open for personal minors/ as elective course as long as capacity is not reached.

In case you enrolled for this minor last year but did not pass one or max two courses, then do not enrol in the minor this year but contact the Student Service Desk by email (owbalie.gmw@rug.nl) and mention the course(s) you need to follow again.

Should you decide not to follow the minor then please unenroll, as capacity is limited!

Sign-up


Enrolment for the minor is possible from May 24 up to July 5. Enrolment for courses start July 9, you will receive an email.


Courses

Compulsory courses
Course code
Semester

Introduction to Psychological Theories

PSMIN11

1a

Elective courses

Course code

Semester

Sport and Performance Psychology

PSMIN14

1a

Traffic Psychology & Sustainable Mobility

PSMIN10

1a

Thinking and Deciding

PSMIN22

1a

Human Error

PSMIN05

1b

Sensation and Perception

PSMIN23

1b

Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia

PSMIN20

1b

Description of courses


Introduction to Psychological Theories

ECTS: 5

This course provides an introduction to a wide range of psychological research including; behavioural, neurological, cognitive, clinical, cultural, developmental, evolutionary, and social psychology. The aim of introducing the multiple disciplines of psychology is to demonstrate that human behaviour needs to be understood and examined from many perspectives. The course is designed with non-psychology students in mind and also gives insight into how psychological research is carried out and applied. As such, understanding how psychological knowledge is generated helps students to critically assess popular beliefs about human emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. 

Sport and Performance Psychology

ECTS: 5

In this course, we review the key concepts, theories, models, and research findings from the field of sport and performance psychology. Students will be challenged to recognize their scholarly significance, to infer their implications, to think critically about them, and to put them into practice. 

Traffic Psychology & Sustained Mobility

ECTS: 5

This course has two central themes: 1. Behaviour in traffic and the effects of this behaviour on safety, and 2. Retention of mobility. Traffic psychology is rather broad in the sense that it covers issues such as drink driving, the influence of infrastructural measures on behaviour, and the risks of using electronic devices in traffic. Theories common in experimental, social, and neuropsychology are used to explain and predict this behaviour.
Examples of topics that will be dealt with are the role of mental workload in dealing with increased demands in and outside the vehicle, and the effectiveness of police enforcement, campaigns, and driver education. With regard to mobility, the importance of mobility for health is central. There are several factors that may interfere with the ability of being mobile in general and driving a car in particular. For example, intrinsic factors, such as arousal, fatigue, or visual perceptual skills, differ within and between individuals and have a substantial impact on multiple aspects of mobility. Moreover, severe medical conditions, including psychiatric illness (e.g. phobia) and neurological disorders (e.g. dementia) are associated with cognitive and emotional problems, and may reduce mobility and participation in traffic. In addition to intrinsic factors associated with the individual, there are also external factors that affect mobility and safety more temporarily, such as the use of legal and illegal drugs.
In this course students will acquire basic knowledge about traffic psychology and learn about the importance of mobility and factors influencing it. 

Thinking and Deciding

PSMIN22
ECTS: 5

Why did you decide to study psychology? Perhaps you saw a movie about a therapist around the time that you had to make the decision of what to study; and perhaps this therapist was very good-looking. Or perhaps you visited an open day at the psychology department and the presentations were fun and the weather was good and you had coffee on the grass and it just felt right. Or perhaps studying psychology was something you always knew you wanted to do. Or perhaps something else? You probably find it difficult to formulate exactly why you made this decision. And that is no surprise, because decisions rarely result from rational and well-defined thought processes. Instead, decisions tend to result from a complex interplay of heuristics (mental shortcuts), biases (a tendency to favour one thing over another), and emotions. The goal of this course is to get a better understanding of the complex cognitive processes that play a role in how we think, make decisions, and form judgments. The course consists in part of weekly central lectures in which the most important topics from the textbook are discussed; this is connected to a computerized, written open exam. Another important and exciting aspect of the course is an open-ended, role-playing assignment in which you will work in a small “task force” that needs to deal with hypothetical yet realistic scenarios in which heuristics, biases, and emotions play an important role. The deliverable of this assignment is a task-force report (in your role as a task-force member) combined with a reflection report (in your role as a student). For example, imagine that you are part of a task force that consults the government on how to transition towards green energy. Or a task force that formulates hiring policies within a large organization. Or a task force that consults the government on which measures to take in a pandemic. Or a task force that consults law makers on how to deal with mentally ill perpetrators. What all of these scenarios have in common is that they are complex with many stakeholders and without clear right or wrong decisions. They are the kind of scenarios, in other words, in which a thorough understanding of how we think and decide is crucial!

Human error

ECTS: 5

All too often the human is considered a hazard – a system component whose unsafe acts are crucial in the majority of catastrophes. However, this is a limited view on the matter, as people act within a system and most people do not wish to make errors or cause disasters. Moreover, there is another perspective that should be studied in its own right – the human as hero, whose adaptations and compensations bring troubled systems back from the brink of disaster. The basic premise of this course is that even when an accident can be traced to the erroneous act of an individual, the actions of the individual need to be understood within the context of environmental, societal, and organisational factors. This course provides an introduction to basic topics in work and cognitive psychology central to minimising human error. Topics such as designing work to maximise performance and health, work-related mental stress, and selection and training are accompanied by an introduction to techniques used to investigate and classify human error. Emphasis is given to institutional safeguards against error situations. 

Perception

ECTS: 5

The ability to perceive is vital to every organism. Perception is rightfully viewed as one of the cornerstones of life itself. Human perception is realised through rich and intricate processes in the brain, which realise both the simplest forms of sensation (“hot!”), as well as complex percepts (“this is a mobile phone”). This course covers the physiological basis of the visual and auditory senses, and how these achieve perception of varied things, such as colour, brightness, loudness, and pitch. More advanced perceptual processing is also covered in the course, including object recognition and music perception, as is the role of cognitive processes such as attention and awareness. Finally, 'real world' applications are showcased, such as the design of retinal implants and face recognition algorithms. 

Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia

ECTS: 5

During this course, brain-behaviour relationships in the contexts of normal ageing and common types of dementia are presented. With regard to normal ageing, the psychological, cognitive, social and biological changes that accompany normal ageing are described as well as biological and psychological theories of ageing. The types of dementia that will be discussed are (amongst others) Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Furthermore, the diagnosis of delirium and mild cognitive impairment, a prodromal stage of dementia, will be introduced. Finally, the consequences of having dementia on the daily life of people living with a dementia and their families will be discussed. Students will acquire knowledge through presentations of clinical case studies and research outcomes.

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Laatst gewijzigd:04 april 2024 11:46