PY3EED-Emotion, Empathy and their Disorders

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Bhisma Chakrabarti


Summary module description:
Emotion, Empathy and their Disorders

1) To develop an interdisciplinary overview of the processes that underlie social behaviour in humans.
2) To form and refine perspectives on clinical disoders marked by atypical social behaviour
3) To develop the ability to study independently and critically comment on published studies.
4) To appreciate and imbibe the key features of good experimental design in studies of social behaviour.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to
1.Critically analyse neuroscientific research on empathy and emotions at multiple levels.
2. Apply their multi-level understanding of empathy and emotion research in psychopathological conditions such as Autism.
3. Apply their understanding of experimental design, through critically evaluation of published studies and/or design of empirical studies.

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups.

Outline content:
The module comprises seven 2-hour seminars.

Expressions of emotion and how we respond to them are key facets of our everyday life. Disorders such as Autism Spectrum Conditions are marked by deficits in empathy, a crucial social capacity that allows us to understand others’ emotions and respond appropriately to them. This module will examine some of the main empirical approaches that have been used to examine emotion processing and empathy, bringing in perspectives from human and animal research, as well as from specific psychopathological groups.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars will involve lectures and interactive discussions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14
Guided independent study 86
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise a poster presentation.

Formative assessment methods:
Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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