PY3SE-Science of Emotion

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Carien Van Reekum


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will enhance the student’s understanding of issues in scientific approaches to the study of emotion. This module is particularly relevant to students interested in experimental psychology, but will also benefit those who wish to pursue further training in clinical psychology.

To give students experience of critical evaluation of dominant theoretical views in emotion research; to frame current research being undertaken in the department in one or more theoretical contexts; to help them develop the ability to independently and critically evaluate theoretical premises and empirical methods employed in research that involves affect.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to:
1. Identify the theoretical roots of current emotion research.
2. Critically evaluate the methods employed in this field.
3. Argue their view(s) on diverging theoretical perspectives.

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. 

This module has the following learning objectives:

1. To gain a solid understanding of the origin of theories in emotion and how these theoretical streams relate to current research and debates in emotion psychology.

2. To better understand the numerous components/aspects of emotion which occur in addition to subjective experience, such as physiology and expression.

3. To motivate the choice of method in studying emotion based on the question at hand.

Theoretical perspectives that will be discussed emphasise that 1) emotions are innate and biologically constructed (e.g. "theory of basic emotions"), 2) emotions stem from the perception of bodily change (e.g. "James-Lange theory of emotion"), and 3) the way an individual evaluates an event underlies the quality of the emotion experienced (e.g. "appraisal theories of emotion"). These perspectives are at the root of current “hot topics” in emotion research including facial mimicry, embodiment of emotion, emotion regulation, and cognitive biases in emotion. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Seminars involve lectures and interactive discussions

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14 1
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 99.00 1.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Set exercise 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1.5 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework (25%) is assessed by weekly online set exercises (Continuous Assessment Questions), which require critical evaluation of the material covered on the course.. The 1.5-hour Summer Exam (75%) will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.  

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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum of 40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-assessment is by re-examination in the August/September period.

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: 20 April 2018


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