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Unit information: Developmental Psychology and Language in 2016/17

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Unit name Developmental Psychology and Language
Unit code PSYC20003
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2C (weeks 13 - 18)
Unit director Professor. Davis
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description

This unit aims to introduce the student to the experimental approach to studying human behaviour during early childhood and to interpreting the research from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. It also focuses on the development of linguistic abilities from early infancy to adulthood, with particular attention to the biological foundations of language, its evolutionary origins and underlying brain mechanisms.

Aims:

  • Develop students' interest, scientific knowledge and understanding of the study of developmental psychology and psychology of language.
  • Introduce students to the methodological approaches to the study of developmental psychology and psychology of language, and the application of these to particular areas such as critical period, cognitive development, early memory, speech recognition, and reading.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the formation of theory and how theory guides the collection and interpretation of empirical data.
  • Help students to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject matter and their relation to other areas of psychological science.
  • Help students to acquire a wide range of transferable skills.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student will:

  • Have a good understanding and scientific knowledge of the topic and methodological approaches to the study of developmental psychology.
  • Have a good understanding of the application of these approaches to the study of specific areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to integrate this understanding of these methodologies with other areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject matter of this unit and how they relate to other areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to plan and contribute to seminar-based presentations of topics covered in this unit and have further improved their scientific writing skills.

Teaching details

This unit comprises 16 x 2 hour lectures (the second hour is for Q&A purposes), two revision tutorials and 8 x 1 hour seminars (presenting at one of these).

Assessment Details

Summative assessment with one 1600-word written essay (20%); one oral presentation in seminar (20%) and one 2-hour written exam (60%).

Reading and References

  • Gathercole, S. E., & Baddeley, A. D. (1993). Working memory and language. Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. BF371 GAT
  • Goswami, U. (2002). Blackwell handbook of childhood cognitive development. Oxford: Blackwell. BF723.C8 BLA
  • Harley, T. A. (2008). The psychology of language: From data to theory (3rd ed.). Hove: Psychology Press. P37 HAR
  • Jackendoff, R. S. (2002) Foundations of language : Brain, meaning, grammar, evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P151 JAC
  • Johnson, M. H. (1997). Developmental cognitive neuroscience. Oxford: Blackwell. QP360 JOH

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