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PS210-15 Language and Cognition

Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
James Adelman
Credit value
Module duration
12 weeks
40% coursework, 60% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module will investigate the biological mechanisms and cognitive processes of human language

Module web page

Module aims

The aims of the module are to investigate the biological mechanisms and cognitive processes of human language, as well as the relationship between language and cognition more generally. The module will explore key findings from the fields of psycholinguistics and cognitive science

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Animal communication
Language acquisition
Interactive communication
Embodied cognition
Speech sounds
Word meaning and concepts
Word recognition and language understanding
Judgment, decision making and reasoning
Revision for the exam

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • consider language, communication, spatial problem solving, concepts and categorisation in terms of biological mechanisms and cognitive processes
  • understand and explain key findings from the fields of psycholinguistics and cognitive science
  • discuss key problems in explaining language and cognition
  • describe methods of research on language and cognition
  • critically evaluate theories of language and cognition and their supporting evidence
Indicative reading list

-Boroditsky, L. (2011). How language shapes thought. Scientific American, 304, 62-65.
-Casasanto, D. (2009). Embodiment of Abstract Concepts: Good and Bad in Right- and Left-Handers.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138(3), 351-367. doi: 10.1037/a0015854
-Keysar, B., Barr, D. J., Balin, J. A., & Brauner, J. S. (2000). Taking Perspective in Conversation:
The Role of Mutual Knowledge in Comprehension. Psychological Science, 11(1), 32-38. doi: 10.1111/14679280.00211

  • Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589.
Subject specific skills

use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis
consider language, communication, problem solving, concepts and categorisation in terms of cognitive processes

Transferable skills

effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis
familiarity with collecting and organising information
critical evaluatation

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 12 sessions of 2 hours (16%)
Seminars 4 sessions of 1 hour (3%)
Practical classes 1 session of 2 hours (1%)
Private study 120 hours (79%)
Assessment 1 hour (1%)
Total 151 hours
Private study description

120 hours guided student study


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group D4
Weighting Study time
Multiple choice quiz 40% 1 hour

MCQ Moodle quiz that covers the material in the first 5-6 lectures. The questions will be of varying complexity. Some will involve applying knowledge to novel situations (e. g. choosing between possible stimuli for a particular type of investigation), some will ask for the interpretation of data from graphs, there will be conceptual questions and questions that require deeper insight into the theoretical links. The assessment will take an hour, on average 1.5 minutes for each question.
The learning outcomes are the application of knowledge (both theoretical and practical) to novel situations and synthesising knowledge from the lectures covered by the assessment.

Online Examination 60%

~Platforms - AEP

  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Feedback on assessment

Academic guidance form for assessed work; annotated worksheet via Tabula

Past exam papers for PS210


This module is Core for:

  • Year 2 of UPHA-VL78 BA in Philosophy with Psychology
  • Year 2 of UPSA-C804 Undergraduate Psychology with Education Studies
  • Year 2 of UPSA-C802 Undergraduate Psychology with Linguistics

This module is Core optional for:

  • UPHA-L1CA Undergraduate Economics, Psychology and Philosophy
    • Year 2 of L1CA Economics, Psychology and Philosophy
    • Year 2 of L1CC Economics, Psychology and Philosophy (Behavioural Economics Pathway)
    • Year 2 of L1CE Economics, Psychology and Philosophy (Philosophy and Psychology Pathway)
  • Year 2 of UPSA-C800 Undergraduate Psychology
  • Year 2 of UIPA-C8L8 Undergraduate Psychology and Global Sustainable Development

This module is Option list D for:

  • Year 4 of ULNA-R9Q2 Undergraduate Modern Languages with Linguistics