Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC3510 Reasoning and Decision Making

15 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Ed Sutherland

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of all pass for progression modules in Level 2 of: BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology, BA Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought (and its International and Industrial variants) or BSc Psychology with Education (and its International and Industrial variants)


PSYC2553Memory and Language

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module aims to provide in depth coverage of empirical, conceptual and theoretical issues relating to 'Reasoning and Decision Making'. The module will be taught by an expert in the subject.
Students will continue to develop their knowledge in this area of the discipline with particular emphasis on relevant research.

Learning outcomes
Students will develop in depth knowledge of key issues in the reasoning and decision-making literature. They will understand the relationship between normative systems and performance and the theoretical explanations that have been offered to explain this performance.

On completion of this module, students should have an understanding of, and be able to describe and evaluate the psychological literature relating to reasoning and decision making. Students should be able to show understanding of the nature and extent of human competence in reasoning and decision making and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the factors which constrain or facilitate this competence. Student should be able to display critical evaluation of theoretical explanations of reasoning and decision making behaviour.


A series of eleven lectures will be delivered covering the following topics:

Historical background to research in reasoning and decision making: logic and probability theory, contemporary theories of reasoning and decision making.
Conditional reasoning: inference patterns and context effects in conditional reasoning. The Wason selection task: performance on both abstract and thematic versions of the task, the effects of probability and utility on reasoning, deontic reasoning and theoretical explanations of the task. Syllogistic reasoning: phenomena and theories, belief bias in syllogistic reasoning.
Inductive reasoning: findings and theories in relation to the 2-4-6 task, the nature of scientific reasoning and hypothesis testing.
Statistical reasoning and decision making: heuristics and biases in probability judgement, subjective expected utility and multi-attribute decision theory, prospect theory and regret theory.
The influence of affect on reasoning and problem solving.
In weeks 7 and 8 there will be two seminar sessions (one per week) in which small groups of students will be required to present the background, method, findings and implications of a relevant paper of their choice. As part of this groups of students will be required to identify a suitable article, prepare and deliver a 10 minute presentation to the rest of the class.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours131.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

70 hours: 7 hours reading per lecture
15 hours: preparation for seminar
50 hours: Essay preparation and writing

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

All students will be required to participate in seminar presentations in weeks 7 and 8 which will involve group work in preparing and delivering the presentation. They will receive some written feedback from these sessions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationGroup presentation20.00
Essay1 x 2,500 word end-of-module essay80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:21:45


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019