Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module PSYC3367: Fallacies and Biases: Social Cognitive Perspectives

Department: Psychology

PSYC3367: Fallacies and Biases: Social Cognitive Perspectives

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • 40 credits from C800 Psychology Level 2 modules


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To understand the core principles of human social cognition that guide judgement and decision-making and can give rise to cognitive biases


  • This module examines core principles of human social cognition that guide judgement and decision-making and can give rise to biases
  • Topics can vary from year to year but are likely to include core principles of social cognition including use of judgmental heuristics, categorisation and stereotyping, illusory correlation, and implicit measurement techniques
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in social cognition

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of a range of specific research topics and methods in the field of social cognition
Subject-specific Skills:
  • • Ability to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge and apply it appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Good IT skills in word processing, data manipulation and data presentation
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students' acquisition of detailed knowledge will be facilitated by lectures, (break-out) small group work, audio-visual materials, discussions and detailed reading lists
  • These modes of teaching provide students with detailed knowledge of the key theories and the skills needed to evaluate different theoretical positions in light of current evidence
  • Guided private study and in-class discussions will ensure that students are exposed to a range of different theoretical positions, and encouraged to understand their inter-relations
  • Lectures and in-class discussions will also give students the opportunity to interpret and evaluate the significance of empirical work
  • The exam will assess students' detailed subject knowledge
  • An assessment of the range, recency and appropriateness of sources will be included in the overall assessment of the exam
  • The exam assesses students' acquired knowledge of theoretical principles and empirical studies and their ability to organise and synthesise them coherently and critically in written form in response to a set question
  • The exam will also assess students' written communication skills

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 11 1 per week 2 hours 22
Preparation and reading 78
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University