Lecture Topics 1A

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Lecture Topics 1A

Lectures take place between 11.10 and 12.00 in David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre A on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The first lecture will be on Monday 16th September 2019 at 11.10am in David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre A. 

Course Timetable



Psychology is typically described as ‘the scientific study of the mind’. But how can you observe and measure mental phenomena? These lectures will introduce you to various ways in which psychologists have studied the mind from a scientific perspective.

We are biological creatures, and the mind is the product of brain structure and function. This is why psychologists are interested in brains - or, more generally, in the nervous system that enables us to perceive the world around us, process information, and control the way we move and interact with our environment.

These lectures consider why the world seems like it does to us. We will explore the field of perception, focusing mainly on vision, from the low-level firing of sensory receptors, through the perception of complex forms in 3D space, to visual attention and the use of vision to guide action.

The study of animal learning was a cornerstone of psychology from the 1930s to the 1970s and is as relevant now for understanding humans as it was back then for studying animals. This module will provide an introduction to classical and instrumental conditioning and related topics. It will also introduce preparedness and other areas of learning theory that are at the intersection of the evolutionary history of a species and how it interacts with the environment.


Differential Psychology – the psychology of individual differences – describes and explains how and why people differ from each other psychologically. In other words, it is interested in what makes us individuals. The two main topics in differential psychology are personality and intelligence. Differential psychologists also study moods, attitudes, and people’s interests. They study the development of intelligence and personality in children and adults, and how these change with age. This includes the contribution of genetics and environments to differences in intelligence and personality.