Social Cognitive Development

Module code: C8045
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop, Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

This module considers aspects of development that reflect the social nature of humans. The module covers three broad areas: social cognition (eg normal development of theory of mind and its apparent absence in autism), self-reflection (eg the growth of self-consciousness and shyness) and self-regulation and agency (eg development of emotion regulation, cross-cultural and historical concepts of the person). The underlying theme is the role of cognitive development and social context in children's developing understanding of themselves and others.

The module is structured to enable participants to study a chosen topic in depth, while also viewing it from the theoretical contexts of the other topics addressed. This module builds on knowledge gained in the core psychology module C8546: Developmental Psychology. Students who are not enrolled on the BSc Psychology course at Sussex are expected to have knowledge of developmental theory and of social, cognitive, and language development at Year 2 level. Helpful overviews of these topics can be found in many textbooks on child development.

Module learning outcomes

  • Systematically understand key aspects of theories relevant to social cognitive development
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate empirical evidence, core concepts and controversies in social cognitive development
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct an audience-appropriate topic-relevant argument in speech and writing