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200076 SE Advanced Seminar: Mind and Brain (2021S)

Fundamental Topics in Cognitive Science + Colloquium

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 20 - Psychologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Vertiefungsseminare können nur für das Pflichtmodul B verwendet werden! Eine Verwendung für das Modul A4 Freie Fächer ist nicht möglich.
Tu 22.06. 09:45-11:15 Digital


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 09.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 16.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 11.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 01.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 29.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Aims: Through discussions, in English, centered on the reading of target research papers, we aim to foster critical thinking in the area of the Psychology and the Cognitive Sciences. After taking this course, attendees should be especially able to reflect on the “bigger picture” underlying academic discussions, to approach scientific communications and ideas critically. We do this by focusing, unlike many other courses which target specific empirical study papers, targeting seminal papers or book chapters in Cognitive Sciences which provide the framework and context for much Psychology and Cognitive Science work itself. Where do our terms, our problems, or solutions in Psychology come from, and why is this so?

Second, we aim to train skills in participating in such discussions in English—a skill that is a growing, ever-present reality for life as a postgraduate—in a “safe space” with minimal pressure.

Contents: The seminar involves reading, presenting, and discussing seminal papers or book chapters in Cognitive Sciences. This includes topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Psychology as a Science, how research findings can be generalized, the replication crisis, Philosophy of Mind, research practice and scientific utopia etc.. Though the topics raise fundamental issues in psychology, the discussions also regularly touch relevant topics of everyday life, such as the future of science, consequences of digitalization, cultural dependence on psychological concepts, development of language, truth, or free will.
Methods: Student presentation of a paper/book chapter, student-guided discussion of the text in the seminar, attendance of colloquium.

Assessment and permitted materials

Assessment is based on participation and contributions to the discussion in class. In each unit a specific paper/book chapter will be discussed. In the beginning of the session, students will present the assigned reading in short and should raise important questions pertaining to the topic. These will then be discussed in the remainder of the unit.

The presentation will be assessed in detail on the following criteria: completeness, creativity and critical thinking (see template of the evaluation form). The feedback will be provided on the following week after the presentation was held.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Attendance at class sessions on Tuesdays (max 2 missed sessions) AND the colloquium (listening the podcasts) mandatory
Presentation of the assigned reading is mandatory.

a) Active participation --> 40%
b) Presentation of the paper and discussion --> 40%
c) Attendance on colloquium (listening to podcasts) --> 20%

Please note that active participation (40% of the total grade) is a major determinant of the grade. We would like to point out that missing a session results in no participation for this session.

Please also note the Richtlinie zur Sicherung der guten wissenschaftlichen Praxis (https://studienpraeses.univie.ac.at/infos-zum-studienrecht/sicherung-der-guten-wissenschaftlichen-praxis/)

Examination topics

Week 1: Introduction, overview of class, syllabus

2. Example Session (Matthew Pelowski): Mindless statistics (Gigerenzer, 2004)

Session 1: Summary of Social Science (Meehl, 1990)
Session 2: Generalizability of findings, external validity (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010)
Session 3: Naming the mind (Danziger, 1997)
Session 4: Digital memory, History of memory (Draaisma, 2000)
Session 5: AI (Turing, 1950)
Session 6: Psychology (James, 1890)
Session 7: Threats of statistical procedures (Bennet et al. 2010, Fiedler, 2011).
Session 8: QRP (Simmons, 2011; Benjamin, 2017)
Session 9: Replication (Zwaan et al. 2018)
Session 10: Scientific Utopia III. (Uhlmann et al., 2019)

Reading list

Example Session:
Gigerenzer, G. (2004). Mindless statistics. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 33, 587-606. doi: 10.1016/j.socec.2004.09.033

Session 1:
Meehl, P. E. (1990). Why summaries of research on psychological theories are often uninterpretable. Psychological reports, 66(1), 195-244. doi: 10.2466/pr0.66.1.195-244

Session 2:

Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world?. Behavioral and brain sciences, 33(2-3), 61-83. [attached Peer Commentaries are *not* required reading, but may be helpful]

Session 3:

Danziger, K. (1997). Naming the mind In Naming the mind: How psychology found its language. Sage. doi.org/10.4135/9781446221815.n1

Session 4:
Draaisma, D. (2000). Digital memory In Metaphors of memory: A history of ideas about the mind. (pp.138-164). Cambridge University Press.

Session 5:
Turing, A. M. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence In Mind. Mind, 59(236), 433-460. doi: 10.1093/mind/lix.236.433

Session 6:
James, W. (1890). The scope of psychology.
James, W. (1892). Text-book of Psychology.

Session 7:

Bennet, C., Baird, A., Miller, M., & Wolford, G. (2010). Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic salmon: An argument for proper multiple comparisons correction. Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results, 1(1), 1-5.

Fiedler, K. (2011). Voodoo correlations are everywhere—not only in neuroscience. Perspectives on psychological science, 6(2), 163-171.

Session 8:

Benjamin, D. J., Berger, J. O., Johannesson, M., Nosek, B. A., Wagenmakers, E. J., Berk, R., ... & Cesarini, D. (2018). Redefine statistical significance. Nature Human Behaviour, 2(1), 6. doi: 10.1038/s41562-017-0189-z

Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological science, 22(11), 1359-1366. doi: 10.1037/e519702015-014

Session 9:

Zwaan, R. A., Etz, A., Lucas, R. E., & Donnellan, M. B. (2018). Making replication mainstream. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41. doi:10.1017/s0140525x17001972 [attached Peer Commentaries are *not* required reading, but may be helpful]

Session 10:

Uhlmann, E. L., Ebersole, C. R., Chartier, C. R., Errington, T. M., Kidwell, M. C., Lai, C. K., ... & Nosek, B. A. (2019). Scientific utopia III: Crowdsourcing science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(5), 711-733. doi:10.1177/1745691619850561

Additional readings for comparison:

Nosek, B. A., & Bar-Anan, Y. (2012). Scientific utopia: I. Opening scientific communication. Psychological Inquiry, 23(3), 217-243. doi: 10.1080/1047840x.2012.692215

Nisbett, R. (2004). Is the world made up of nouns or verbs? In The geography of thought: How Asians and Westerners think differently… and why. Simon and Schuster.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26