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Cognitive Psychology: Rationality and Emotion in Human Behaviour


Admission requirements

Required course:

  • Introduction to Psychology

Recommended course:

  • Social Psychology


Historically, emotions are considered the opponent of rational thinking, however, recent research suggests that emotion interacts with cognition from low level processes such as sensation and perception to higher level processes, such as decision making. This course addresses the interaction of human emotion and cognition. It provides a general introduction into the basic science of emotion, by providing an overview of the main emotion theories, including evolutionary and social theories and covers the physiological and neural underpinnings of emotion. The course highlights the emotion-cognition interaction in a number of classic research domains in cognitive psychology, such as perception, attention and decision making.

Course Objectives

The general objective is to provide a solid theoretical background for the understanding of emotional processes and a selective overview of research areas investigating interactions between emotion and cognition. The sessions will provide students with the necessary background to understand and appreciate the different approaches to emotion and cognition, the different research goals these approaches have, and the different research methods they use.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will consist of interactive-lectures and workgroups.

Assessment Method

Written research proposal (30%)
Presentation of scientific article (25%)
Written blog (15%)
In class assignments (20%)
Class attendance and participation in workgroup sessions (10%)

Reading list

Consists of scientific articles that will be announced prior to the start of the course.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Manon Mulckhuijse,