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Cognitive Psychology: Rationality and Emotion in Human Decision Making




Admissions requirements

Introduction to Psychology.
Social Psychology is highly recommended.


This course addresses the interaction of human emotion and cognition. Historically, emotions are considered the opponent of rational thinking and good decision-making, and so good decision-makers are commonly advised to not trust their affective preferences. However, recent research provides increasing evidence that emotions provide important information that can improve the quality of decision-making and allow for very quick (yet reasonable) decisions. The course provides a general introduction into the basic science of emotion, including evolutionary, anthropological, sociological, information-processing, and neurophysiological approaches, and it highlights the emotion-cognition interaction in a number of research domains.

Course objectives

The general objective is to provide a solid theoretical background for the understanding of emotional processes and a selective overview of some research areas investigating interactions between emotion and cognition.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will consist of interactive-lectures and workgroups. 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.


  • In class participation – 10% – week 1-7

  • Writing a blog – 15% – week 5

  • Present a scientific article – 25% – week 1-7

  • In class assignments – 20% – week 3-7

  • Writing a research proposal – 30% – Ongoing weeks 1-7 but due after week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact