Logo UAB

Psychological Processes: Thinking and Language

Code: 102603 ECTS Credits: 9
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology OB 3 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Andres Chamarro Lusar

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Olga Soler Vilageliu
Yago Ramis Laloux
Anna Jordana Casas
Joan Pons Bauzá
Marta Borrueco Carmona
Miquel Torregrossa Álvarez
Tatiana Rovira Faixa
María Inés Caño Melero


This subject has no prerequisites.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This subject aims to introduce the student to the study of thought and language from a cognitive perspective. The characteristics of the cognitive tasks of classification and structuring of information, reasoning, decision making and problem solving will be analyzed, resources will also be provided for the improvement of thought and methods of intervention will be identified . On the other hand, the cognitive processes that are involved in the use of language in their different aspects (understanding, production) as well as in their different functions (communication and representation) will be explained and the various theoretical perspectives on the origin (phylogenetic and ontogenetic) of the language, as well as some language disorders that are relevant in the discussion about these theoretical frameworks.


  • Analyse scientific texts written in English.
  • Distinguish and relate the different focuses and theoretical traditions that have contributed to the historical development of psychology as well as its influence on the production of knowledge and professional practice.
  • Identify, describe and relate the structures and processes involved in basic psychological functions.
  • Prepare and write technical reports on the results of the evaluation, research or services requested.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Take decisions in a critical manner about the different research methods in psychology, their application and the interpretation of the results deriving from them.
  • Use different ICTs for different purposes.
  • Work in a team.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and describe the processes for problem-solving and decision-making.
  2. Analyse scientific texts written in English.
  3. Describe and critically evaluate the different types of human reasoning.
  4. Distinguish between the foundations fo the different focuses in the study of creativity and problem-solving and classify the strategies for problem-solving in agreement with them.
  5. Identify and differentiate the processes of representation of knowledge.
  6. Identify the different hypotheses on the interaction of language and thought on human cognition and compare them.
  7. Identify the main characteristics of the theoretical focuses in the study of associative learning, memory and psycholinguistics and distinguish between texts by different authors in agreement with them.
  8. Identify, describe and relate the different phases of natural language processing.
  9. List and relate the characteristics and functions of human language.
  10. Recognise and analyse critically the experimental and observational studies methodology in psycholinguistics, the designs chosen variables measurement and interpretation of results.
  11. Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  12. Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  13. Submit a report on the development of skills and abilities developed in solving specific problems.
  14. Use different ICTs for different purposes.
  15. Work in a team.


Thematic block 1:
1. Thinking: fundamental aspects
1.1. Definition of thinking
1.2. Functions of thinking
1.3. Both systems of thinking
2. Trials and decision making
2.1. Judgment
                2.1.1. Definition and normative aspects
                2.1.2. Heuristics and bias
2.2. Decision making
                2.2.1. Rational theories in decision making (SEU and MAT)
                2.2.2. Problems with rational theories in decision making
                2.2.3. Prospective theory and framing of decisions
3. Deductive reasoning
3.1. Definition of deductive reasoning
3.2. Reasoning categorically
                3.2.1. Definition and normative aspects
                3.2.2. Formal errors and reasoning with content
                3.2.3. Mental models
3.3. Propositional Reasoning
                3.3.1. Definition and normative aspects
                3.3.2. Reasoning with conditional and biconditional
                3.3.3. Reasoning with disjunctions
4. Inductive processes
4.1. Definition, features and tasks
4.2. Concepts and categories
                4.2.1. Concepts: Definition and functions
               4.2.2. Logical and Natural Concepts
4.3. Induction of rules and hypothesis verification
                4.3.1. Definition and normative aspects
                4.3.2. Analytical strategies in the discontinuous learning of rules
4.4. Causality and counterfactual reasoning
                4.4.1. Definition of causality and regulatory aspects
                4.4.2. Causal force: need and sufficiency
                4.4.3. The counterfactual reasoning: Definition and characteristics
4.5. Analogyc reasoning
Thematic block 2:
1. How do we understand the language from Cognitive Psychology?
2. Language processing
2.1. Understanding of language
                2.1.1. Perception of speech in babies and adults
                2.1.2. How we recognize and store the words
                2.1.3. Syntactic processing: the structure of language
2.2. Language and communication
                2.2.1. Pragmatic of the language in operation
                2.2.2. Understanding and producing the discourse
2.3. Language production
3. Theoretical approaches to psycholinguistics
3.1. Acquisition of human language: innate versus learning
3.2. Language and cognition: language, is a cognitive ability independent of the rest?
3.3. Human language and animal communication: two versions of the samephenomenon?


In this course we propose different activities based on active learning methodologies focused on the student. In this way a "hybrid" approach is outlined in which we combine traditional didactic techniques with other resources aimed at encouraging meaningful and cooperative learning.

N.B. The proposed teaching and assessment methodologies may experience some modifications as a result of the restrictions on face-to-face learning imposed by the health authorities. The teaching staff will use the Moodle classroom or the usual communication channel to specify whether the different directed and assessment activities are to be carried out on site or online, as instructed by the Faculty.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
D1. Theoretical-practical classes (group 1/1) 36 1.44 1, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 7, 8
D2. Practical sessions in small group 20 0.8 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 13, 10, 15, 14
Type: Supervised      
S1. Self-evaluation exercises 20 0.8 1, 3, 9, 5, 8
S2. Tutorials 10 0.4 1, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 10, 15
Type: Autonomous      
A1. Reading, study and self-learning 115 4.6 1, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 7, 8
A2. Search for information 10 0.4 1
A3. Preparation of documentation 10 0.4 13


The evaluation of this subject is carried out continuously. The evaluation has a clear formative function.
The competences of this subject will be evaluated by means of: individual, group reports, and written tests.
The learning evidences that the student must deliver will refer to the contents and competences worked in the theoretical and practical classes, and to the competences worked on in practice.
The evaluation system is organized in 4 evidences, each of which will be assigned a specific weight in the final grade:
Evidence 1: Thinking practice report (thematic block 1) (15%) (weeks 3, 4, 5 and 7). The reports are individual or in group depending on the practice.
Evidence 2: Written proof of thought (thematic block 1) (35%) (1st assessement period)
Evidence 3: Report on language practices (thematic block 2) (15%) (weeks 12, 13, 14 and 15). The reports are individual.
Evidence 4: Written test of language (thematic block 2) (35%) (2nd assessment period)
Subject passed:
The subject is passed when the student obtains a grade equal to or greater than 5 and has at least two out of the four programmed learning evidences.
If you do not meet these requirements (not having passed at least two of the four evidences) the maximum grade that can be obtained is 4 points.
The student may opt for recovery if (a) throughout the continuous evaluation he has made evidences with a weight equal to or greater than two thirds of the total grade of the subject, and (b) at the end of the process of " Continuous assessment has a mark equal to or greater than 3.5 points and less than 5 points.
The teaching team of the subject will decide, depending on the unfulfilled evidence of each student, what or which one must recover.
The recovery will consist of a test (or several tests in case of recovery of several evidences) to demonstrate that they have the minimum contents that need to approve the subject. The qualification obtained in the recovery test will replace that of the written test recovered. The final grade of the subject will be recalculated from this note.
The maximum grade that can be obtained in the course, in case of overcoming the recovery, will be Approved (5).   
Subject 'not evaluable': A student who has given learning evidences with a weight equal to or greater than 4 points (40%) can not record in acts as "non-evaluable".   
This subject does not provide any synthesis test for students in second or more enrollments.
Link to the assessment guidelines of the faculty: https://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/graus/graus/avaluacions-1345722525858.html

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evidence 1: Thematic block 1 practice reports (thought) 15% 0 0 1, 3, 4, 13, 15, 14
Evidence 2: Written thought test (thematic block 1) (35%) 35% 2 0.08 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12
Evidence 3: Thought practice report (thematic block 1) (15%) The reports are individual or in groups depending on the practice. 15% 0 0 2, 9, 8, 10, 14
Evidence 4: Written test of thematic block 2 (language) 35% 2 0.08 9, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 10


Basic bibliography:

Manktelow, K. (2012). Thinking and reasoning: An introduction to the psychology of reason, judgement and decision making. Psychology Press.

Soler, O. (coord.) (2006). Psicologia del Llenguatge. Barcelona: EdiUOC.

Complementary bibliography:

Belinchón, M., Igoa, J.M. y Rivière, A. (1996). Psicología del lenguaje: Investigación y Teoría. Madrid: Trotta.

Berko, J. y Bernstein, N. (1999). Psicolingüística. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

Bruning, R.H., Schraw, G.J., Norby, M.N. y Ronning, R.R. (2005). Psicología cognitiva y de la instrucción. Madrid: Prentice Hall.

Carreiras, M. (1997). Descubriendo y procesando el lenguaje. Madrid: Trotta.

Carretero, M. y Asensio, M. (coords.) (2004). Psicología del pensamiento. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

Carroll, D. W. (2006) Psicología del lenguaje. Madrid: Thomson-Paraninfo (Trad. de l’original: Psychology of Language).

Cortès-Colomé, M. (2016). Psicología de la comunicación lingüística. Madrid: Síntesis.

Costa, A. (2017). El cerebro bilingüe. La neurociencia del lenguaje. Barcelona: Debate.

Cuetos, F., González, J., y de Vega, M. (2015). Psicología del lenguaje. Madrid: Editorial Médica Panamericana.

DeBono, E. (1997). Aprende a pensar por ti mismo. Barcelona: Paidós.

Espino Morales, O.G. (2004). Pensamiento y razonamiento. Madrid: Pirámide.

Fernández, J., Pintanel, M., Chamarro, A. (2008, 2a ed.) Manual de Psicologia del pensament. Bellaterra, Barcelona: Servei de Publicacions, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Gabucio, F. (coord.) (2005). Psicología del pensamiento. Barcelona: Ediuoc.

Garnham, A. i Oakhill, J. (1996). Manual de Psicología del Pensamiento. Barcelona: Paidós.

Harley, T.A. (2013). Psicología del lenguaje. McGraw-Hill (Trad. i Ed. revisada de l’original: Psychology of Language).

Hillix, W.A. i Rumbaugh, D. (2003). Animal bodies,human minds. Ape, dolphin, and Parrot language skills. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Kahneman, D. (2012). Pensar rápido, pensar despacio. Barcelona: Debate.

Mariscal, S. i Gallo, M. P. (2014). Adquisición del lenguaje. Madrid: Síntesis.

Mayer, R.E. (1986). Pensamiento, resolución de problemas y cognición. Barcelona: Paidós.

Pinker, S.(1995). El instinto del lenguaje. Cómo crea el lenguaje la mente. Madrid: Alianza (Psicología Minor)

Pozo, J.I. (1989). Teorías cognitivas del Aprendizaje. Madrid: Morata.

Puente, A. (2003). Cognición y aprendizaje: fundamentos psicológicos. Madrid: Pirámide.

Saiz, C. (2002). Pensamiento crítico: Conceptos básicos y actividades prácticas. Madrid: Pirámide.

Serra, M. (2013). Comunicación y Lenguaje. La nueva neuropsicología cognitiva, I. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona.

Serra, M., Serrat, E., Solé, M. R., Bel, A. y Aparici, M. (2000). La adquisición del lenguaje. Barcelona: Ariel.

Tubau, E. (Coord.) (2005). Intuïció, raonament i control de l’acció. Barcelona: Publicacions i edicions. Universitat de Barcelona.

Vega, M. (1984). Introducción a laPsicología cognitiva. Madrid: Alianza.

Vega, M. de y Cuetos, F. (coord.) (1999). Psicolingüística del Español. Madrid: Trotta.