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Images and Symbols: Emotional and Gender Relationships

Code: 102583 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology OT 4 1


Núria Martorell Soldevila

Teaching groups languages

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Rocio Daniela Concha Ortiz


 No requirements are requested

Objectives and Contextualisation

The study of the different forms of interpretation and production of the symbolic systems of our culture allows us to know important aspects of the mental representations as well as the functional aspects of the individual, which is an important tool for diagnosis and psychological and pedagogical intervention


  1. Study of the mental representations expressed through different systems of symbolization: subjects of cognitive order, and especially socio-emotional and gender order.
  2. Study of the evolution and the construction of some systems of symbols and signs of our culture (construction of the meanings of language, objects, graphic images (drawing), audio-visual, etc.) by the population child and adult Psychological and functional mechanisms for the elaboration and interpretation of these symbolic systems.
  3. Use of the aforementioned studies as an instrument of psychological and psychopedagogical analysis of the syllabus behaviours in various subjects in general and in particular in the aforementioned socio-emotional and gender issues

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. To know the relationships between some systems of symbolism typical of our culture and the evolution of the mental representations of the individual.
  2. Know the psychological mechanisms that occur when individuals build these systems of symbolization (language, symbolic actions, images, drawing, writing, etc.). When they have to understand them and when they have to produce them.
  3. Use the symbolization systems as exploration tools on a variety of topics, especially issues of socio-emotional and gender order.


  • Analyse and interpret the results of the evaluation.
  • Communicate efficiently, using the appropriate media (oral, written or audio-visual) taking into account diversity and all elements that may ease communication or make it more difficult.
  • Identify and describe the processes and stages in psychological development through the life cycle.
  • Interact through effective teamwork with the other professionals involved.
  • Make systematic reviews of the different documentary sources in psychology to collect, order and classify research data and materials.
  • Recognise the social dimension of human beings, considering historical and sociocultural factors involved in shaping human psychology.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Contrast different documentary sources.
  2. Describe the processes and stages of individual development and family groups.
  3. Identify concepts and psychosocial processes that show the social and cultural dimension of behaviour.
  4. Identify the elements that influence communication and organization of work.
  5. Link the data to the theoretical approach adopted to articulate the data obtained with the intervention to be performed.
  6. Recognise the fundamental theoretical concepts in the texts.
  7. Select and use appropriate communication resources according to the characteristics and skills of the target considering age and cultural identification.
  8. Select the relevant data for the evaluation of a case considering the life course and context of intervention.
  9. Show an open disposition and a favourable attitude to cooperation.


1. Introduction: Representation, symbolization, arbitrariness and conventionality in different symbolic systems of our culture. Mental representation and the different forms of symbolization.
2. Natural language.
  • The symbolic origin of the first forms of communication and the first words and statements. The construction of meanings. Errors and meanings. Implicit representations. The metaphors of language. Implied social and / or affective representation. 

3. Symbolization with objects and actions: the symbolic game

4. Theater and dance

  • Fiction and movement and its impact on mental representations

5. The figurative graphic expression: the drawing

  • Children's drawing: Space, people and objects. The weather. The movement.
  • Drawing and text in the comprehension and expression of concepts of socio-affective and gender order.

6. Written expression.

  • Child writing: iconic and arbitrary aspects. The graphic symbolization of speech and ideas. Functional mechanisms that intervene in the construction of the written system.

7. The static images: photography

  • Interpretation of photographs, graphic illustrations, comics.

8. The moving images

  • Interpretation of films, television. The influence on the spectator population.

 9. Music and mathematics

  • Other languages and ways of understanding and representing the world


Based on materials that show different systems and symbolization behaviours facilitated by the teacher, the different ways of understanding and interpreting the said behaviours will be analysed. The main theoretical concepts that explain the symbolic and representational construction of the individual and also the corresponding psychological and pedagogical implications will be studied.

The student will be able to observe and analyse for himself the interpretations and / or productions of different symbolization systems by people of different ages.

The students, in small groups, will conduct some field studies on some of the subjects of the program, based on the methodology and the expositions carried out in the classes by the teacher.


  • Master classes
  • Discussion on the analysis of different symbolization systems.
  • Tutorials to clarify doubts and follow-up activities.
  • Autonomous activities: readings, field work


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theoretical classes (24h) and seminars (12h, lectures and classroom practices) 36 1.44 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, 7
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials for work groups 5 0.2 1, 4, 9, 6, 5
Type: Autonomous      
Field work 105 4.2 1, 3, 9, 6, 5, 7, 8






EV1a. Knowledge Assessment (I)          

Content: The acquired knowledge related to the first part of the subject will be evaluated.
Authorship:  Individual
Weight:  25%

Presentation format: Written
Way of Presentation:  Face-to-face
Presentation week: first evaluation period

 EV1b. Knowledge assessment (II)

Content: The acquired knowledge related to the second part of the subject will be evaluated.
Authorship:  Individual
Weight:  25%

Presentation format: Written

Way of Presentation:  Face-to-face

Presentation week: second evaluation period

EV2a. Fieldwork (I)

Content: Once the topic to be worked on has been chosen in a group, each member of the group, individually, will propose an activity related to a certain symbolization system and will present a written work with the analysis of the results of said activity.
Authorship:  Individual work
Weight:  25%

Presentation format: Written

Way of Presentation route:  Face-to-face and virtual
Presentation week: week 10


EV2b. Fieldwork (II)

Content: The group gathers all the information obtained from the individual works and makes an oral presentation in which the results of the group are compared and analyzed
Authorship: Group work
Weight:  25%

Presentation format: Group presentation
Way of Presentation: Face-to-face
Presentation week: week 14






EV1. Knowledge assessment

Content: All acquired knowledge related to the subject will be evaluated.
Weight:  50%
Presentation format: Written
Way of Presentation: Face-to-face

EV2a. Fieldwork (I)

Content: Individual presentation of the part of the work of group work, related to a certain system of symbolization and will present a written work with the analysis of the results of said activity.
Weight:  25%

Presentation format:  Written
Way of Presentation: Face-to-face and virtual

EV2b. Fieldwork (II)

Content: Individual oral presentation of the group work, in which the individual results are compared with those of the rest of the group.

Weight: 25%
Presentation format:  Oral presentation
Way of Presentation: Face-to-face

SINGLE EVALUATION Week: second evaluation period.

Duration of the presentation to the SINGLE EVALUATION: 4 hours





Non-assessable student

A student who has NOT delivered evidence of learning with a weight equal to or greater than 4 points (40%) will be recorded in acts as "not evaluable"


Subject passed

To pass the subject it will be necessary to meet the following two requirements:

  1. Each piece of evidence must have a minimum score of 3.5 points, so that it can average with the rest of the evidence.
  2. The subject will be considered passed when the calculation of the percentages corresponding to each evidence exceeds 5.00.

If these two requirements are not met, the maximum grade that can be achieved will be 4.5 points


a. Recovery system

The student can opt for final recovery in case of 1) having a continuous evaluation grade of less than 5.0, and 2) having made evidences with a weight of at least 2/3 of the total. The recovery will consist of resubmitting all those evidences not passed.


b. Evidence not passed.

The evidences not passed, which are presented to recovery, may aspire to obtain a maximum score of 7.00.


c. Evidence not presented.

When the student has not presented any evidence in the marked calendar, for justified reasons, he may aspire to obtain a maximum score of 10.

Evidence not presented and not justified, may aspire to a maximum score of 5.00.


It is not expected that students of 2nd or later enrollment will be evaluated by means of a single non-recoverable synthesis test.

For more details on the evaluation criteria, see the following link: https://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/graus/graus/avaluacions-1345722525858.html


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Ev1a. Knowledge evaluation (first part of the subject) 25%. Individual. In-person 2 0.08 1, 3, 4, 9, 6, 5, 7
Ev1b. Knowledge evaluation (second part of the subject) 25%. Individual. In-person 2 0.08 1, 3, 4, 9, 6, 5, 7
Ev2a. Field work (part 1) 25%. Individual. Written 0 0 1, 3, 4, 9, 6, 5, 7, 8
Ev2b. Field work (part 2) 25%. Group. In-person 0 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 6, 5, 7, 8


Texts that deal with mental representations. They allow to know the representative mechanisms by means of which the subjects include / understand a phenomenon or a type of symbolic representation.

  • Belinchon M. Riviere A, Igoa J.M. (1992) Psicologia del Lenguaje. Investigación y teoria. Madrid. Ed. Trotta.
  • Johnson Laird, P.M. (1988) La representación mental del significiado. A: "Revista Internacional de Ciencias Sociales. Unesco. 115; 49-65.
  • Moreno M, Sastre G., Bovet, M. y Leal A. (1998) "Conocimiento y Cambio". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos.
  • Moreno Marimón M. De las estructuras a los modelos organizadores. A: "Cuadernos de Pedagogía" Nº 244 / Febrero
  • Perner, J. (1994) "Comprender la mente representacional". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos

Texts that deal with symbolization systems: symbols and signs

  • Eco U. (1988) "Signo". Barcelona. Ed. Labor
  • Leal A. (1987) "Construcción de sistemas simbólicos. La lengua escrita como creación". Barcelona. Ed. Gedisa.


  • Eco U. (1977) "Tratado de Semiótica General”. Barcelona. Ed. Lumen.
  • Ullmann S. (1980) "Semántica. Introducción a la ciencia del significado". Madrid. Ed. Aguilar

About symbolic game and exhibition of experimental works that allow to understand the representational aspects that are at the base of the symbolic game.

  • Elkonin D. B. (1980) "Psicología del Juego". Madrid. Ed. Visor.
  • Piaget J. (1977) "La formación del símbolo en el niño". México. Fondo Cultural Europeo

Texts that allow knowing and interpreting representational mechanisms of children's drawing, and evaluating their evolution.

  • Bombi A.S.y Pinto G. (1993) "Los colores dela amistad". Madrid. Ed. Visor.
  • Eisner E. W. (2004) "El arte y la creación de la mente. El papel de las artes visuales en la transformación de la conciencia". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos.
  • Fortuny J. (1988) El dibujo como expresión del pensamiento. A: M. Moreno.(Coord.) "Ciencia Aprendizaje y Comunicación". Barcelona. Ed. Laia
  • Gardner H. (1994) "Educación artística y desarrollo humano". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos.
  • Leal A. (1998) Lenguajes para sentir y pensar. A. "Cuadernos de Pedagogía". Nº 271 / Julio Agosto.
  • Leal A. (2006) Simbolización gràfica, medio de expresión e instrumento de pensamiento. A: "Infancia y Aprendizaje". 29 (2) pp. 203-218.
  • Widlöcher D. (1978) "Los dibujos de los niños". Barcelona. Ed. Herder.


  • Rev: Bulletin de Psicologie: La communication par images. 386 XLI 1987-1988. 13-16
  • Rev. Communications: Apprendre des médias. Nº 33. 1981.

Texts that address the codes of the image, useful to understand the interpretations that the child population carries out on different types of images

  • Aumont J. y Marie M. (1993) "Análisis del film". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos
  • Berger J. y Mohr. (1998) "Otra manera de contar". Murcia. Ed. Mestizo.
  • Borrego C. (1997) "Narraciones televisivas y modelos ideológicos de socialización". A: Cultura y Educación 5, 45-68.
  • Dubios Ph. (1994) "El acto fotográfico. De la representación a la recepción". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos
  • García Galera. Mª C. (2002) "Televisión, violencia e infancia". Barcelona. Ed. Gedisa.
  • Greenfield M. P. (1985) "El niño y los medios de comunicación". Madrid. Ed. Morata.
  • Gubern R. (1982) "El lenguaje de los comics" Barcelona. Ed. Península.
  • Leal A. (2002) Narraciones audiovisuales y representaciones infantiles: los roles masculino y femenino. A "Cultura y Educación" 14 (3) , 313-326.
  • Leal A. (2003) Mirar y pensar desde la cultura de género. A: "Anuari de Psicologia" vol 34. 279-290.
  • Torres E. y Conde E. (1994) Medios audiovisuales y desarrollo social. A: Mª José Rodrigo (ed.) "Contexto y Desarrollo Social". Madrid. Ed. Síntesis.
  • Zunzunegui S. (1989) "Pensar la imagen". Madrid. Ed. Cátedra.

Texts that deal with the mechanisms of production of graphic symbols of basic symbols for school learning.

  • Garton A. Y Pratt C. (1991) "Aprendizaje y proceso de alfabetización". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos
  • Leal A. (1987) "Construcción de sistemas simbòlicos. La lengua escrita como creación". Barcelona. Ed. Gedisa.
  • Olson D. (1998) "El mundo sobre el papel. El impacto de la escritura en la estructura del conocimiento. Barcelona. Gedisa.
  • Sastre G. (1988) Las escrituras aritméticas. A: "Enciclopedia Práctica de Pedagogía". Ed. Planeta. Vol II. Barcelona.
  • Sellarés R. Bassedas M. (1989) La construcción de sistemas numéricos en la historia y en los niños. A: "La Pedagogía Operatoria" (M.Moreno, coord.) Barcelona. Ed. Laia.

Texts that treat the language from a perspective of the construction of the meanings on the part of the subject.

  • Lakoff G. and Johnson M. (1986) "Metáforas de la vida cotidiana". Madrid. Ed. Cátedra.
  • Leal, A. (1974) Lenguaje, Acción y Conocimiento en diferentes medios socio culturales. A: "Anuari de Psicologia" 2; 49-85.
  • Oléron (1985) "El niño y la adquisición del lenguaje". Madrid. Ed. Morata.
  • Moreno M, Sastre G., Bovet, M. y Leal A. (1998) "Conocimiento y Cambio". Barcelona. Ed. Paidos.
  • Whorf B.L. (1971) "Lenguaje, pensamiento y realidad". Barcelona. Barral Editores.


We are not going to use any especific software