Behaviour & Environment 3: Cognition, Attitude and Motivation
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-PSB3BE15N
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionDutch
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Psychology;
dr. E.H. Bijleveld
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. G. Bijlstra
Other course modules lecturer
dr. G. Bijlstra
Other course modules lecturer
dr. G. Bijlstra
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. R.W. Holland
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
PER1  (04/09/2017 to 12/11/2017)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksIn 2017-2018 this course will be taught in Dutch only.
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

Upon completion of this course, you will have enhanced knowledge of fundamental recent insights into cognitive, affective and motivational processes which are the foundation of social behaviour. Additionally, you will be able to relate these processes and apply these insights to novel situations.

In this domain course, fundamental processes that control social behaviour will be further explained. Social-cognitive processes play the key role in this control. Social cognition describes how people perceive themselves and others, how they interpret these perceptions, and the consequences this holds for their behaviour and that of others. Also central to the course are basic processes concerning individual variations in motivation. By studying these social-cognitive and motivational processes, we attempt to gain more insight into the causes of human behaviour in all sorts of situations. The course addresses the following subjects:
1. Automaticity and control. Basic mental processes that determine who and what we are operate largely outside our consciousness. This gives rise to a distorted view of the world around us, before we even realise that our system has begun to think.
2. Attention and mental representations. What is the difference between availability and accessibility of information? This concerns both temporary and chronic activation and inhibition of knowledge. How can temporarily activated knowledge control our behaviour?
3. Attitudes. How are our attitudes influenced by our surroundings, or by others? How and when do implicit and explicit attitudes influence behaviour?
4. Stereotyping and prejudice. To what degree do stereotypes and expectations play a part in our judgements of others? What is the difference between stereotypes  and prejudices? To what extent can we arm ourselves against stereotypes?
5. Goals. People often set conscious goals for themselves, which under certain circumstances can have an effect on their actions and performance. How do such goals originate and when is it most likely that goals will be realised? Do young and old people have the same goals, or does self-regulation alter during the cycle of life? The course also discusses how goals can unconsciously control our behaviour.
6. Self-regulation. What is the influence of mental exhaustion on the regulation of behaviour? Why do people find it difficult to strive for their goals directly after cognitive exertion? Striving for a positive self-image is an important motivational force. Which motivational processes, conscious or unconscious, do people use in order to attain a positive self-image? And how does that self-image influence their actions?
7. Affect. How does mood influence information processing? To what degree is affect independent from cognition? Why do we feel happy at the sight of objects we have seen many times before?

  • Written exam, consisting of 20 multiplie choice questions and 4 open answer questions
  • Weekly assignments in subgroups of four students, are required to enrol for the examination.
Additional information
In case of too many enrollments Psychology students have priority over students from other faculties or universities.
Required materials
To be announced
Articles, to be announced in Blackboard.

Instructional modes

Lectures, self-study assignments, interactive lectures, question-and-answer seminars and self-testing.

Question-and-answer seminars

Self-study assignments
Attendance MandatoryYes

Exam and Assignement
Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2