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Preference & Choice: The Role of Perception, Action & Memory - PSY00038M

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Steven Tipper
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

Emotions are usually vivid experiences that are either negative, such as fear and anger, or positive, such as joy. However, there are much more subtle positive and negative experiences, some of which we are hardly aware of, that can influence preference and choice. Understanding such subtle processes can have impact on real-world issues such as product design or the design of interactive environments to produce behavioural change. In this course we will examine the processes of perception, action, attention and memory that cause subtle shifts in preference, and consider how this information might be applied to real-world issues.

Students enrolling on this module should demonstrate a good understanding of core knowledge in cognitive psychology, as well as intermediate skills in quantitative statistical analyses.

Module learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate the perceptual processes influencing preference.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how observation of another person’s action activates the viewer’s motor system, and how this might affect object liking.
  • Critically evaluate whether actions can influence preference.
  • Compare and contrast the attention processes that affect emotion.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the neural systems that mediate preference formation.
  • Create a new environment, such as a computer game, that can produce behavioural change via basic perceptual-action processes.

Module content

  • Preference from perception
  • Motor processes and liking
  • Attention, inhibition and emotion
  • Action simulation from perception
  • Learning, memory and preference
  • Anatomy of preference
  • Environment design and preference and choice


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 40
Online Exam
Preference and Choice: The Role of Perception, Action & Memory
N/A 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 40
Online Exam
Preference and Choice: The Role of Perception, Action & Memory
N/A 60

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

These marks will be accompanied by module feedback forms which will be circulated by e-mail.

Students will meet supervisors in wk 6 in AuT, SpT and wk 9 in SuT to discuss their marks.

Indicative reading

There are no key texts for this module.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.