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Psychology of Thinking and Language

Code: LPSI106     Acronym: PPL

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Psychology

Instance: 2021/2022 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Psychology
Course/CS Responsible: First degree in Psychology

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PSIC 415 Official Curricular Structure 1 - 6 54 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria de São Luís de Vasconcelos Fonseca e Castro Schoner

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 2,00
Laboratory Practice: 1,50
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 2,00
Maria de São Luís de Vasconcelos Fonseca e Castro Schoner 2,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 9 13,50
Rui Alexandre Teixeira Alves 3,00
Alessandra da Silva Souza de Carvalho 1,50
Maria Selene Henriques da Graça Vicente 4,50
Ana Isabel Teixeira Vieira 4,50

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


1. To be familiar with the main concepts, problems and methods of Psychology of Language and Thinking, viewed as foundational areas of psychological science.

2. To know the main steps involved in conducting experimental research as a result of having taken part as an experimental participant in ongoing research at the Speech Laboratory, and to be able to critically reflect on that experience. 

3. To be knowledgeable about, and able to explain or demonstrate, classical psychological effects related to language and thinking (e.g., audiovisual integration, categorical perception, heuristics). 

4. To be able to interpret, analyze, and critically review specialized literature (scientific articles) in the domain. 

5. To be familiar with the main conventions of science writing in Psychology and to be able to use them, in toto or in part.

Learning outcomes and competences

The objectives were defined above as learning outcomes. Please see above.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

A good understanding of written English is recommended.


Psychology of Thinking and Language as areas within Cognitive Psychology.

Domain-general and domain-specific processes.

Problem solving.

Judgement under uncertainty.


Culture, reasoning and language. 

Spoken and written language.

Speech production and perception.

Mental lexicon and comprehension.

The psychology of reading.

Language disorders.

Mandatory literature

Michael W. Eysenck; Cognitive psychology. ISBN: 978-1-84872-416-7

Comments from the literature

Further readings include articles on selected topics published in high-profile journals. They are available in the Moodle course (PPL Online).

Teaching methods and learning activities

Weekly lectures for all enrolled students (about 150), weekly lab classes in subgroups (about 30 each), and, if available*, participation as a subject in ongoing investigations in the Speech Lab, preference being given to studies within funded research projects.

E-learning component at the University of Porto Moodle platform: http://moodle.up.pt/ (visitor’s access with password “ visitaPL “), where materials used in the course are available: handouts, recommended readings and useful links.

*Students may be called to participate as experimental subjects in ongoing research at the Speech Lab / Neurocognition and Language Research Group (NCL Group).

Students may also be called to prepare a critical review of recommended scientific articles related to the topics of the course.


Attending at least 75% of the weekly lectures is recommended. Attendance of the weekly lab classes is mandatory.



Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Exame 70,00
Trabalho prático ou de projeto 20,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 4,00
Elaboração de relatório/dissertação/tese 4,00
Estudo autónomo 98,00
Frequência das aulas 54,00
Trabalho laboratorial 2,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Participation in the weekly small group (practical) classes is mandatory. Minimum attendance is 75% of the planned classes.

Calculation formula of final grade

The final grade is attributed according to (1) the grade in the final exam, (2) the grade in the report of lab class assignments*, and when applicable (3) credits for the participation as a subject in ongoing research. Minima for (1) and (2) are 35% in each case.


Specific conditions are defined each year. Unless otherwise specified until at least one month before the exam date in Psychology of Language Online in Moodle, the scheme that follows will be used.

It the student has the three components, the weights are, respectivelly: 70% + 20% +10%. Otherwise, either 80% + 20% (exam + lab report) or 90% + 10% (exam + credits).


The final exam consists mostly of multiple-choice questions, and it is responded to using the Moodle platform in the computer room.


*This grade is valid in the year in which it is obtained and in the subsequent year only.

Examinations or Special Assignments

Students are welcome to participate as a subject in ongoing investigations.

Attending the weekly lectures is recommended for Portuguese-speaking students.

The use of the course in the Moodle platform is also recommended, namely the self-evaluation through multiple-choice questions.


The code of conduct to attend lectures involves restraining from private conversations and keeping silence except when addressing the professor or all colleagues.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Special situations to be discussed on case by case basis.

Classification improvement

Through exam only, and requires pre-registration in the Academic Office.


For more information, please contact the professor and/or consult the UP Regulation on Student Assessment, namely its Art. nº 10, point 1.

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