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Course Detail

Course Name Social Cognition, Social Neuroscience, and Technology
Course Code 24CLT643
Program M. Sc. Cognitive Sciences, Learning and Technology
Semester Elective
Credits 3
Campus Amritapuri


Unit 1

Unit 1: History and Foundations of Social Cognition
Introduction and historical overview of social cognition.
Basic processes in social cognition and foundations of social neuroscience

Unit 2

Unit 2: Social Perception and Schemas
The development of stereotypes and their impact on social cognition
Implicit social cognition, prejudice and discrimination
Attribution theory and attribution errors
Representation in social cognition: Person and event representation, self-concept and self-knowledge
Impression formation, social schemas, and biases.

Unit 3

Unit 3: Empathy and Compassion from a Social Neuroscience Perspective
Social neuroscience perspectives on empathy and compassion.
Mirror neurons, emotional contagion, prosocial behavior
Social psychological phenomena in the context of compassion and empathy (in-group, out-group, bystander effect, etc.)
Integration of Vedic perspectives on empathy and compassion.

Unit 4

Unit 4: Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience for Educational Technology and AI in Education
Social aspects of cognition and computing: Social computing in relation to cognitive computing and affective computing, Social Internet of Things (SIoT)
The rise of social computing and ethical issues
Teaching and Instruction: Components of human teaching vs. learning in the digital world
Bridging social neuroscience with education

Unit 5

Unit 5: Influence of History and Global Policy on Education
The social cognition of political attitudes
The impact of social cognition on the development of global politics, education, and technology
Politics, gender, and education
Influence of politics on educational policies in India
Perspectives on sociocultural aspects in the context of education and learning


Prerequisites: Good reading and writing skills in English; Basic knowledge of cognitive neuroscience

Summary: The course addresses the cognitive and neural bases of social perceptions and interactions, empathy, and compassion, and explores their intersection with artificial intelligence (AI) and educational technologies. It addresses the bidirectional influence of AI that can enhance and augment our understanding of social cognitive processes and behaviour and how insights from social cognition and neuroscience can guide and enhance the development of AI technologies. The course highlights the future implications of AI, including bias detection, for example, in the context of decision-making and cultural stereotypes.

Course Objectives and

Course Objectives:

  • Investigate cognitive mechanisms driving social interactions.
  • Delve into the evolution, methodologies, and pivotal theories of social cognition.
  • Comprehend empathy and compassion through a social neuroscience lens.
  • Assess the impact of social cognition and neuroscience findings on AI technologies and their implementation in educational contexts.

Course Outcomes:

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • CO1: Grasp foundational concepts in social cognition.
  • CO2: Analyze and implement social cognition research methodologies.
  • CO3: Identify neural correlates of empathy and compassion.
  • CO4: Assess the impact of social cognition and neuroscience on education and AI applications.
  • CO5: Design and critically evaluate research studies within the social cognition domain.

Skills Acquired:

  • Critical analysis of social cognitive research.
  • Insight into neural mechanisms behind empathy and compassion.
  • Ability to evaluate the significance of social cognition and neuroscience in education and AI.
  • Application of social cognition theories to practical scenarios.

Course outcomes CO – Program outcome PO – Mappings

CO1 x x x x x
CO2 x x x
CO3 x x x
CO4 x x
CO5 x x x x x
CO6 x x x x x x x

Textbooks suggestions


  • Carlston, D. E. (Ed.) (2013). The Oxford handbook of social cognition. Oxford University Press.
  • Wyer Jr, R. S., & Srull, T. K. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of social cognition. Volume 2: Applications. Psychology Press.
  • Augoustinos, M., Walker, I., & Donaghue, N. (2014). Social cognition: An integrated introduction (3rd Edition). Sage.
  • Decety, J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (Eds.). (2011). The Oxford handbook of social neuroscience. Oxford Library of Psychology.

Unit 2:

  • Dovidio, J. F., Hewstone, M., Glick, P., & Esses, V. M. (Eds.). (2010). The SAGE handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Sage.
  • Fiske, S. T., & Macrae, C. N. (Eds.). (2012). The SAGE handbook of social cognition. Sage.
  • Galotti, K. M. (2008). Cognitive psychology in and out of the laboratory. Sage.
  • Greenwald, A. G., & Lai, C. K. (2020). Implicit social cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 71, 419-445.
  • Nosek, B. A., & Riskind, R. G. (2012). Policy implications of implicit social cognition. Social Issues and Policy Review, 6(1), 113-147.

Unit 3:

  • Lieberman, M. D. (2013). Social: Why our brains are wired to connect. OUP Oxford.
  • Preusche, I., & Lamm, C. (2016). Reflections on empathy in medical education: What can we learn from social neurosciences?. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 21, 235-249.
  • Singer, T., & Lamm, C. (2009). The social neuroscience of empathy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1156(1), 81-96.
  • Preckel, K., Kanske, P., & Singer, T. (2018). On the interaction of social affect and cognition: empathy, compassion and theory of mind. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 19, 1-6.

Unit 4:

  • Donoghue, G. M., & Hattie, J. A. (2021). A meta-analysis of ten learning techniques. Frontiers in Education, 6, 581216.
  • Hattie, J. (2023). Visible learning: The sequel: A synthesis of over 2,100 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Taylor & Francis.
  • Immordino-Yang, M.H. & Singh, V. (2011). Perspectives from social and affective neuroscience on the design of digital learning technologies. In R. Calvo & S. D’Mello, S. (Eds.), New perspectives on affect and learning technologies. Explorations in the learning sciences, instructional systems and performance technologies (Vol. 3) (pp. 233–241). Springer, New York, NY.
  • Macrae, C. N., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2000). Social cognition: Cognitive substrates of thought and action. In T. F. Heatherton & J. L. Weinberger (Eds.), The cognitive neuroscience of emotion (pp. 197-214). Oxford University Press.
  • Richaud, M. C., Filippetti, V., & Mesurado, B. (2018). Bridging cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience with education. In P. Gargiulo & H. Mesones Arroyo, H. (Eds.), Psychiatry and neuroscience update (pp. 287–297). Springer, Cham.
  • Schwartz Reisman Institute. (2023, August 9). Social cognitive theory and AI. Joel Leibo & Wil Cunningham. Absolutely interdisciplinary 2023 [Video]. YouTube.
  • Social Aspects of Cognition and Computing Symposium, 2015 Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB) 5_Intro.pdf
  • Torrijos-Muelas, M., González-Víllora, S., & Bodoque-Osma, A. R. (2021). The persistence of neuromyths in the educational settings: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 3658.
  • Wisniewski, B., Zierer, K., & Hattie, J. (2020). The power of feedback revisited: A meta-analysis of educational feedback research. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 3087.

Unit 5

  • Jost, J. T., & Amodio, D. M. (2012). Political ideology as motivated social cognition: Behavioral and neuroscientific evidence. Motivation and Emotion, 36, 55-64.
  • Jost, J. T., Baldassarri, D. S., & Druckman, J. N. (2022). Cognitive–motivational mechanisms of political polarization in social-communicative contexts. Nature Reviews Psychology, 1(10), 560-576.
  • Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Sulloway, F. J., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2018). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. The Motivated Mind, 107(2), 129-204.
  • Mattoo, A. (2023). Territories of schooling. The right to education and the politics of educational change in India. In J. McLeod, K. O’Connor, N. Davis, & A. McKernan (Eds.), Temporality, space and place in education and youth research (1st Edition). Routledge.
  • Petersen, M. B., & Aarøe, L. (2013). Politics in the mind’s eye: Imagination as a link between social and political cognition. American Political Science Review, 107(2), 275-293.
  • Saltman, K. J. (2018). The politics of education: A critical introduction. Routledge.
  • Tukdeo, S. (2019). India goes to school. Education policy and cultural politics. Springer India.
  • Varughese, A. R., & Bairagya, I. (2020). Group-based educational inequalities in India: Have major education policy interventions been effective?. International Journal of Educational Development, 73, 102159.

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