PSYE306 Thinking, Reasoning and Problem-Solving


This course is introducing concepts like thinking, reasoning, problem solving, decision-making and presenting various alternative paradigms and theories of thinking and involves students in active learning practices, including critical reading, discussion, on-line experimentation, designing experiments, and group project work.

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Psychology (in English)


Assoc. Prof. Penka Hristova, PhD

Course Description:


Students who complete this course:

1) will know:

• Basic concepts of the processes in human thinking;

• Knowledge of alternative paradigms and theories of human thinking;

• Basic knowledge about the brain mechanisms, the development and the evolution of thinking.

2) will be able to:

• Critically read, understand and question the literature on thinking;

• Design experiments to test theories of thinking;

• Apply the knowledge about thinking in various domains, such as educational practices, court rooms, science labs, clinics, and everyday life.

Basic knowledge in brain organization and cognitive processes and methods of experimental psychology.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. What is Thinking? Basic concepts
  2. Associationistic and Behavioristic Approaches to Problem Solving
  3. Inductive Classic Approaches to Problem Solving: Behaviourism and Gestalt Psychology
  4. Deductive Reasoning
  5. Inductive Reasoning
  6. Analogy
  7. Individual Differences in Reasoning.
  8. Effects of Aging and Expertise on Reasoning
  9. Group presentation
  10. Test
  11. Brain Mechanisms of Thinking
  12. Thinking as Learnable Skill
  13. Thinking in Context: Situatedness, Cultural Influence, and Embodiment
  14. Dual-Process Models of Thinking
  15. Experimental designs



• Mayer (1992). Thinking, Problem Solving, Cognition. 2nd edition, NY: W.H. Freeman

• Holyoak, K. J., & Morrison, R. G. (2012). Thinking and reasoning, The Oxford handbook of thinking and reasoning. New York: Oxford University Press


• Smith, E. Osherson, D. (1995) Thinking: An Invitation to Cognitive Science, 2nd edition, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

• Garnham, A. & Oakhill, J. (1994). Thinking and reasoning. Oxford: Blackwell.

• Gilhooly, K. (1988). Thinking: Directed, Undirected, Creative. London: Academic Press


• Design an experiment to test a theory of thinking

• Participate in a group project applying theories of thinking in a practical domain, such as legal reasoning, scientific reasoning, medical reasoning, intelligence test, education – learning to think, everyday thinking – motivated thinking, etc.

• Multiple-Choice Test