PS408 Cognitive Psychology

for S1M 2005

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

CoursePS 408 Cognitive Psychology CH
FacultyGalley, Donna J.
TitleSenior Instructor of Psychology
Degrees/CertificatesA.A. Liberal Arts Social Sciences
B.A. Psychology with Honors
M.A. Psychology with Graduate Minor in Social Work
Office LocationPark University Office -  MCAS Cherry Point
Office HoursBy Appointment.
Daytime Phone(252) 466-2655
Semester Dates1/11/05 - 3/6/05
Class Days--T-R--
Class Time7:30 - 10:00 PM
PerquisitesPS 101 or PSY 150 (Craven or Carteret Community College)
Credit Hours3

Cognitive Psychology In And Out Of The Laboratory, Kathleen M. Galotti, 3rd edition.  New York:  Thompson:  Wadsworth, 2004.  ISBN: 0-534-60084-0.

Warning!  This course requires a large amount of reading.  If you are not a good reader, do not like to read, or do not have time to read, do not take this course.

Students are expected to read the assigned material before each class.  


NOTICE FROM PARK UNIVERSITY:  Students are required to order their books and have them available for the first night of class.  It is recommended to order your books through MBS.  Many students are having trouble getting their books from companies other than MBS, often not receiving them until the 4th week.  If you purchase a used text, be sure it is the correct edition.  Instructors should not and will not delay instruction due to students not having their books.

Is A Compressed (Minimester) Course For You?
This course is offered in a minimester format.  Minimester courses are compressed - each class meeting is equal to one week in a semester course.  If you are highly motivated, have the time to keep up with the reading assignments (usually about 2 chapters per week), can attend all or nearly all class meetings, and need to finish the course quickly, the minimester schedule can work for you.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
(Suggested Outside Reading Sources)

Majoring In Psychology: (

Introduction to Psychology, 6th ed., by Rod Plotnik, New York:  Wadsworth: Thompson, 2002.
The Psychology Major: Career Options & Strategies , 2nd ed., by Eric Landrum
Forty Studies That Changed Psychology, 5th edition, by Roger Hock
How To Think Like A Psychologist, by Donald McBurney (Q/A format)
Experiencing Psychology, by Gary Brannigan (hands-on activities)
"Psychology Today" magazine:

Course Description:
Students are introduced to modern concepts in cognitive psychology.  Human information processing, representation and organization of knowledge, and the uniqueness of higher cognitive skills are emphasized.  Classroom demonstrations and experiments are used in exploring human learning and memory.  Pre-requisite:  PS101 or permission of the instructor.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, discussions, examination, internet, videos, web sites and writings.  My goal is to engage each learner in the exploration of ideas, and issues.  I believe that the greatest value of the course material is the many ways it can be applied to students' practical real life experiences.

I view a 400-level course as an opportunity for students to sample a near-graduate-level experience.  This course will include a seminar approach to engage each learner in preparation, presentation, and discussion of material.

Learning Outcomes:
The student will demonstrate via performance on a midterm exam, seminar presentations, class discussions and activities, and the final exam, that s/he has acquired the abillity to:  

1.   Understand and appropriately use basic terminology and concepts related to cognitive psychology.
2.   Adapt and apply psychological research methods to the study of cognitive psychology.
3.   Describe the history of cognitive psychology.
4.   Compare and contrast the major paradigms of cognitive psychology.
5.   Evaluate the relative merits of basic perceptual processes.
6.  Deconstruct and discuss the ‘three box memory system.'
7.   Understand the role of attention and how it can be disrupted.
8.  Comprehend the reconstructive nature of memory.
9.  Distinguish the types of amnesia.
10. Describe and construct examples of a schema.
11. Create useful mnemonics.
12. Judge the utility of different methods of reasoning.
13. Appreciate the common pitfalls of decison making, and apply this knowledge to everyday life.
14.  Understand the developmental course of cognitive processes, from birth through adulthood.
15. Compare individual and gender differences in cognition and learning.
16. Discuss cross-cultural perspectives in cognitive psychology.

Course Assessment:
Grades will be based on one midterm and one final exam (each worth 75 points), class participation (discussions/activities worth a total of 25 points), and seminar presentations (worth 50 points).

MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMS: will consist of short answer essay, identification, and multiple choice questions, worth a total of 75 points.  The final exam is cumulative.  A review session will be held before each exam.  

CLASS PARTICIPATION points will be based on active participation in discussion, which includes being prepared by having read assigned material in advance. Obviously, you must be present to earn participation points.  

SEMINAR PRESENTATIONS: Students will prepare seminar presentations on selected chapters highlighting topics of interest and engage classmates in discussion.

ESL:  If English is not your first language, you are welcome to use a language dictionary in class.  You may want to consider tutoring.

How To Succeed In This Course:  Successful students read the assigned pages prior to the lecture on the material.  They listen attentively, take notes, participate, and ask questions during class.  They begin seminar presentation preparations early and ask for help when needed.  Last but not least, successful students thoroughly make use of the study guides for each exam by carefully answering all questions and reviewing the answers many times prior to exam.  Making flash cards can be very helpful.  Forming a study group with fellow classmates is recommended.  Recopying notes can also be helpful because actively organizing information improves learning and memory.

1 Midterm Exam worth 75 points each
   Class Participation worth 25 points
  Seminar Presentations worth 50 points
+  1 Final Exam worth 75 points
=  225 Possible Points

In assigning grades, I will use the following scale:

209 - 225 points
(93% - 100%)= A

188 - 208 points
(84% - 92%) = B

168 - 187 points
(75% - 83%) = C

152 - 167 points
(68% - 74%) = D

0 - 151 points
(Below 68%) = F

The percentage range for each letter grade is determined by Park University policy.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late seminar presentations will not be accepted, unless the student has an excused absence.  If you anticipate an absence in advance, attempt to switch topics with another student.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
1.  Be present for each class.  

2.  Be on time.  

3.  Be prepared by having read any assignments in advance of the class, and having seminar presentations ready on time.

4.  Respect the opinions of others.  

Following these rules contributes toward classroom participation points.

For written assignments:  Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, back up your hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

A.   History & Paradigms
Chapter 1

B.   Perception and Pattern Recognition
Chapter 2

C.  Paying Attention
Chapter 3

D.   Forming New Memories
Chapter 4; & pp. 348-352

E.   Retrieving Long-Term Memories
Chapter 5; & pp. 232-8; 266-7; 274-7


Midterm Exam  

F.   Thinking and Problem Solving    
Chapter 10  

G.   Decision Making      
Chapter 12; pp. 391-4

J.   Cognition & Mental Health  
Outside Reading Assignment  

K.   Cognitive Development Through Adolescence
Chapter 13    

L.   Individual, Gender & Cultural Differences
Chapter 14; pp. 538-544    

Final Exam

Conclusion and Discussion

Important Dates:
Beginning of Term-January 10, 2005
Last Day of Add/Drop-January 17, 2005
Last Day of Withdrawal-February 11, 2005
End of Term-March 6, 2005

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.  
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog
Page 101
Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.

Students may only leave the classroom with permission during exams.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101
Plagiarism -- the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's original work -- sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Plagiarism is defined as stealing and using the ideas or writings of another as one's own; appropriating passages or ideas from another and using them as one's own; and, taking and using as one's own the writings or ideas of another.  

Lifting sentences or paragraphs from original sources without using quotation marks and citing your source is plagiarism. Paraphrasing someone else's ideas without giving credit to the source is also plagiarism, in other words -- give credit where credit is due and think for yourself whenever possible!

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 100
Park University now requires instructors to post attendance weekly online. Posting must be done by Monday of the following week. Instructors must state whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Therefore, the student is responsible for contacting the instructor in advance or by 12 noon on Monday to explain why s/he was  absent, provide documentation (if “duty” -  a statement from your senior enlisted person or OIC; if “SIQ” -  a copy of your SIQ chit) and must make up any missed work.  If students do not contact the instructor, Park requires that the absence be entered as unexcused.  
Students who leave early or arrive very late may not receive full credit for class attendance.

After 3 absences, the student will be administratively withdrawn, unless the University determines that extenuating circumstances exist (duty, illness, deployment,etc.).  

Remember, though, attendance is no substitute either for studying or for class participation and does not guarantee a particular grade.

If your work schedule or personal issues cause you to miss many classes, you may be better off dropping a course and retaking it at another time.

If you expect to miss three or more classes in a row, you should STRONGLY consider taking this course at another time.

Sorry -  Park University does not consider Personal Leave to be an excused absence.

ADD/DROP/WITHDRAWAL:  Adding, dropping or withdrawing from a class must be done officially by the student through the University at the office.

Disability Guidelines:

Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a physical or learning disability, or if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangement in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.