PS408 Cognitive Psychology

for SP 2013

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PS 408 Cognitive Psychology


SP 2013 HO


Johnson, Andrew T.


Professor of Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours

M, W, F (9a-10a) & M, W (12pm -1:30) or by appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

Jan 14- May 8

Class Days


Class Time

1:30 - 2:45 PM


PS101 and Jr or Sr standing

Credit Hours



   Matlin (2008). Cognition (7th Ed.). eText ISBN-13: 978-0-470-41618-1 - Print ISBN-13: 978-0-470-08764-0

   Coglab 2.0 on a CD (2007). Wadsworth, ISBN 978-0495090649

   Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

1.  The Coglab experiments provide personal, hands-on experiences that increase student awareness of the importance of the concepts, facts, and theories that are being illustrated.

2.  It is easy for students to lose sight of the idea that psychology is more than a set of facts and theories—that it is an activity as well. Conducting the science of psychology is important because it provides an opportunity for understanding how facts and theories are derived. Coglab experiments help to convey the importance of methodological issues.

3.  Many ideas in cognitive psychology tend to be abstract or otherwise inaccessible to student understanding. Some are dry and seem unimportant. By having students “get messy”, Coglab experiments have the ability to bring to life what would otherwise remain  difficult or remote.

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Course Description:
PS 408 Cognitive Psychology: 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. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: PS 101 or permission of instructor.

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on student engagement.  Investigation, inquiry, demonstrations, participation activities, readings, class discussion, examinations, writing, and use of Internet resources and technology are significant components of this learning process. It is important that students analyze, synthesize, and evaluate course material and apply it to their own lives.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Utilize the vocabulary of cognitive psychology
  2. Demonstrate metacognitive processes.
  3. Display professional psychological writing and proper and appropriate us of APA style
  4. Critically analyze cognitive psychology literature.
  5. Apply cognitive psychological concepts to one's life and circumstances.

Core Assessment:

Research Paper.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Course Assessment: A variety of methods, e.g., examinations, participation activities, inclass/ online experiments, papers, etc, will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course. Students will be assessed on their performance on exams and writing assignments.

  1. Exams: In order to assess your understanding of the course material, you will complete chapter multiple-choice quizzes and periodic exams. There will be a total of 3 exams (Exam 1, Exam 2, Comprehensive). Chapter quizzes will be expected to be completed by the end of the discussion of the chapter. While chapter quizzes will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions (total of 250 points), the quizzes will be weighted as 25 percent of the student’s grade. In other words, the total of 250 will be converted (weighted) to 100 points. The dates for the exams are listed in the reading assignment section. Make-ups for the exams will be given only to those who have scheduled a test time before that exam. Note: the format of make-up exams may be different than regular exams.
  1. Paper: A research paper addressing a topic area in cognitive psychology is a requirement in this course. The length of the body of the paper should be at least 10 pages of text with at least 10 primary source references. The paper should be written in APA style. The research paper is worth a total of 50 points. The due date for this is Monday April 15th. As for your topic selection, first come, first served. Students will present on their topic twice during the course.
  1. Assignments: Throughout the course of this class you will be asked to complete four assignments. The goal of these assignments is to reinforce course material and have you personally engage in the science of cognitive psychology. Students will serve both in the role of researcher and participant.
    1. Assignment 1: Cognitive Maps
    2. Assignment 2: Language and Inference
    3. Assignment 3: Problem Solving and the Think-aloud Protocol
    4. Coglab 2.0: This is a set of experiments that explore cognitive psychology concepts in the categories of: Neurocognition; Sensory Memory; Attention; Perception; Short-term & Working Memory; Memory Processes; Metamemory; Imagery; Concepts; Speech & Language; and Judgment. See the eCompanion course for more information about the Coglab assignments. 







Assignment 1


Assignment 2


Assignment 3


Coglab Assignments


Research Paper



Intro Presentation




Final Presentation





Chapter Quizzes



Exam 1



Exam 2







The course grade is determined by the total number of points from the assignments and exams. Grades will be based on percentage cutoffs, i.e., 90 % = A, 80 % = B, 70 % = C, 60 % = D, and 59% less = F.


Points (total = 400)


360 - 400


320 – 359


280 - 319


240 - 279


Below 239



Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments receive half credit. No course materials will be accepted after the last regular class meeting.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize though that technology can also 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 a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.
  • Submission of papers written for other classes is not acceptable.  I expect that each individual assignment or paper you submit in this class is a unique one.  Violation of this will result in a failing grade for the assignment.
  • Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:








    Jan 14




    Jan 16

    Introduction & Methods




    Jan 21

    No Class - Martin Luther King Jr.


    Jan 23



    Neurocognition (1)/

    Sensory Mem (1)  


    Jan 28

    Asn 1 Presentation



    Jan 30

    Perceptual Processes I




    Feb 4

    Perceptual Processes I




    Feb 6

    Perceptual Processes II

    3/ Asn 1 due

    Perception (2)


    Feb 11

    Perceptual Processes II




    Feb 13



    Attention (2) 


    Feb 18

    No Class - President's Day 

    Feb 20

    Working Memory




    Feb 25

    Working Memory


    STM/ Working Memory (3) 


    Feb 27





    Mar 4


    Memory Processes (3)


    Mar 6

    Memory Strategies

    6/ Exam 1 

    Metamemory (1) 


    Mar 9-17

     Spring Break - No Classes


    Mar 18

    Mental Imagery




    Mar 20

    Mental Imagery


    Imagery (1) 


    Mar 25





    Mar 27



    Concepts (2) 


    Apr 1

    Language I

    9 / Asn 2



    Apr 3

    Language I


    Speech & Language (2) 


    Apr 8

    Language II

    10 - Asn 2 due



    Apr 10

    Language II




    Apr 15

    Problem Solving & Creativity

    11/ Paper Due



    Apr 17

    Problem Solving & Creativity


    Judgment (2) 


    Apr 22


    12/ Asn 3 due



    Apr 24


    12/ Exam 2



    Apr 29


    Research Paper



    May 1


    Research Paper



    May 8


    Comprehensive Exam, 1:00 – 3:00p



    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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

    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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

    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 "F".
    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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

    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. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

    Additional Information:

    PS408 Core Assessment ExplanationBibliography:


    CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
    Analysis & Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    Sophisticated critique of at least two empirical studies - beyond description - reference to more than two strengths and weaknesses of both studies.
    Description of two empirical studies with 1-2 statements of analysis and evaluation.
    Description of less than 2 empirical studies and/ or no analysis or evaluation of the studies.
    Sophisticated presentation of major issues and contributions.  The application reflects a depth of application (more than 3).  
    General presentation of at least 2 major issues and 2 contributions.  
    Superficial presentation of the major issues and contributions (less than 2 each).  
    Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
    Artifact displays sophisticated professional writing and correct APA formatting. More than 10 primary sources in the paper.
    General professional writing displayed and APA Format is generally followed (1 class error: cover page, running head, internal citations, headings, references, etc.). Ten primary sources
    Professional writing problems (e.g., excessive quoting, use of contractions, informal language) and/ or APA formatting problems (2 or more class errors: cover page, running head, internal citations, headings, references, etc.) and/ or less than 10 primary sources.


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    Last Updated:1/11/2013 11:09:07 AM