Cognition

This is an exciting time to study Cognitive Psychology. What we will aim to learn in this class is how the mind works. If we learn just a fraction of the mind’s intricacies, we will have succeeded in our aim. In this class, we will cover some of the basics of cognitive neuroscience, attention, perception, working and long-term memory, language, problem solving, and decision-making. As a focus, you will be expected to learn and practice evaluative and critical thinking, and to apply what you study in the course to situations in every day life.

Meetings: Tuesdays from 1-4pm in Richmond Main 1830

Office hours: Both face-t0-face and virtual. Why? Because its 2016. [Click here to book a meeting]

How best to contact me: Email or Twitter

Required course materials: Cognitive Psychology (4th edition) by E. Bruce Goldstein (published by Cengage Learning). I have negotiated a discounted price from the publisher for your class ($138.95 + taxes) that includes access to CogLab (which you will also need for this course). In order to take advantage of this discount you will need to purchase the bundle (textbook + CogLab access) from the university bookstore. If you purchase the same bundle online it will cost you $204.95 + taxes. If you purchase the e-textbook bundle online it will cost you $116.95 + taxes. If you wish to purchase a used copy of the textbook then you will need to purchase CogLab separately, which will cost you $52.95 + taxes. Click here for instructions about how to set up your CogLab account.

Course Format: This course involves weekly interactive lectures (including demonstrations, exercises, and small and large group discussions) in addition to readings, quizzes, a lab assignment, and computer-simulated experiments. The lectures cannot cover all of the material in the readings; rather, the goal of the lectures is to 1) highlight the more significant aspects of the readings, 2) discuss topics not well-covered by the readings in more detail, 3) focus on real-world applications of psychological theory, and 4) have a whole lot of fun as we engage in active learning.

Course Schedule

May 3: The Who/What/How/Why of this course; Special Topic: The Other-Race Effect

May 10: Cognitive Neuroscience (Chapter 2 & CogLab: Brain Asymmetry)

May 17: Quiz 1; Perception (Chapter 3 & CogLab: Müller-Lyer Illusion + Visual Search)

May 24: Quiz 2; Attention Lab (Chapter 4 & CogLab: Simon Effect + Spatial Cueing)

May 31: Short-Term and Working Memory (Chapter 5 & CogLab: Partial Report + Memory Span)

June 7: Quiz 3; Long-term Memory: Structure (Chapter 6 & CogLab: Serial Position)

June 14: Quiz 4; Long-term Memory: Encoding and Retrieval (Chapter 7 & CogLab: Encoding Specificity + Von Restorff Effect)

June 21: Quiz 5; Everyday Memory & Memory Errors (Chapter 8 & CogLab: Remember/Know)

June 28: Quiz 6; Language (Chapter 11 & CogLab: Lexical Decision)

July 5: Quiz 7; Problem Solving (Chapter 12 & CogLab: Typical Reasoning)

July 12: Quiz 8; Judgment, Decisions, and Reasoning (Chapter 13 & CogLab: Risky Decisions + Monty Hall)

July 19: Quiz 9; Special Topic: Cognitive Complexity (TBA)

July 26: Quiz 10; Integration

Assessments

Weekly quizzes x 8 (10% each): 80%

Starting on May 17, every class (except for May 31) will begin with a quiz that will assess your comprehension of the previous week’s topic (including the assigned CogLab simulations). The only exception to this procedure is the topic of Attention, for which you will complete a separate lab assignment online (in other words, there will be no weekly quiz on May 31). Only your highest 8 quiz marks will count towards your course grade (your lowest 2 quiz marks will be dropped). 

Attention lab assignment: 10%

You have an Attention Lab scheduled for May 24 (right after the weekly quiz). During the lab you will be given a worksheet to complete. At the end of the lab you will receive a link to an online assignment that will assess your understanding of the lab.

CogLab exercises: 10%

I have assigned you 15 online labs to complete over the semester (see above for the schedule). Each CogLab must be completed prior to that week’s lecture. Simply completing these labs on time will earn you 10%.

Course Policies

Attendance

The good news? You are an adult. So if “life happens” or you are juggling too many things and need to miss a class, so be it. You don’t need my permission or even to inform me. The bad news? I will treat you as an adult. In other words, you are responsible for all material covered in class, whether or not you were present. If you do miss a class I recommend you try and obtain notes from at least two classmates.

Punctuality

I don’t mind you being a little late to class, but I do mind you being very late because it is disruptive to the learning environment. So if you realize that you will be more than 10 minutes late to class, please wait until the break to come in. Also, if you arrive late or must leave early please sit towards the rear of the classroom in order to minimize the disruption to the rest of the class.

Missed quizzes

I don’t usually reschedule quizzes except in the case of a medical emergency. If you are ill and have to miss a quiz, you or a caregiver must (1) notify me before the quiz start time and then (2) provide valid medical documentation within one week. Unless both conditions are met, you will receive a zero. If you are granted a make-up quiz, it may be of a different format than the regularly scheduled quiz.

Late Attention lab assignments or CogLab exercises

Attention lab assignments that are submitted within 24 hours of the lapsed deadline will receive a 20% late penalty. No assignments will be accepted more than 24 hours after the lapsed deadline.

CogLab exercises will not receive any credit if these are completed after the deadline.

Email communication

Please type your course and section number in the subject line of any email you send to me. I would appreciate your emails to me beginning with something closer to “Dear Dr. Jhangiani” instead of “Hey Prof.” Note that questions appropriate for email are those that can be answered with 1-2 sentence replies. Anything longer than this (e.g., an explanation of a concept) requires a face-to-face or virtual meeting and should be brought to my office hours. I will try to reply to your emails in a timely fashion (i.e., within 48 hours), but please do not expect prompt replies to emails sent to me over the weekend or less than 24 hours before an exam. I have a life outside of KPU and a couple of awesome kids with whom I like to spend as much time as possible.

University email

From time to time I may send emails to your university email address. If you do not intend to check this email address, please make sure that you forward your email to an address that you check regularly. Failure to do so may mean that you miss essential information.

Student rights and responsibilities

You are responsible for being aware of your rights and responsibilities, including those specified in the policy on student conduct (C.21). These are posted online at http://www.kpu.ca/sja/rights- and-responsibilities. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Any instances will result in penalties ranging from a grade of zero on the assignment to a failing grade in the course to expulsion from the university. You are responsible for understanding the university policies on cheating and plagiarism, available online at: http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Policies/c08.pdf.

Wow, you really read to the end. I am impressed.

Click here to download a .pdf copy of this syllabus.