Psychology 320

PSYC 320: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (NS Core)

Prerequisite:  PSYC 121

Credit Hours: (3)

A survey of human cognitive psychology. Topics include attention, perception, memory, mental imagery, language and reading, problem-solving, and decision making.

Note(s): This course satisfies one of the Natural Science core requirements for the psychology major and minor.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction

a. History of the cognitive approach
b. Current cognitive theories and issues

II. Perceptual processes

a. Object recognition
b. Attention

III. Working memory

a. History of research on working memory
b. Modern theories and research on working memory

IV. Long-Term memory

a. Memory encoding
b. Memory retrieval
c. Autobiographical memory

V. Memory strategies and metacognition

a. Memory strategies
b. Metacognition

VI. Mental imagery

a. Characteristics of mental images
b. Cognitive maps

VII. General knowledge

a. Organization of knowledge
b. Schemas and scripts

VIII. Language and reading

a. Nature of language
b. Speech perception
c. Reading processes
d. Speaking
e. Writing

IX. Problem solving

a. Problem solving approaches
b. Factors affecting problem solving
c. Creativity

X. Reasoning and decision making

a. Deductive reasoning
b. Decision making


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course may include formal lecture, demonstration, discussion, student presentations, and hands-on projects.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

(1). Describe the basic assumptions of a cognitive approach to psychology.
(2). Describe the methodologies used to perform research in cognitive psychology.
(3). Display an understanding of the basic cognitive processes involved in the areas of perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving, and decision making.
(4). Apply basic principles in cognition to academic strategies and real-world cognitive functioning.


Assessment Measures

Graded assignments may include in-class tests, summaries and critiques of relevant information gathered from the internet or other media, class participation, and a final examination


Other Course Information

A textbook supplemented with its associated website, along with additional internet information sources, will constitute the reading material for this course. This course satisfies one of the Natural Science requirements for the psychology major and minor.