Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 4325-161) Fall 2015

Professor: Roberto R. Heredia., Ph.D.  URL: http://www.tamiu.edu/~rheredia/
Office: CH 205B E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu
Class Time & Place: MW 5:30 - 6:45 PM BH 101 Phone: (956) 326-2637
Office Hours:  M-R 4-5 PM or By Appointment

Focuses on cognitive psychology, language development, concept formation, problem solving, information processing, split-brain research, neuropsychology, memory, perception, and cognitive clusters. Prerequisite: Previous successful completion of Introduction to Psychology (Psyc 1301 or 2301) or permission of instructor.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: After completing this course, the student will accomplish the following goals:
1. Appreciate the basic information in Cognitive Psychology, including research and theory, acknowledging the complexity of the human cognitive system.
2. Understand relevant methodological issues in cognitive psychology, and the ability to critically evaluate the research in this area.
3. Know how to write a thoughtful review of the research-based literature on a topic of your choice that is related to cognitive psychology. This paper should demonstrate your understanding of the research, your ability to synthesize information, and your mastery of APA style.
4. Apply the information you learn to professional areas such as education, communicative disorders, law, public health, clinical psychology, and social sciences.
5. Develop an understanding of your own cognitive processes, and to improve your cognitive skills even further, for example, when you study for exams and when you solve problems.  

Matlin, M.W. (2013).
Cognition (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (ISBN 978-1-1185-4556-0: Visit Cognition Websites)

The assumption underlying this class is that we are responsible students and that we want to learn about the cognitive architecture of the human mind. The goal of lecture will be to present topics from each chapter to give you a flavor for the various domains of human memory and learning. Lecture will also be used to help reinforce important or difficult topics by providing examples, video clips, and demonstrations that illustrate psychological principles. To increase your understanding of the scientific process, we will also discuss experiments that test predictions made by psychological theories. At times, I may introduce material in lecture that goes beyond your text, so it is important to attend lecture and take good notes. 

1. Each of the three exams will cover only the material since the last exam (except to the extent that the previous material is necessary for understanding the new material). It is very likely that the exams will be on-line. However, you will always have an option.
2. Exams will be multiple choice and short answer essays requiring
conceptual understanding of theories, research findings, and methodological issues covered in class and discussions.
3. Quizzes will be on-line and openbook, and will be accessible from Sunday (8:00 AM) to Monday (8:00 AM). Quizzes will be from moderate to very difficult; it is to your best interest to read and understand each chapter before attempting each quiz.
4. The final Examination will be comprehensive and will contain a written component (see
Policies of the College of Arts & Sciences).
5. No Exam or Quiz make-ups will be allowed. You will be allowed to drop the lowest exam grade and (2) quizzes.

1. Class starts on time.

Class will consist of a mixture of lecture, discussion, and in-class activities. Active participation in class is strongly encouraged and please visit Cognitive Psychology and participate. It is very important that you read the material before coming to class. You will be much more prepared for lively discussion during the classroom time if you have read the assigned material prior to the time in which it will be addressed in class.

Students have complained that they are being greatly distracted by students talking during class, playing with their phones, getting up and leaving class. Students want to have clear expectations and to enforce them.
(a). Cellular phones should be turned off and put away. Student will be warned once and the second time will be asked to leave the classroom if phones ring during lecture or  student is actively using/checking phone.
(b). Students talking during class lectures will be warned once and the second time will be asked to leave the classroom.
(c). Students should remain on their seats until the end of the class.

Students are welcomed to bring personal computers (e.g., laptops, netbooks, or tablets) to class for note-taking purposes. Students should not use class time for net surfing or for other non-class-related purposes. Students will be warned once, and the second time will be asked to leave the classroom.

5. To better appreciate and learn the methods of psychology, you are required to participate in two (2) on-going psychological experiment. Students with learning, visual, or hearing disabilities are exempt from this requirement. This exemption also applies to participants that may not meet the specific requirements of the particular experiment or study. As an alternative, if you do not wish to participate in psychological experiments, you can write two 4-5 paged review of a journal article. Please discuss this possibility with your professor.

6. A 10-15-page research paper is required. Title page, abstract and references are not part of the total pages, however, they are required as part of the assignment. This assignment is worth 50 points and you must utilize at least 10 references (Psychology Today and Internet articles do not count: Consult with your professor if you have any questions). The paper should address a topic in Cognitive Psychology. The paper should be written in APA (5h Ed.) style. Writing well is a skill that needs to be developed. It requires a lot of practice and a lot of EDITING. If you need assistance with your writing please visit the Enrichment Center where you can be helped. Submit assignments to Angel's Turnitin Dropbox. The paper is due December 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM. Late assignments will not be accepted. The scholarly writing assignment will be graded according to the rubric found here.

7. It is expected that you will neither give nor receive any unauthorized aid for all tests and assignments in this class. Unauthorized aid is defined as, but not limited to, the use of your notes, textbooks, the internet, or people. All students are required to read and understand Dusty Devil's HONOR CODE, complete the HONOR CODE FORM and turn it in to your professor (
Note: You will not have access to exams/quizzes unless you turn in the Honor Code Form signed), and remember, A Dusty Devil does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do!.

8. All assignments and requirements  must be completed successfully by the start of the final exam to pass the course. As per TAMIU Regulations,  all electronic communication with students will take place via the TAMIU email system. The instructor will ONLY respond to and send messages to TAMIU email addresses. Students must check their TAMIU email accounts regularly. In general, students can expect responses to email messages within 24/48 hours.

9. As part of your academic and intellectual development, you are required to attend at least two academic presentations (e.g., Academic Conferences: Psychology/Student related) or Psychology Master's Students Theses presentations). Dates will be provided for these presentations. Please check your Angel email account.

Points will accumulate over the semester such that there will be:

1 Examination @ 50 Points 50 Points
1 Final @ 50 Points 50 Points
10 Quizes
@ 10 Points Each
Participation/Attendance @ 50 Points 50 Points
Research Paper @ 50 Points 50 Points

TOTAL Possible Points   300 Points

A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, F =59% and below

Earn extra points, by participating in ongoing research projects. For every hour (up to 3 hours) that you choose to participate as a subject, you will earn 2 extra points (after completing requirement).

AUG 19-24 Introduction/General Issues Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology/Brief History Chapter 1
AUG 26-31 Visual & Auditory Recognition Chapter 2, 2.1
SEP 2-7 Attention & Consciousness Chapt 3, 3.1 
SEP 9-14 Sensory Memory Chapt 3.2
SEP 16-21 STM/Working Memory Chapter 4
SEP 23-30 Working Memory Cont../REVIEW Chapter 4.1, 4.2
OCT 5 EXAM 1 ( Practice Tests, Summaries, Notes) Study Guide
OCT 7-12 Long-Term Memory (LTM) Chapter 5, 5.1
OCT 14-19 Memory Strategies Chapter 6
OCT 21-26 Mental Imagery & Cognitive Maps  Chapter 7
OCT 28-NOV 2 Semantic Memory Chapter 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
NOV 4 EXAM 2 (Practice tests, Summaries, Notes) Study Guide
NOV 9-11 Language: Language Comprehension Chapter 9, 9.1
NOV 16-18 Language: Language Production (Faculty Evaluations) Chapter 10, 10.1
NOV 23 Problem Solving & Creativity Chapter 11
NOV 25 4 Days Thanksgving Holidays
NOV 30
Problem Solving & Creativity Cont./Deductive reasoning Chapter 11-12
DEC 2 Deductive Reasoning & Decision Making/Cognitive Development Chapter 12-13
DEC 9 FINAL EXAM 5:30 PM Study Guide

NOTE: The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

Websites of interest to the student: Psychological Links, Cognitive Science.

Follow Cognitive Psychology Facebook

Related websites of interest to the student:
APA Style ResourcesCognitive Science, Information on APA Publication Style, Memory Basics
Memory Topics, Out of Memory!, Psychology with Style, Writing Workshop.