Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 4325-102) FALL 2017

Professor: Roberto R. Heredia., Ph.D.  URL: http://www.tamiu.edu/~rheredia/
Office: CH 205B E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu
Class Time & Place: T-R 9:30 - 10:45 WTC 111 Phone: (956) 326-2637
Office Hours: MTWR 12:00 PM - 1: 00 PM  & 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 research in this area.
3. Apply the information you learn to professional areas such as education, communicative disorders, law, public health, clinical psychology, and social sciences.
4. Develop an understanding of your own cognitive processes, and improve your cognitive skills even further (e.g., when you study for exams and when you solve problems).  

Matlin, M.W., & Farmer, T. A (2016).
Cognition (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (ISBN 978-1-119-17774-6: 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.

As rightly pointed out by Linden (2007), I will Imagine that [my] audience has [some] knowledge [in Cognitive Psychology] but infinite intelligence (Prologue, The accidental mind: How brain evolution has given us love, memory, dreams, and god).

Experimental/ Research  Materials (EyeTrack, Pupil, DMX, OpenSesame, PsyScope, E-Prime Scripts, PsyScope Scripts, TestMyBrain, WebExp) can be downloaded by visiting Experimental Materials for Cognitive Scientists! for all computer platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), and Classic Memory Demos.

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 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 Monday (8:00 AM) to Tuesday (9:00 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
. Please assure that you always check Blackboard messages for quizzes or important messages.

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. Please keep an Academic Reflection Diary about what you learn for each lecture. This should be fun! For example, after each class you can reflect about what you learned in the class and what areas you need to review. Your Academic Reflection Diary, of at least 2200 words (Page 1 should include your name, date, and class information), is due December 5, 2017. Please turn it in using BlackBoard's turnitin. As you reflect about your learning, please paraphrase and assure that you write grammatically and semantically felicitous senteces.

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 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 @ 100 Points
1 Final @ 100 Points
10 Quizes (10 points each)
@ 100 Points
Academic Diary @ 20 Points

TOTAL 320 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 10 hours) that you choose to participate as a subject, you will earn 1 extra point (after completing requirement [see required experiment in 5, above]).

AUG 22-24 Introduction/General Issues Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology/Brief History Chapter 1
AUG 29-31 Visual & Auditory Recognition Chapter 2, 2.1
SEP 5-7 Attention & Consciousness Chapt 3, 3.1 
SEP 12-14 Sensory Memory Chapt 3.2
SEP 19-21 STM/Working Memory Chapter 4
SEP 26-28 Working Memory Cont../REVIEW Chapter 4.1, 4.2
OCT 3 EXAM 1 ( Practice Tests, Summaries, Notes) Study Guide
OCT 5-12 Long-Term Memory (LTM) Chapter 5, 5.1
OCT 17-19 Memory Strategies Chapter 6
OCT 24-26 Mental Imagery & Cognitive Maps  Chapter 7
OCT 31-NOV 7 Semantic Memory Chapter 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
NOV 9 EXAM 2 (Practice tests, Summaries, Notes) Study Guide
NOV 14-16 Language: Language Comprehension  Chapter 9, 9.1
NOV 21 Language: Language Production Chapter 10, 10.1
NOV 23 Days Thanksgving Holidays
NOV 28 Problem Solvig & Creativity (Faculty Evaluations) Chapter 11
DEC 30 Deductive Reasoning & Decision Making/Cognitive Development Chapter 12-13
DEC 12 FINAL EXAM 9:30 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

(Last Revised: August 7, 2017)

Classroom Behavior

The College of Arts and Sciences encourages classroom discussion and academic debate as an essential intellectual activity. It is essential that students learn to express and defend their beliefs, but it is also essential that they learn to listen and respond respectfully to others whose beliefs they may not share. The College will always tolerate diverse, unorthodox, and unpopular points of view, but it will not tolerate condescending or insulting remarks. When students verbally abuse or ridicule and intimidate others whose views they do not agree with, they subvert the free exchange of ideas that should characterize a university classroom. If their actions are deemed by the professor to be disruptive, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include being involuntarily withdrawn from the class.

Student Absences

Students are expected to attend class and to complete all assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate absences with his/her professor.

According to University policy, acceptable reasons for an absence, which cannot affect a student’s grade, include:
• Participation in an authorized University activity.
• Death or major illness in a student’s immediate family.
• Illness of a dependent family member.
• Participation in legal proceedings or administrative procedures that require a student’s presence.
• Religious holy day. 
• Illness that is too severe or contagious for the student to attend class.
• Required participation in military duties.
• Mandatory admission interviews for professional or graduate school which cannot be rescheduled.

The student is responsible for providing satisfactory evidence (i.e., physician note, medical release, etc.) to the faculty member within seven calendar days of his/her absence and return to class. He/she must substantiate the reason for absence. If the absence is excused, the faculty member must either provide the student with the opportunity to make up the exam or other work missed or provide a satisfactory alternative to complete the exam or other work missed within 30 calendar days from the date of absence.

Students who miss class due to a University-sponsored activity are responsible for identifying their absences to their faculty member(s) with as much advance notice as possible. If an off-campus licensed physician provides evidence of a student’s illness, the written excuse, orders or documentation must contain the date and time of the doctor’s appointment, the prognosis of illness, doctor’s opinion and recommendations for the individual student. In addition, the notice should outline whether or not the student is able to attend class. If a physician determines that the student is not ill, he or she will not receive an excused absence. If absence is not an excused absence, the faculty member will decide whether makeup work will be allowed. In some courses, attendance and in-class participation are ongoing requirements and an integral part of the work of the course. In other courses, occasional in-class assessments may occur, sometimes without advance notice. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to inform each class at the beginning of the semester of the in-class participation expected and the effect that absences will have on the student’s evaluation of work in the course.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as your own. It occurs when you:
1) Borrow someone else’s facts, ideas, or opinions and put them entirely in your own words, you must acknowledge that these thoughts are not your own by immediately citing the source in your paper. Failure to do this is plagiarism.
2) Borrow someone else’s words (short phrases, clauses, or sentences), you must enclose the copied words in quotation marks as well as citing the source. Failure to do this is plagiarism.
3) Present someone else’s paper or exam (stolen, borrowed, or bought) as your own, you have committed a clearly intentional form of intellectual theft and have put your academic future in jeopardy. This is the worst form of plagiarism.

Here is another explanation from the 2010, sixth edition of the Manual of The American Psychological Association (APA):
Plagiarism: Researchers do not claim the words and ideas of another as their own; they give credit where credit is due. Quotations marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another. Each time you paraphrase another author (i.e., summarize a passage or rearrange the order of a sentence and change some of the words), you need to credit the source in the text.

The key element of this principle is that authors do not present the work of another as if it were their own words. This can extend to ideas as well as written words. If authors model a study after one done by someone else, the originating author should be given credit. If the rationale for a study was suggested in the Discussion section of someone else's article, the person should be given credit. Given the free exchange of ideas, which is very important for the health of intellectual discourse, authors may not know where an idea for a study originated. If authors do know, however, they should acknowledge the source; this includes personal communications.  (pp. 15-16)

Consult the Writing Center or a recommended guide to documentation and research such as the Manual of the APA or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for guidance on proper documentation. If you still have doubts concerning proper documentation, seek advice from your instructor prior to submitting a final draft.

Penalties for Plagiarism:  Should a faculty member discover that a student has committed plagiarism, the student should receive a grade of 'F' in that course and the matter will be referred to the Honor Council for possible disciplinary action. The faculty member, however, may elect to give freshmen and sophomore students a “zero” for the assignment and to allow them to revise the assignment up to a grade of “F” (50%) if they believe that the student plagiarized out of ignorance or carelessness and not out of an attempt to deceive in order to earn an unmerited grade. This option should not be available to juniors, seniors, or graduate students, who cannot reasonably claim ignorance of documentation rules as an excuse.
Caution:  Be very careful what you upload to Turnitin or send to your professor for evaluation. Whatever you upload for evaluation will be considered your final, approved draft. If it is plagiarized, you will be held responsible. The excuse that “it was only a draft” will not be accepted.
Caution:  Also, do not share your electronic files with others. If you do, you are responsible for the possible consequences. If another student takes your file of a paper and changes the name to his or her name and submits it and you also submit the paper, we will hold both of you responsible for plagiarism. It is impossible for us to know with certainty who wrote the paper and who stole it. And, of course, we cannot know if there was collusion between you and the other student in the matter.
Penalties for Cheating:  Should a faculty member discover a student cheating on an exam or quiz or other class project, the student should receive a “zero” for the assignment and not be allowed to make the assignment up. The incident should be reported to the chair of the department and to the Honor Council. If the cheating is extensive, however, or if the assignment constitutes a major grade for the course (e.g., a final exam), or if the student has cheated in the past, the student should receive an “F” in the course, and the matter should be referred to the Honor Council. Under no circumstances should a student who deserves an “F” in the course be allowed to withdraw from the course with a “W.”
Student Right of Appeal:  Faculty will notify students immediately via the student’s TAMIU e-mail account that they have submitted plagiarized work. Students have the right to appeal a faculty member’s charge of academic dishonesty by notifying the TAMIU Honor Council of their intent to appeal as long as the notification of appeal comes within 10 business days of the faculty member’s e-mail message to the student. The Student Handbook provides more details.

Use of Work in Two or More Courses

You may not submit work completed in one course for a grade in a second course unless you receive explicit permission to do so by the instructor of the second course.

UConnect, TAMIU E-Mail, and Dusty Alert

Personal Announcements sent to students through TAMIU’s UConnect Portal and TAMIU E-mail are the official means of communicating course and university business with students and faculty – not the U.S. Mail and no other e-mail addresses. Students and faculty must check UConnect and their TAMIU e-mail accounts regularly, if not daily. Not having seen an important TAMIU e-mail or UConnect message from a faculty member, chair, or dean is not accepted as an excuse for failure to take important action. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to sign-up for Dusty Alert (see www.tamiu.edu). Dusty Alert is an instant cell phone text-messaging system allowing the university to communicate immediately with you if there is an on-campus emergency, something of immediate danger to you, or a campus closing.

Copyright Restrictions

The Copyright Act of 1976 grants to copyright owners the exclusive right to reproduce their works and distribute copies of their work. Works that receive copyright protection include published works such as a textbook. Copying a textbook without permission from the owner of the copyright may constitute copyright infringement. Civil and criminal penalties may be assessed for copyright infringement. Civil penalties include damages up to $100,000; criminal penalties include a fine up to $250,000 and imprisonment.

Copyright laws do not allow students and professors to make photocopies of copyrighted materials, but you may copy a limited portion of a work, such an article from a journal or a chapter from a book for your own personal academic use or, in the case of a professor, for personal, limited classroom use. In general, the extent of your copying should not suggest that the purpose or the effect of your copying is to avoid paying for the materials. And, of course, you may not sell these copies for a profit. Thus, students who copy textbooks to avoid buying them or professors who provide photocopies of textbooks to enable students to save money are violating the law.

Students with Disabilities

Texas A&M International University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified persons with disabilities. This University will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal education opportunity. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Director of Student Counseling and to contact the faculty member in a timely fashion to arrange for suitable accommodations.

Student Attendance and Leave of Absence (LOA) Policy

As part of our efforts to assist and encourage all students towards graduation, TAMIU provides LOA’s for students, including pregnant/parenting students, in accordance with the Attendance Rule (Section 3.24) and the Student LOA Rule (Section 3.25), which includes the “Leave of Absence Request” form. Both rules can be found in the TAMIU Student Handbook (http://www.tamiu.edu/studentaffairs/StudentHandbook1.shtml).
Pregnant and Parenting Students

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, harassment based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions, is prohibited.  A pregnant/parenting student must be granted an absence for as long as the student’s physician deems the absence medically necessary.  It is a violation of Title IX to ask for documentation relative to the pregnant/parenting student’s status beyond what would be required for other medical conditions. If a student would like to file a complaint for discrimination due to his or her pregnant or parenting status, please contact the TAMIU Title IX Coordinator (Lauren A. Jones, J.D., 5201 University Boulevard, KL 159B, Laredo, TX 78045, TitleIX@tamiu.edu, 956.326.2857) and/or the Office of Civil Rights (Dallas Office, U.S. Department of Education, 1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620, Dallas, TX 75201-6810, 214.661.9600).

The University advises a pregnant or parenting student to notify his or her professor once he or she is aware that accommodations for such will be necessary. It is first recommended that the student and professor attempt to work out the reasonable accommodations with each other. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement (Mayra Hernandez, MGHernandez@tamiu.edu) can assist the student and professor in working out the reasonable accommodations. In the event that a student will need a leave of absence for a substantial period of time from the University, the University urges the student to consider a Leave of Absence as outlined in the Student Handbook.  As part of our efforts to assist and encourage all students towards graduation, TAMIU provides LOA’s for students, including pregnant/parenting students, in accordance with the Attendance Rule and the Student LOA Rule.  Both rules can be found in the TAMIU Student Handbook (http://www.tamiu.edu/scce/studenthandbook.shtml). 


Students who are unable to complete a course should withdraw from the course before the final date for withdrawal and receive a “W.”  To qualify for an “incomplete” and thus have the opportunity to complete the course at a later date, a student must meet the following criteria:

1)    The student must have completed 90% of the course work assigned before the final date for withdrawing from a course with a “W”, and the student must be passing the course;
2)    The student cannot complete the course because an accident, an illness, or a traumatic personal or family event occurred after the final date for withdrawal from a course;
3)    The student must sign an “Incomplete Grade Contract” and secure signatures of approval from the professor and the college dean.
4)    The student must agree to complete the missing course work before the end of the next long semester; failure to meet this deadline will cause the “I” to automatically be converted to an “F”; extensions to this deadline may be granted by the dean of the college.

This is the general policy regarding the circumstances under which an “incomplete” may be granted, but under exceptional circumstances, a student may receive an incomplete who does not meet all of the criteria above if the faculty member, department chair, and dean recommend it.

WIN Contracts

WIN Contracts are offered only under exceptional circumstances and are limited to seniors. Only courses offered by full-time TAMIU faculty or TAMIU instructors are eligible to be contracted for the WIN requirement. However, a WIN contract for a course taught by an adjunct may be approved, with special permission from the department chair and dean. Students must seek approval before beginning any work for the WIN Contract. No student will contract more than one course per semester. Summer WIN Contracts must continue through both summer sessions.

Student Responsibility for Dropping a Course

It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to drop the course before the final date for withdrawal from a course. Faculty members, in fact, may not drop a student from a course without getting the approval of their department chair and dean.

Independent Study Course

Independent Study (IS) courses are offered only under exceptional circumstances. Required courses intended to build academic skills may not be taken as IS (e.g., clinical supervision and internships). No student will take more than one IS course per semester. Moreover, IS courses are limited to seniors and graduate students. Summer IS course must continue through both summer sessions.

Grade Changes & Appeals

Faculty are authorized to change final grades only when they have committed a computational error or an error in recording a grade, and they must receive the approval of their department chairs and the dean to change the grade. As part of that approval, they must attach a detailed explanation of the reason for the mistake.  Only in rare cases would another reason be entertained as legitimate for a grade change. A student who is unhappy with his or her grade on an assignment must discuss the situation with the faculty member teaching the course. If students believe that they have been graded unfairly, they have the right to appeal the grade using a grade appeal process in the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

Final Examination

Final Examination must be comprehensive and must contain a written component. The written component should comprise at least 20% of the final exam grade. Exceptions to this policy must receive the approval of the department chair and the dean at the beginning of the semester.