Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 4325-102)
Fall 2013

Professor: Roberto R. Heredia., Ph.D.  URL: http://www.tamiu.edu/~rheredia/
Office: CH 205B E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu
Class Time & Place: TR 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM; WHTC 116 Phone: (956) 326-2637
Office Hours:   TR 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM or by appointment
Course Description:
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.
Understand relevant methodological issues in cognitive psychology, and the ability to critically evaluate the research in this area.
3. K
now 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.  

Required Texts:

Matlin, M.W. (2013). Cognition (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (ISBN 978-1-1185-4556-0: Student's Companion Site)

Class Format:
The goal of lectures will be to present topics from each chapter to give you a flavor for the various domains of cognitive psychology. Lecture will also be used to help reinforce important or difficult topics by providing examples, video clips, and demonstrations that illustrate psychological principles or classic experiments. I may introduce material in lecture that goes beyond your text, so it is important to attend lecture and to take good notes. This is is an advanced-level course in psychology and to do well you need to read and understand the material. Lectures and class discussions will assume that you are familiar with this information, so that we can emphasize other material. However, if any part of the textbook is not clear, please let me know. 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. How to be a critical thinker? Please review Smith's (1994) Guidelines for critical thinkers here.

(1). There will be two midterms and a final examination each worth 50 points consisting of objective items, and short answers.
The instructor's aim is to ensure that you have understood the ideas and concepts presented and have gained some ability to reason from a cognitive psychological perspective. The final exam will be comprehensive.

(2). There will be 10 quizes worth 5 points each. Quizzes will be on-line and openbook, and will be accessible from Monday (8:00 AM) to Tuesday (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. It is highly recommended that you take full advantage of the
Student's Companion Site, and the self-quizzes for each book chapter.

(3). Students are required to participate in class discussions. The purpose of these sections is to allow a more in-depth discussion of the issues discussed in the lectures and readings, particularly a discussion of the ways in which these issues apply to problems in everyday life. As such, attendance is not only mandatory, but crucial for this course to function well.

(4). A 5-page research paper is required. Title page, abstract and references are not part of the 5 pages, however, they are required as part of the assignment. This assignment is worth 50 points and you must utilize at least five
references (Psychology Today and Internet articles do not count: Consult with your professor if you have any questions). For a sample paper please click here. 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 02, 2013 @ 8:00 AM. Late assignments will not be accepted. You are very welcome to work in pairs or triplets, for this assignment. Papers will be graded according to the rubric found here.

As an alternative to the research paper, students are highly recommended to present a poster/spoken presentation at the Texas A&M University System 11th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium, or design a fully-functional experiment from a Cogntive/Experimental Psychology article (e.g., Journal of Memory & Language) using Opensesame cross-platform Experiment-Builder. For example, you might be interested in designing a lexical decision task or a new task. Please let your professor know if you are interested.

(5). To learn the methods of Experimental Psychology, you are required to participate in 1 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 may write a 4-5 page review of a journal article. Please discuss this possibility with your professor.

(6). As part of your academic and intellectual development, you are required to attend at least two academic presentations (e.g., Student Conference, Psychology Academic, & Master's Students Theses presentations). Dates will be provided for these presentations. Please check your email messages.

(7). All assignments and requirements must be completed by the start of the final exam to pass the course.

(8). I
t 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 return it to your professor, and remember, "a Dustyt Devil does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do."

Make-ups are not allowed.

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

2 Examinations @ 50 Points 100 Points
1 Final @ 50 Points 50 Points
10 Quizzes @ 5 Points each
50 Points
Class Attendance
@ 10 Points 10 Points
Class Participation @ 25 Points 25 Points
Attendance: 2 Academic Presentations @ 20 Points 20 Points
Research Paper
@ 50 Points50 Points

TOTAL Possible Points 305 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).

Other important issues to consider:
1. Class starts on time.
2. Cellular phones should be turned off and put away. You will be asked to leave the classroom if your phones rings during class time.
3. If you are a very busy individual and you need to be checking your phone every second, please stay home!
4. You are very welcome to use your computer or tablet to take notes; however, you may be asked to leave the class if you are using your computer/tablet for other purposes unrelated to note-taking.

JAN 22-24Introduction/General Issues Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology/Brief HistoryChapter 1
JAN 29-31
Visual & Auditory Recognition
Chapter 2, 2.1
FEB 5-7
Attention & Consciousness
Chapt 3, 3.1 
FEB 12-14 Sensory Memory Chapt 3.2
FEB 19-21
STM/Working Memory Chapter 4
FEB 26-28 Working Memory Cont.. Chapter 4.1, 4.2
EXAM 1 ( Practice Tests, Summaries, Notes)
Study Guide
MAR 7-19
Long-Term Memory (LTM)
Chapter 5, 5.1
MAR 21
Memory Strategies Chapter 6
MAR 26-28
Mental Imagery & Cognitive Maps  Chapter 7
APR 2-4
Semantic Memory Chapter 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
EXAM 2 (Practice tests, Summaries, Notes) Study Guide
APR 11-16 Language: Language Comprehension
Chapter 9, 9.1
APR 18-23
Language: Language Production (D-Day) Chapter 10, 10.1
APR APR 25-30
Problem Solving & Creativity Chapter 11
MAY 2-7
Deductive Reasoning & Decision Making/Cognitive Development Chapter 12-13

MAY 14
FINAL EXAM 8:00 AM Study Guide


JAN 22 First Class Day
JAN 28 Final Late Registration
FEB 46 12th Class Day: Last Day Courses May Be Dropped Without Record
MAR 8 Midsemester
MAR 11
Spring Break
MAR 13
 Mid-term Grades
MAR 29
Easter Holiday
APR 18
Last Day to Drop a Course or Withdraw from the University
APR 22
Faculty Evaluations
MAY 7 Last Class Day
Reading Day
Final Examination Period

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.

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