PSY 337 – Cognitive Processes (Fall 2021)

Course Description

This course discusses the higher mental functions such as memory, thinking, language, and problem solving through examination of contemporary research in the field.

Number of Units: 4

Prereq: Placement in ENG 112 or equiv.; PSY 150

Term Length: Semester

Textbook: E. Bruce Goldstein. (2019) Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience (5th ed.)* *older editions will work.

Also required: MindTap/CogLab subscription access for lab work

Please note that if you subscribe to Cengage Unlimited, the textbook for this course and all Cengage textbooks will be covered under the subscription.

Please note: the information above is provided as an overview. Updated and accurate information will be provided via My.Marymount and the course catalogues.

Week 1 - Introduction & Goals

Week 1 of Cognitive Processes will give you an overview of Cognitive Psychology, its research, and its goals for future knowledge in cognition.

Week 2 - Cognitive Neurosciences

Week 2’s focuses on the biological side of cognition that involves the brain including the neurons, peripheral nervous system, and more.

Week 3 - Perception

Week 3’s focus is on perception – how we come to understand our world through our senses (i.e., sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing). We’ll also be investigating how we can be fooled and fail in accurate perception.

Week 4 - Exam 1 Week

This week we will be reviewing materials from the first three week and then testing you on the materials from lecture and chapters 1 through 3.

Week 5 - Attention

Week 5 moves into the first section of the information processing model and focuses on how we perceive and retain information about our external world through attentional focus (and how we lose/forget things through decay).

Week 6 - STM & Working Memory

Week 6’s focuses on the next section of the information processing model – Short-term memory (STM) and Working Memory (WM).

Week 7 - Long-term Memory

Week 7’s focus is on Long-term Memory (LTM) and the brain’s storehouse of knowledge, skills, and more. We’ll be investigating how we encode information, decode things we need to remember, and how we “lose” things in LTM.

Week 8 - Exam 2 Week

Week 8 is an exam week with focuses on materials from Week 5 through 7 and chapters 4 through 6 in your textbook.

Week 9 - Encoding, Retrieval, and Consolidation

Week 9’s focus is on movement of information from STM to LTM and LTM to STM as well as retention of that information in LTM. We’ll also cover mistakes we make in encoding, retrieval, and consolidating information.

Week 10 - Everyday Memory and Memory Errors

Week 10’s focus is on practical memory techniques (e.g., remembering a grocery list or picking up your child from school) and the errors that can occur (e.g., eyewitness testimony failures).

Week 11 - Conceptual Knowledge

Week 11’s focus is on our organization of information and knowledge in LTM. How do we group birds, cats, and dogs in our mind? What about new animals we’ve never seen before (but seem familiar)?

Week 12 - Exam 3 week

Week 12’s focus will be on testing from materials covered in Week 9 through 11 as well as chapters 7 through 9 in your textbook.

Week 13 - Visual Imagery

Week 13’s focus is on visual imagery. This will include how we think and visual about concepts in our mind that can affect memory and understanding.

Week 14 - Problem Solving & Creativity

Remember, you have a holiday week before this week (included in the 16 week timetable). Week 14 will focus on how we approach and solve problems. This will include our thought-processes, goal-setting, and mental techniques used to solve puzzles and everyday problems.

Week 15 - Finals Week & Exam 4

This week will be during finals week with focus on testing on materials from Week 13 and 14 as well as chapters 10 and 12 from your textbook.