Course: PSY255
Instructor: Jordan Taylor
F 2019

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

This course gives an overview of discoveries and progress made over the past 50 years of research in cognitive psychology. Topics include perception, attention, memory, decision making, reasoning, problem solving, language, and cognitive control. Lectures meet twice a week (50 minutes) and lab once a week (3 hours). During the lab you will go over experimental design, create your own experiments, and analyze the data. The culmination of the lab is the final group project where you design and conduct an experiment.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

Lectures: The professor uses lecture slides which are posted in advance to blackboard. He explains concepts, models, and figures; relating them to real world examples through the use of videos. Lecture slides have minimal words and there is no textbook for the course. As a result, it is important to attend lectures as these notes will serve as your only reference. Paying close attention to explanations of models and figures is key because this material will likely appear on the exam. Course Readings: Each week there will be two journal articles assigned. Typically, one is a review article (20-25 pages) and the other is an empirical article (10-15 pages). The readings can be dense and difficult to understand. However, the professor only expects that you have a general understanding of the papers. I suggest approaching the readings by focusing on the abstract, methods, and result sections of the papers. Lab: Lab TA’s use minimal lecture slides and post in-class assignments to blackboard. The majority of work in lab consists of designing experiments, collecting data, analyzing it, and writing lab reports. Homework is generally a continuation of the work begun during lab. Utilizing your time in lab and taking notes can make writing your lab report easier.

Learning For and From Assignments

Lab Reports: These assignments provide you with the opportunity to practice your scientific writing skills and gain experience with research design. Taking notes for your lab report during lab is helpful because they help you work more efficiently when you continue your work outside of lab. Assigned readings: The assigned readings serve as examples of research design and question formation in this particular field of psychology. Read selectively in order to gain a general understanding of the material, while also taking notice of the structural features of the paper.

External Resources

No external resources needed. Do utilize office hours with your TA and introduce yourself to the professor when you have time.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

This course is required for psychology majors, but can also be used as an introductory level STL for non-concentrators. Due to the lab component (which includes group work outside of class) and the introductory nature of this course, it is very time consuming. There is no background knowledge needed for this course.
Cognitive Psychology

Add a Strategy or Tip