Cognitive Psychology
Psych. 272
Block 2,1996
Bill Dragon


Class Hours: 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM (Monday-Friday)

Office Hours: 1:00 PM - 12:00 PM Daily
or by appointment (895-4281) (Dragon@cornellcollege.edu)

Text: Benjafield, J.G. (1996). Cognition (2nd edition). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Reading Assignments:

      Date                  Chapter
Sept. 30 (M)             Introduction (1)
 Oct. 01 (T)             Approaches to Cognition (2)
      02 (W)             Attention (3)
      03 (Th)            Concepts (4)
      04 (F)             Memory Traces and Memory Schemas (5)

      07 (M)             Memory Systems (6)
      08 (T)             Imagery and Cognitive Maps (7)
      09 (W)             Exam 1 (Chapters 1-7)
      10 (Th)            Problem Solving (8)
      11 (F)             Reasoning (9)

      14 (M)             Judgment and Choice (10)
      15 (T)             Language (11)
      16 (W)             Intelligence and Creativity (12)
      17 (TH)            Personal Cognition (13)
      18 (F)             Applied Cognitive Psychology (14)

      21 (M)             Exam 2 (Chapters 8-14)
      22 (T)             Writing day
      23 (W)             Group Presentations


General Goals of the Course:
Cognitive Psychology is one of the oldest areas of psychological study. It began with Wundt's laboratory in Leipzig and James' ruminations about a stream of consciousness in the United States. Cognitive Psychology continues today as the theoretical center of many other areas of psychology, such as social psychology, personality, and industrial/organizational psychology.

Our goals in this course are to understand cognitive psychology's historical significance, how the field changed over time, and what current cognitive psychologists define as the important issues in the study of thought and memory.

Reading Assignments: We will accomplish these broad goals by reading one of the best integrative works in cognitive psychology. The book is Cognition and is written by John G. Benjafield. This is a unique text in that it give a balanced presentation of competing theories (i.e., ACT* and PDP), points out potential cultural bias in our interpretations of research, and provides links from each area of cognition to our daily lives. This is not to say it material will be easy to understand, if anything, it may be the most complex and abstract reading you will encounter in the field of psychology.

Reading Load: The reading load for this course is heavy and theoretical in nature. Therefore, you must stay on top of your reading assignments. Use your weekends wisely and get ahead in your reading for the coming week. You should plan on spending three to four hours a day reading for the this course.

Examinations: There will be two examinations. Exams will be all day affairs. You will pick up your essay questions in the morning and work on them throughout the day. You must turn them in by 4:00 PM typed, double spaced, and completely referenced. You may use your text and class notes to write your answers but may not work with others in the class. These are solo exams. Exams will cover information presented in class and the text.

Make-up exams will be given to students who have missed a scheduled exam and will consist of all essay questions. They must be made up within two days of the actual exam date.

Group Project: Each class member will participate in a group research project. The projects have several goals. First, they will enable you to become intimately acquainted with a particular content area of cognitive psychology. Second, they will give you first hand experience at conducting a research project. This experience will enable you to not only become critical consumers of science but also skilled producers of science.

The group projects will be run in the following manner:

1. Groups will be selected by Thursday of the second week.
2. Topics will be selected by Monday of the third week.
3. A typed outline of the topic and method of testing the topic will be turned in by Tuesday of
   the third week and the group will turn in two research articles on the topic (should be within
   the last 10 years).
4. All materials needed to conduct the experiments must be organized and run off by
   Wednesday of the third week.
5. Collect data by Friday of the third week.
6. Data analysis complete by Monday, of the fourth week.
7. Group presentations will be on the last day of class from 9:00 am to 11:00 AM. All group
   members must participate and each class member must be present for all group presentations.
8. Individual papers turned in by 12:00 noon Wednesday, the last day of class.


Grading: The Exams will account for 66% of your course grade. Each exam is worth 33% of your final grade. The Final Paper will account for 30% of your course grade. A Final Paper that is not turned in on time will be reduced by one letter grade for each hour it is late. The Final Paper is late if turned in after 12:00 Noon on the last day of class. The class presentation will account for the final 4% of your course grade. Final course grades will be assigned on a percentage basis using:

A  94%     C  74%
A- 90%     C- 70%
B+ 87%     D+ 67%
B  84%     D  64%
B- 80%     D- 60%
C+ 77%     F  59%


Academic Honesty: Any violation of academic honesty is a serious breach of the student- teacher relationship and the values of Cornell College. Therefore, violations of academic honesty will be treated accordingly. Any individual who cheats on an exam or turns in work that is not their own on any assignment (e.g., Final Paper) will receive a course grade of "F".

Class Attendance: It is obviously very important that you attend every class period. Material covered on the exams will come from the text and information presented only in class. It is especially important that you attend all the group presentations. The presentations fulfill several of the educational goals of this course. Therefore, individuals missing any of any presentation (including their own) will have their final course grade reduced by 1/3 of a full letter grade.

Please be prompt: Latecomers are very disruptive to everyone and may force us to continue beyond normal ending time. In addition, there are two behaviors that will absolutely not be tolerated in class; SMOKING and EATING.


Return to: Bill's Personal Home Page
 
Return to: Bill's Department Page
 
Return to Department of Psychology Home Page