Cognitive Psychology

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
PSYC 2360
Cognitive Psychology
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:          

  • lectures
  • audio-visual materials
  • small group discussion
  • research projects
  • computer based cognitive simulation exercises
  • mediated electronic forums/discussion groups
  • internet-based individual and small group assignments
Course Description
This course provides an introduction to the psychology of cognition and is concerned with the methods and theories relevant to thinking and related processes. Concept formation, problem solving, reasoning, decision making, and the relation of language to thought will be covered. The influence of individual differences, social factors, artificial intelligence, and biology will be included as well as the practical applications of research in cognition.
Course Content
  1.  Historical Context
    • The rationalistic tradition.
    • Scientific decision making.
    • The behaviourist tradition.
    • The cognitive revolution.
  2. Biological Processes
    • Neural networks
    • Rhythms and cycles
  3. Perceptual Processes
    • Sensory memories.
    • Pattern recognition in humans and machines.
    • Attention.
  4. Memory Processes
    • Models of memory.
    • Short term memory.
    • Arousal and memory.
    • Practical implications
  5. Imagery
    • Characteristics of images.
    • Imagery and memory.
    • Cognitive maps.
    • Graphical computer interfaces.
  6. Language
    • Understanding language.
    • Computers and language representation.
    • Producing language.
    • Remembering language.
    • Reading.
    • Language translation.
  7. Concepts and Categories
    • Methods of researching.
    • Factors affecting concept formation.
    • Testing hypotheses.
    • Natural categories.
    • Statistical methods of categorization.
  8. Problem Solving
    • Problem representation.
    • Strategies and heuristic.
    • Ill-defined problems.
    • Creativity.
    • Computational explorations of creative processors.
  9. Reasoning
    • Linear series problems.
    • Propositional reasoning.
    • Syllogisms.
    • Analogies.
    • First order predicate logic.
  10. Decision Making
    • Representativeness.
    • Availability.
    • Social judgement and bias.
    • Mathematical modeling judges policy.
  11. Individual Differences
    • In memory processes.
    • In language usage.
    • In concept formation and problem solving.
    • In cognitive styles.
    • Thinking as measurable ability.
  12. Artificial Intelligence
    • Expert systems.
    • Decision support systems.
  13. Social Cognition
    • Group problem solving.
    • Consensual social reality.
    • Game playing and simulation.
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. List the major historical figures in the history of cognitive psychology and describe their contribution.
  2. Define cognition and describe the various types of cognition included in the definition.
  3. Describe the major contemporary theoretical approaches in cognitive psychology.
  4. Describe concept formation and attainment and the role of perceptual and memory processes.
  5. Explain the similarities and differences between individual and group problem solving.
  6. Describe the similarities and differences between human reasoning and artificial intelligence reasoning.
  7. Describe the dynamics of decision making processes and boundaries of "rational decision making".
  8. Describe the role of language and imagery in cognition.
  9. Describe the role of individual differences in cognitive style and cognitive ability.
  10. Run simple simulations of cognitive processes on a microcomputer using packaged software.
  11. Locate and use internet resources in cognitive psychology.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:


10 quizzes  25%
5 homework assignments  10%
Small group assignments          10%
Class discussion quality  10%
Term project paper  20%
Midterm exam  10%
Final exam  15%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

  • Goldstein, E. B. (2019) Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience (5th ed.). Stamford, CT : Cengage Learning

Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses

Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses