Cognitive Psychology

Subject 512-226 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and Pracitical/Tutorial

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: one x 2 hour lecture per week and six x 2 hour practical/tutorial during semester
Total Time Commitment: 36 hours contact time with an estimated total time commitment of 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Prior coursework in the two Level 1 psychology subjects, Mind Brain and Behaviour 1 and Mind Brain and Behaviour 2 is recommended.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Meredith Mckague
Subject Overview:

Mental processes such as attention, memory, language, and problem solving form the basis ofour creative human cognitive abilities. An understanding of these cognitive abilities and the methods used by cognitive psychologists to study them provides an essential foundation for ongoing study in psychology. Classic and current research findings will be discussed to reveal what is known about the workings of the human mind.

Specific topics may include: Perceptual processes and their role in cognition; the nature and function of selective attention; categorisation and the mental representation of knowledge; the structure, function and organisation of the human memory system; human linguistic ability, including language acquisition, language disorders, and models of spoken and written language processes; higher order cognitive processes such as problem solving, decision making, and musical abilitiy.

A quantitative methods compoenent will be integrated into the lecture, tutorial and assessment structure of this subject. The aim is to provide an understanding of, and practical experience with, the appropriate experimental design and statistical analysis techniques used to evaluate theories in Cognitive Psychology.


On completion of this subjects, students should be able to:

  1. give a critical account of the main theories in one or more areas of cognitive psychology
  2. derive testable empirical predictions from a theory that is expressed in abstract, information=processing terms
  3. assess teh adequacy of a cognitve theory in relation to a given set of experimental findings, and
  4. summarise and analyse data in a way that is appropriate to the empirical test of a cognitive theory.

Written laboratory report of 2,000 words (40%) (due beginning of non-teaching period)

Completion of progressive on-line short-answer written self-tests (maximum of 3; 10%) (due end of week 6 and end of week 11)

An end-of-semester two hour multiple choice examination (50%)

Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be compiled by the lecturers

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students will have the opportunity to conceptualise theoretical problems, form hypotheses and arguments and communicate them through written work and tutorial discussion, and participate in team work through small group discussions. Students will also develop skills related to the ability to research an area and analyze the information critically.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Mind, Brain & Behaviour 1 & 2 provide foundation knowledge for this second year subject.

A breadth sequence in Cognitive Psychology could include: Cognitive Psychology (PSYC20007), Advanced Studies of Human Cognition*, Neuroscience & the Mind*, The Unconcious Mind*, Development of the Thinking Child*, Psychopathology in Everday Life*, Psychology of Sleep & Emotions*, and Research Methods for Human Enquiry*

Students are expected to access an internet enabled computer on a regular basis. Students undertaking this subject are expected to be familiar with the use of Statistical software packages such as SPSS

* New subjects offered in 2010

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major

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