Cognitive Psychology

Subject PSYC20007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of laboratories
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


There are no prerequisites for this subject


There are no corequisites for this subject

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior coursework in PSYC10003/PSYC80001 Mind Brain and Behaviour 1.

Non Allowed Subjects:

51224 Cognitive Psychology 2

512226 Cognitive Psychology

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit Website:


Dr Meredith Mckague


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Currently enrolled students:

  • General information:
  • Email:

Future students:

  • Further information:
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Subject Overview:

Mental processes such as attention, memory, language and categorisation form the basis of our 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 explanation formation and decision making.

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

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge: On completion of this subject students should demonstration knowledge of:

  • the historical and philosophical foundations of cognitive psychology;
  • the key theories, models and experimental findings central to cognitive psychology;
  • the core assumptions of the major competing paradigms in cognitive psychology.

Skills: On completion of this subject students should have developed skills in:

  • reviewing critically the main theories in one or more areas of cognitive psychology;
  • deriving testable empirical predictions from a cognitive theory and assessing the adequacy of these against a set of experimental findings;
  • summarising and analysing data in a way that is appropriate to the e
  • mpirical test of a cognitive theory;
  • working as part of a group to develop and present an oral presentation/debate on a topic related to cognitive psychology.

Application of knowledge and skills: On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:

  • explain how theories and research findings from cognitive psychology can inform everyday problems; for example, biases in decision-making; failures of attention and memory; eye-witness testimony, reasoning and solving problems; learning and remembering information; how cognitive processes are involved in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders.

Written laboratory report of 1500-2000 words (40%) due mid-semester.

A multiple choice examination of no more than two hours (50%) to be completed at the end of semester during the specified University examination period.

Completion of weekly online quizzes on lecture content (hurdle requirement).

Participation in a group oral presentation/debate (10%) between weeks 10-12.

Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes is a hurdle requirement.

In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Prescribed Texts:

Goldstein, E.B. (2014). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 4th Edition. Cengage Learning.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • conceptualise theoretical problems, form hypotheses, and arguments
  • communicate ideas clearly in written and oral formats;
  • participate in teamwork through small group discussions;
  • research an area and analyse the information critically.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Perception and Cognition

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