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PSY230 Cognitive Psychology

Fall 2016-2017

General Information
Type of Course: Seminar
Number of credits: 3

Prerequisites: PSY101

Meeting Day(s) & Time(s): TR 1:10-2:30

Classroom: N20, Nikander Hall

Instructor: Joshua Smith

Phone: 906-487-7282

Office: Mannerheim 401


Office Hours: Mon/Wed 3-5pm, Tues/Thurs 4-5pm

Course communications: I prefer email communication. All emails should include 1) the course
code (PSY###) in the subject line, and 2) your full name and student number in the body of the email.
Course Description and Organization
PSY230 provides an introductory exploration of human cognition. Topics may include thinking
processes as related to perception, memory, attention, reasoning, decision making, and problem
solving. Both classic and current issues are discussed.
Institutional Leaning Outcomes (ILOs)
1. Communication Students will be able to communicate in both the spoken and written word,
with clarity and originality while adapting to diverse situations.
2. Analytic and Critical Thinking Students will be able to gather relevant data and information,
evaluate ideas, and draw relationships and conclusions across areas of study.
3. Creative Insight Students will be able to integrate knowledge, skills, diverse perspectives, and
collaborative processes to produce an expansive holistic approach to problem solving.
4. Personal Perspective Students will be able to articulate and model a personal philosophy that
expresses care for self, community, and lifelong learning.
5. Global Perspective Students will be able to exhibit an understanding of and appreciation for
diverse cultures and the natural environment, and demonstrate a sense of belonging in an
interdependent world.

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

Course Learning Outcomes

The purpose of this course is to 1) introduce and examine the basic principles of cognitive
psychology, 2) to explore the mechanisms and processes of (primarily human) cognition, such as
perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision making, and 3) to become
familiar with the methods that psychologist employ to study cognition.

In this course students will

1) identify, describe, and discuss the primary psychological aspects of cognition (ILO 1)
2) explain and employ basic principles, theories and models of cognition (ILO 2)
3) analyze, interpret, and critically evaluate data relative to theories of cognition (ILO 2-3)
4) relate concepts of cognitive psychology to daily experience and the human condition (ILO 4-5)
Galotti, K. M. (2013). Cognitive psychology in and out of the laboratory, 5th edition. Thousand Oaks,

Available at North Wind Books: list $128 (new), $96 (used) Available new, used. Rental. E-textbook ($53)

Publisher: $120 (new, hard cover), e-options available


Companion (Student Study) Site:

Flashcards, Chapter Quizzes, Audio/Video links, Web Resources

Information about the Course

This is an introductory course designed to introduce a wide array of foundational topics in cognitive
psychology. Because we will cover many different topics, we will not cover any specific topic in depth.
Contact Hours
Being a post-secondary student is basically a full time job. Per Finlandia policy, the expected student
workload is approximately 3 hours of work per week per semester credit (1 hour of in-class instruction,
PLUS a minimum of 2 hours of work outside of class). A typical 12-credit semester course load works out
to 36 hours of academic work per week. Therefore, effective planning and time management are essential
to student success (plan ahead, avoid procrastination).
PSY230 is a 3 credit class. Each week will include 3 hours of class time, and an average of 6
hours of work outside of class (e.g., reading, studying, assignments).
Grading Policy
For this course, students will 1) come to class having read assigned readings and prepared to
PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

participate in classroom discussion, 2) complete daily quizzes, classroom activities, and homework as
assigned, 3) complete assigned reaction/experience papers, and 4) write 3 course exams.
Breakdown of Graded Components
Attendance and discussion
Daily Quizzes


Activities and homework


Reaction/Experience papers


Exams (3)

60% (20% each)

Descriptions of Graded Components

Attendance and classroom discussion

Learning in this course depends on active student participation and discussion. Students are
expected to attend all classes and contribute to all class discussion.

*Attendance will typically be monitored using in-class quizzes and activities. Participation will be
graded based on active contributions to class discussions (as determined by the instructor).

Daily Quizzes
Quizzes will be given frequently (perhaps not daily) and will be used to 1) track attendance, 2) help
identify areas that may need additional coverage or clarification OR where you may need to devote
additional study time. Quiz questions are not designed to be difficult or tricky. For students who
complete all in-class quizzes, I will drop their two lowest quiz scores before calculating final grades.

Missed quizzes cannot be made up, but missed quizzes will not be counted against students who
miss class for an excused absence and contact me prior to class on the day of the quiz. If you fail to
contact me in advance re: a class absence, any daily quiz will be counted, whether the
absence is approved or not.

*Quizzes will be graded as a whole on a total point basis for all quizzes assigned/completed.

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

Activities, discussion, homework

Occasionally, we will engage in-class learning activities and/or discussions OR students will be
assigned work to be completed outside of class. Activity and/or assignment type and content will vary
throughout the course.

*Grading for activities, discussion, and homework will be conducted individually on a TBD basis.
Students will have an opportunity for input in selecting activities and potentially on their grading.

Reaction/Experience Papers
Occasionally, students will have the opportunity to write short papers designed to allow students to
connect with course materials on a more personal basis. In these papers, students will either 1)
discuss a personal experience that illustrates or is directly related to materials discussed in class or 2)
explores their personal reaction to classroom materials. These papers will be assigned during class
periods and will pertain to the material discussed in that specific class, so students will need to be in
class to receive assignments and have the necessary information to complete the assignments.
Materials for these papers will not be provided outside of class. Paper length: 1 page. Formatting: 1
margins, double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman only). Class notes will be the only necessary
reference. Papers will be due one week after they are assigned and will be submitted electronically
prior to class on the due date.

Three exams will be administered during the course. Exams will not be cumulative by design, but
many course concepts carry over or build upon each other as the course progresses and thus may be
included on more than one exam. Exams will be primarily multiple choice, but will also include some
form of written component (e.g., short essay). Exam questions will be based on both text and lecture
materials as well as any supplemental materials assigned or presented during the course. Questions
will focus on main concepts, theories, psychologists, terms, experimental findings, and methodology.

Students should form study groups they are very beneficial.

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

*Exams will be graded out of 100 possible points. Make-up exams will only be offered for approved,
excused absences (see attendance below). Students who expect to miss an exam due to approved
university travel (or other pre-approved absence) should contact me at least one week prior to the
exam and should be prepared to write an alternate exam in advance of the expected absence.
Please note that early alternate and make-up exams may not be in the same format as the regularlyscheduled in-class exam at the discretion of the instructor.

Grading Scale
































Grade Disputes
Grades should be reflections of learning, not ends in themselves. Students are welcome, and
encouraged, to meet with me to discuss any graded work. I enjoy meeting with students and respect
students' efforts to understand and learn from their mistakes. Following consultation, a student who
still disagrees with a received grade may challenge that grade. Challenges cannot be made for
materials not previously discussed with me. Grade challenges must be made within one week
receiving the grade (I will not accept late challenges), in writing (MS Word or similar), and submitted
electronically (via email). Challenges must provide a clear rationale indicating 1) what specifically is
being challenged (i.e., not just the % or letter grade), 2) the specific point of disagreement including
what the student feels is incorrect, how, and why, and 3) how any previously provided
feedback/explanation for the received grade was not valid and justified. Students must provide
justification and evidence for their argument. I will carefully review all materials and provide a written
response indicating whether a grade change was made and an explanation of my decision. I will not
change grades after final semester grades are submitted unless there is a documented error in
calculating, recording, or transmitting the grade.
The university expects every student to attend all class sessions of scheduled courses and complete all
assignments. The class attendance policy follows, as noted in the University Catalog.
1. Each student is expected to attend all class periods. Students who anticipate missing a class
session (whether excused or unexcused) must inform their instructor(s) prior to the absence.
Individual instructors decide whether an absence is excused or unexcused and how class
absences affect the students grade.
PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

An excused absence may be granted for reasons related to a university-approved event,

bereavement, military obligation, jury duty, severe weather, or other urgent personal matters. Types
of absences not listed above are considered unexcused.
2. In the event that absences adversely affect a students grade, the student will be referred by the
instructor to their academic advisor and the Academic Success Coach.
3. In-class assignments, quizzes, and/or exams missed on the day of an unexcused absence cannot
be made up.

Instructor's Expectations
Success in this course demands that students be active partners in learning their own, and their
peers'. Students need to attend classes students who miss classes will not learn. Come to class
prepared. Read all assigned readings. Complete the preliminary assignments. Be prepared to
discuss, to ask and answer questions. Additionally, be respectful of others in the class avoid
distractions (or being a distraction), avoid texting, talking, playing with a cell phone or computer, etc.
Remember, your presence, participation, and behavior in classes impacts your educational
experience as well as the experience of your peers.
Complete assignments on time, before class.
Come to class on time and stay for the duration.
If you will miss a session due to University travel or other excused absence notify me in
advance. Simply not showing up is unprofessional and unacceptable.
Any missed materials (notes, assignments, etc.) are the responsibility of the student and will
not be provided by the instructor.
Check your FU email regularly you are responsible course updates or information sent out
via email.
Turn off phones and extraneous devices before class begins.
Using phones and devices for purposes not related to the class is prohibited.

Academic Integrity
Finlandia Universitys faculty require academic integrity from all students. Any student who violates the
Integrity Core Values and Behavioral Expectations (pages 17-18 of the Student Handbook), including
Falsification, Academic Dishonesty, Collusion, or Trust can expect an academic penalty imposed by the
instructor with the possibility of additional sanctions levied by the Board of Student Conduct. Refer to the
Student Handbook for further explanation.
Academic Support Services (
If you are having difficulties with the course, please contact me ASAP. Speak with me before, during, or
after class or send me an email. Do not put this off. Course difficulties often build on each other. Students
are encouraged to meet with me during my posted office hours. If you cannot meet with me during set
office hours (because of a valid, documented conflict), you should contact me to arrange an alternative
meeting time [email contact is preferred].

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

Also, you should take advantage of tutoring services available through the Teaching Learning Center
(TLC) located in Nikander 10. The TLC is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with additional
evening hours in the Maki Library. Tutoring is available either by appointment or walk-ins, but
appointments are recommended to ensure that an appropriate tutor is available. TLC Direct Line: 4877255
Americans with Disabilities Act
Finlandia University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act. Any student requesting accommodations must have documentation of a specific
disability on file with the Director of Disability Student Services (DSS). With proper documentation on file,
a student will then receive a Disability Verification Memo for the course(s) that identifies the
accommodation(s). The office of the Director of Disability Student Services (DSS) is located in
Mannerheim 114; phone 487-7324.
Student Athletes
If you are a student athlete, please see me to introduce yourself during the first week of classes. If sports
travel may result in missing classes, please schedule an appointment to meet with me during the first two
weeks of classes to discuss potential the absences and make arrangements for completing missed
course. I expect all class activities, assignments, and exams will be submitted/completed in advance of
any scheduled absence. Failure to follow these procedures will result in a late penalty for any missed
course work.

Schedule (may be subject to changes, meetings Tues/Thurs)

**Topics and readings are by week and are listed only for the first meeting each week**


08.30 Course structure & expectations

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

09.01 History, Methods, and Paradigms

09.06 The Brain


09.13 Perception


Readings, assignments, etc.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Chapter 3

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

09.20 Attention


09.27 Exam 1

09.29 Memory (working memory)

10.04 Memory (working mem., recall, retrieval) Chapter 5-6


10.11 Knowledge, Memory organization


10.18 Visual-spatial cognition


10.25 Language

10.27 Exam 2

11.01 Thinking, Problem Solving


11.08 Reasoning, Decision Making


11.15 Cog. Development


11.22 Individual differences


11.29 Individual differences cont.


12.06 Cross-cultural perspectives


12.13 FINAL EXAM, 1:10 3:10 PM, N20

Important Dates
Classes begin
Drop/Add ends
Labor Day
Midterm grades due
End of W period
Thanksgiving break
Final grades due

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 13 (cont.)
Chapter 14

Aug. 29, 2016

Sep. 02, 2016
Sep. 05, 2016 (no classes)
Oct. 18, 2016
Nov. 03, 2016 (for full semester course)
Nov. 23-27 (no classes)
Dec. 12-16, 2016
Dec. 20, 2016

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017

PSY230, Cognitive Psychology, Course Syllabus Fall 2016-2017