Psychology 2135A 001 FW23

Cognitive Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


Western University  

London              Canada 

Department of Psychology 


Psychology 2135A Section 001 
Cognitive Psychology 


  1. Calendar Description 

An introduction to empirical, computational, and theoretical approaches to the study of human cognitive processes. The topics surveyed include perception, attention, memory, concepts, language and problem-solving. The course will show how these diverse psychological processes are related to and influence one another. 4 lecture hours, 0.5 course 

  1. Antirequisites 

Psychology 2010A/B, 2180E. Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course. 

  1. Prerequisites 

A mark of at least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level. Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites 

  1. Course Information 

Instructor: Dr. John Paul Minda, 

Office Hours: TBA 

Teaching Assistant: TBA 

TA Office & Hours: TBA 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Student Accessibility Services (formerly known as Services for Students with Disabilities)  

You may also contact Accessible Education at   

at 519-661-2147. 

  1. Course Operation 

Lectures are Monday and Wednesday from 2:30 – 4:30 in NSC-1, slides will be available on OWL prior to lecture. The lectures will be recorded during class and posted as videos on OWL for later review.   

  1. Online Learning Notice: 

Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information 

  1. Office Hours  

I hold weekly meeting hours Tuesday from 1:30-3:00. You can meet with me in my office (WIRB 5158) or on Zoom. 

These meetings are for one-on-one meetings, and I’ll meet with people first come first serve. 

For questions regarding course content, scheduling, quizzes, and exams, please contact a teaching assistant at the email above. For other concerns, contact me at I generally reply to emails within 48 hours. 

  1. Reading and Notes 
  1. Textbook 

There is one recommended textbook for this course. Cognition: Exploring the Science of the Mind, 8th edition, by Daniel Reisberg is available at the University bookstore, Amazon, and elsewhere. The purchase of this text is not required but I encourage you to have access to a textbook. You may use other texts or earlier editions of Reisberg’s book for the same purpose. 

  1. Course Notes 

Notes and slides from each class will be available on the course website (OWL). A copy of the slides will be available prior to class for review and for note taking. I will record the audio for each lecture in class and the slides with audio recording will be available on the website after class. Students may share their own notes on the OWL site or other note sharing sites. Your notes are your intellectual property, you can share as much or as little as you feel comfortable. 

  1. Course Objectives 

An introduction to empirical, computational, and theoretical approaches to the study of human cognitive processes. The topics surveyed include perception, attention, memory, concepts, language and problem-solving. The course will show how these diverse psychological processes are related to and influence one another. The primary mode of instruction is in-person and online lecture and discussion. Assessment consists of quizzes and multiple-choice exams. 



  1. Student Learning Outcomes 

Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge. Understand key concepts, principles, and overarching themes relevant to cognitive psychology.  

Encouraged and developed via readings and class participation. 

Quizzes and exams 

Knowledge of Methodologies. Understand concepts and current states of methods and techniques in both the natural science and social science aspects of cognitive psychology 

Encouraged and developed via readings and class participation. 

Quizzes and exams 

Application of Knowledge. Apply psychological principles to the understanding of everyday problems and academic / professional success.  

Encouraged and developed via readings and class participation. 

Quizzes and exams 

Communication Skills. Engage in a critical scholarly discussion on a psychological topic using evidence to support claims.  

Encouraged and developed via class participation and discussion 

Quizzes and exams 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. Evaluate the presentation of scientific ideas and research in the popular media 

Encouraged and developed via lecture and class participation. 

Quizzes and exams 

  1. Evaluation 

The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 

  1. Quizzes 

There are 4 online quizzes according to the schedule below. Each quiz will be available on OWL from 11:00am – 11:00pm (for 12 hours) on the day it is scheduled. The quizzes are timed but not proctored. You can take the quiz any time during the posted time. Once you begin you will have 20 minutes to complete the quiz.  


An optional make-up quiz is available at the end of the term that will include material from the entire course. If you miss a quiz during the term, you can take this make-up quiz without needing to seek additional permission. You may also take this make-up quiz to replace a lower scoring quiz from the term. There will be no additional make up quizzes scheduled. 

  1. Exams 

There are two in-person exams in the course as shown in Section 6. Each exam will cover the material preceding and will be multiple choice format.  

If you require or receive accommodation for extra time on course work please connect with Services for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible and let me know so that I can make accommodations. Each exam is worth 45% of the final grade, the exams together are worth 90% of the final grade. 

  1. Make Up Policy 

If you are unable to take an exam as scheduled, you must obtain permission from your academic dean via your counsellor order to make up the exam. See Section 11 for information on seeking accommodations. Please note the Western policy that instructors are not permitted to receive documentation directly from a student, whether in support of an application for medical grounds, or for other reasons. All documentation required for absences that are not covered by the absence reporting policy must be submitted to the Academic Counselling Office of a student’s home faculty.  

Once I receive the verification of your eligibility for a makeup exam a make-up exam will be scheduled some time after the final exam. Any exam not taken or made up will be scored as “0”. A makeup quiz with alternative questions (not the same questions as the scheduled quiz) will be available online during the finals period and will be coordinated by the TA.  

  1. Final Grade 

The final grade will be calculated according to the components shown in the breakdown. No grades will be rounded.  



Quizzes (4) 

10% of final grade 

Exams (2)  

90% of final grade 

  1. Senate Policy 

The expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages: 




1000–level and 2099–level courses 


2100–2990 level courses 


3000–level courses 


4000–level courses 

The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines (see the policy here.) 






One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 



Superior work that is clearly above average 



Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 



Competent work, meeting requirements 



Fair work, minimally acceptable 


below 50 


Note that if course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 

  1. Policy on Grade Rounding  

Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each assessment within the course. 

  1. Exam Review 

Grades will be released on OWL. Exams may be reviewed by making an appointment with the TA during their exam review office hours. Neither the TA nor the instructor will re-grade questions or award points after the grades have been released. 

  1. Assessment / Evaluation Schedule 






Quiz 1  

Oct 2 


Class 1—5  


Quiz 2 

Oct 16 


Class 6—7  



Oct 25 


Class 1—8  


Quiz 3 

Nov 13 


Class 9—10 


Quiz 4 

Dec 4 


Class 11—13 


Make up Quiz 

Dec 6 


Class 1—22 

2.5% (optional) 




Class 9—13 


  1. Lecture Schedule 
  1. Section 1: The Brain, Memory, and the Mind 

The first section of the course covers the history of cognitive psychology, how and why cognitive psychology developed from the earlier study of psychology, and in what direction the study of cognition is headed. We will also learn about the brain, perceptual systems, basic object recognition, and attention.  






Sep 11 

The Study of Cognition 

Reisberg Ch 1 


Sep 13 

Brain Science 1 

Reisberg Ch 3 


Sep 18 

Brain Science 2 

Reisberg Ch. 1 


Sep 20  

Visual Perception 

Reisberg Ch. 2 


Sep 25 

Auditory Perception 

Reisberg Ch. 2 


Sep 27  

Object Recognition 

Reisberg Ch. 4 


Oct 2 


Reisberg Ch. 5 


Oct 2 

Online Quiz 1, Class 1—7 

Reisberg Ch. 1—5 


Oct 4 

Memory Encoding and Storage 

Reisberg Ch. 6 


Oct 9 

Thanksgiving - No Class 



Oct 11 

Memory Systems 

Reisberg Ch. 7 


Oct 16  

Memory for Complex Events 

Reisberg Ch. 8 


Oct 16 

Online Quiz 2, Class 9—10   

Reisberg Ch. 6—8 


Oct 18 

Concepts and Categories 

Reisberg Ch. 9 


Oct 23  

Knowledge Networks, exam review 

Reisberg Ch. 9 


Oct 25 

Online Midterm, Class 1—12 

Reisberg Ch. 1—9  


Oct 30 

Fall Break – No Class 



Nov 1 

Fall Break – No Class 


  1. Section 2: Higher Order Cognition 

The second unit covers complex cognitive processes, such as language use and reasoning and other forms of higher order thinking. We’ll need to rely on some of the ideas from earlier classes, such as memory and attention. The exam for this section will be scheduled during final period. 






Nov 6 

Language Structure 

Reisberg Ch. 10 


Nov 8 

Language Comprehension 

Reisberg Ch. 10 


Nov 13 

Visual Thinking 

Reisberg Ch. 11 


Nov 13 

Online Quiz 3, Class 13—16 

Reisberg Ch. 10—11 


Nov 15 


Reisberg Ch. 12  


Nov 20 

Judgement and Decision Making 

Reisberg Ch. 12 


Nov 22 

Reasoning and Logic 

Reisberg Ch. 12 


Nov 27 

Problem Solving  

Reisberg Ch. 13 


Nov 29  


Reisberg Ch. 14 


Dec 4 


Reisberg Ch. 15 


Dec 4 

Online Quiz 4, Class 17—21  

Reisberg Ch. 12—15  


Dec 6 

The Big Picture and Exam Review 



Dec 6 

Optional Makeup Quiz Class 1—21 




Online Final Exam: Weeks 13—21   

Reisberg Ch. 10—15  

  1. Land Acknowledgment 

We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 

With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 

  1. Statement on Academic Offences 

Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link. 

Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 

Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 

  1. Policy on the Use of Exam Proctoring Software 

Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 

  1. Policy on Accommodation for Illness or Other Absences 

Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found HERE 

If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  • For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  • For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 

Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence. 

Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 

  1. Contingency Plan for Return to Lockdown: IN-Person & Blended classes 

In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 

  1. Other Information 

Office of the Registrar:   

Student Development Services:  

Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 

  1. Copyright Statement 

 Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 

  1. Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions  

Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.