Psychology 2135A 650 SU 23

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.



LONDON              CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Summer 2023 


Psychology 2135a  Section 650 

Cognitive Psychology 



An introduction to empirical, computational, and theoretical approaches to the study of human cognitive processes. The topics surveyed will 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/tutorial hours, 0.5 course. 


Antirequisites: Psychology 2010a/b (formerly 130a/b), Psychology 2180e (formerly 227e). 

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. 

Prerequisite: A mark of at least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level. 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol 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. 



Instructor: Dr. Graeme Haynes  

Office:   SSC 7440  

Office Hours: Mon. 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., or by appointment  



Delivery Method: On-line (asynchronous)  

This is a fully online course that will use Western University’s learning platform, OWL (Sakai) and other educational resources based on the needs of the course. This class is designed to be asynchronous, meaning we will not have a regular, mandatory time when the entire class must be online.  However, there may be some synchronous activities that you will sign up for based on your own schedule, including office hour appointments with the professor. 

Email is the best way to contact me, and if need be, I can be available to meet with you in person during office hours (assuming public health guidelines permit this), or over Zoom.   

When sending me an email, please make sure to use proper email etiquette (e.g., start with a greeting), and include the following information: your name, the course you are in (I’m teaching several different courses this semester), and your question.  

Sample email: 

Hi Prof. Haynes,  

This is [insert name here] from your Psychology 2135a class.  After reading the lecture slides on [insert topic here], I was wondering if you could explain [insert concept here] in greater detail?  



If you adhere to these guidelines, I promise to reply to all emails within 24 hours. 


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 contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 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. 






Reisberg, D. (2021). Cognition: Exploring the science of the mind, 8th ed. New York, NY: Norton. 




The goal of this course is to provide students with knowledge of the vocabulary, research findings, theories, methods, and concepts in major topics of study within cognitive psychology (including attention, memory, judgment and decision making, problem solving). 

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to: 

  • Explain the challenges faced by cognitive scientists in the attempt to understand the human mind (This outcome will be assessed by multiple choice exams.)
  • Describe the methods that cognitive scientists use to understand the mind (This outcome will be assessed by multiple choice exams.)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the vocabulary, research, theories, and concepts in cognitive science (This outcome will be assessed by multiple choice exams.)
  • Think critically about the theories, methods, and findings in cognitive science (This outcome will be encouraged and developed via supplementary course material.)
  • Identify, and (hopefully) avoid falling prey to, common myths about how the mind works (This outcome will be encouraged and developed via supplementary course material.)
  • Apply findings from cognitive science to better understand themselves and others (This outcome will be encouraged and developed via supplementary course material and assessed by online discussion posts.)




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. Exams (30%, 30%, and 30%) 


All exams will take place synchronously on-line, and will be proctored remotely with Proctortrack. 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: 


Exams are closed-book, and it is expected that all students will complete the exams independently with no communication between classmates.  You will have 120 minutes to complete the exams from start to finish (plus additional time for students who have documented accommodations which allow for extra time).  The exams will be linear, meaning you will not be able to return to earlier questions.  Once you start, you cannot stop or pause.  You will access this exam and submit your answers through the Proctortrack tab on our OWL site. 


Each exam is non-cumulative, and will consist of multiple choice questions.  For each exam, you are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in supplementary online lectures.   


The first midterm exam, covering material from Chapter 1-5, will take place on Monday, June 5th, from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.  


The second midterm exam, covering material from Chapter 6-9, will take place on Monday, July 3rd, from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.  


The final examination, covering material from Chapters 10, 12, 13, & 15, will take place during the August exam period (July 31 – Aug. 3, specific time TBA).    



  1. Discussion Questions (10%) 


Five of the weekly lessons will have a discussion question, which you will answer on OWL (under the Assignments tab).  You will be required to submit a post of roughly 200-250 words by Sunday at 11:59 P.M. of the week in which a discussion occurs.  The rubric below is meant to act as a general guideline, illustrating expectations for both the quantity and quality of participation. If, at any point in the term, you have questions about how you are doing in terms of your participation, please feel free to ask the professor or your TA via email. Each question is worth 2% of your final course grade (2% x 5 discussions). Late posts will not be graded.  


Discussion rubric:  





Discussion Post 

The post displays little or no understanding of the course material, or is off topic   

The post displays excellent understanding of the course material, connects the course material to personal experiences, current events in the media, other literature (and in the case of media or literature, provides references, web links, etc.)  

__ / 1 

Quality of writing, 

netiquette, and proof- 



The post is unorganized or contains inappropriate content or is filled with spelling errors, poor sentence structure, etc.  

The post is very well written. The post is clear, concise, comments are easy to read and understand, free of grammatical or spelling errors.  

__ / 1 




Make-Up Exams:  Exams must be written on the scheduled dates unless you have a legitimate excuse recognized by the university administration.  Valid reasons include medical or compassionate reasons, internet access issues (in the case that exams are on-line), and religious holidays, and must be substantiated by proper documentation (e.g., a medical certificate, obituary, accident report) which you must present to a counsellor from your home faculty’s academic counseling office.  A student who misses a regularly scheduled exam for other reasons, or who cannot justify a claim, will be assigned a 0 for the exam.  Students with approved absences for any exam must write a makeup exam, which will be scheduled by your professor.   

***Please refer to Section 11.0 for the full policy regarding make-up exams.*** 

Discussion Forums: Students who are unable to submit a discussion forum post by the due dates specified in this syllabus must contact their professor explaining the circumstances.  It is at the discretion of the professor to decide whether the due date will be extended and/or a late penalty will apply.     

Department Grading Policies 

The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 

70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see 

A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that 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. 

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 and every assessment within the course. 

To ensure fairness, please be aware that final grades in this course are based exclusively on students’ performance on the three exams and five discussion forums. Exams may not be rewritten, nor will the exams or discussion forums be reweighted in calculating final grades. Grades will not be adjusted on the basis of need or a subjective evaluation of effort, and students will not be able to improve their marks by completing additional assignments.  




Material covered 


Midterm #1 

Mon. June 5th, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.  

Chapters 1-5* 


Midterm #2 

Mon. July 3rd, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. 


Chapters 6-9* 


Final exams 

July 31 – Aug. 3 (Time TBA)  

Chapters 10, 12, 13, 15* 


Discussion questions  

Due May 21, May 28, June 18, July 9, July 23 (all at 11:59 PM Eastern Time)  



*and all related supplementary material 




Week of 



May 8 

Introduction; Cognitive Neuroscience 

Chapter 1 

May 15 

Cognitive Neuroscience; Research Methods in Cognitive Psychology 

Chapter 2 

May 22 

Visual Perception; Object & Word Recognition 

Chapter 3 & 4 

May 29 


Chapter 5 

Mon. June 5 

7:00 – 9:00 P.M. 

Midterm #1 

Chapter 1-5 

June 5 

Memory: Part I 

Chapter 6 

June 12 

Memory: Part 2 

Chapter 7 



June 19 

Memory: Part 3 

Chapter 8 

June 26 

Concepts & Categories 

Chapter 9 

Mon. July 3 

7:00 – 9:00 P.M. 

Midterm #2 

Chapter 6-9 

July 3 


Chapter 10 

July 10 

Judgment & Reasoning 


Chapter 12 


July 17 

Problem Solving & Creativity 

Chapter 13 

July 24 

Conscious & Unconscious Thought 


Chapter 15 

July 31 – Aug. 3 



10, 12, 13, 15 



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. 


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: 

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 

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. 

In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  

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. 



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. 


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

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:  

  1. 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;  
  1. 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 must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 

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. 



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. 


In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 


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 ( 

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. 

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.