Psychology 2135 650 SU24

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

Summer 2024


Psychology 2135    Section 650


Cognitive Psychology


1     Calendar Description


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.


Antirequisites: Psychology 2010A/B, Psychology 2180E

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


4 lecture hours; Course Weight: 0.5


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.


2     Course Information


Instructor:                  Madeleine Brodbeck

Office & Phone:          SSC7440

Office Hours:              By appointment



Teaching Assistant:   n/a


Office Hours:             



Time and Location of Classes: Asynchronous; online via OWL Brightspace


For courses that include an online component, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements.


3     Course Materials

Goldstein, E. Bruce (2019). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience. 5th Edition. Cengage Learning.


4     Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes


Learning Outcome

Learning Activity


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

·         Describe the basic principles of cognitive psychology, including memory, perception, attention, problem-solving, language and imagery.

·         Identify key components and processes involved in cognitive functioning.

·         Summarize the historical development of cognitive psychology and its impact on understanding human behaviour.

·         Explain how cognitive processes interact and influence behaviour in various contexts.






Tests and Exams

Knowledge of Methodologies

·         Recognize and compare experimental approaches used in cognitive psychology research, such as experimental, correlational and observational methods.

·         Identify challenges in cognitive psychology research, such as biases and limitations of cognitive measures, and describe methods to address them.

·         Interpret evidence and techniques used to investigate cognitive processes, such as neuroimaging, behavioural experiments, and computational modelling.







Tests and Exams

Application of Knowledge

·         Apply knowledge of cognitive psychology to analyze and explain real-world phenomena related to memory, perception, attention, problem-solving, language and imagery.

·         Discuss and generate questions about the neural basis of cognitive functions and their implications for behaviour.

·         Critically evaluate and fact-check information related to cognitive psychology concepts and theories.





Asking questions and participating in discussions in forums



Tests and Exams


Forum Participation


5     Evaluation


Online Quizzes (Best 8 of 11)                     16%

Forum Discussion Participation                14%

Midterm                                                          30%

Final Exam                                                      40%


Midterm & Final Exam

Exams will take place online via OWL Brightspace, are open book, and linear. Questions will be drawn from a random pool, and presented in a random order, such that no two students will have the exact same exam. Tests and final exam will follow a similar mixed format including multiple choice, and written answer questions (medium length).


The midterm will assess all lecture and textbook content from weeks 1- 5. The final exam will assess lecture and textbook content from weeks 7-12. While the final exam is not cumulative, some foundational concepts covered earlier in the course will carry over to the final.



Weekly quizzes are meant as a knowledge check, to ensure that students keep up with the class material regularly. Quizzes are asynchronous on OWL and will be in multiple-choice format. Each quiz will consist of around 5 questions. You will be allowed 45 minutes to complete them, although they are designed to be completed in under 10 minutes. Only the best 8 of 11 quizzes will be included in your final grade (i.e. each included quiz is worth 2%).


Forum Discussion Participation

Online participation will involve forum discussions on OWL. Students’ grades will be based on both initiating discussions (posting questions or discussion topics) and facilitating discussions (answering peers’ questions and continuing discussions). Regular engagement and quality questions or responses throughout the term is required to receive the maximum participation grade. A good quality question or response should demonstrate critical thinking skills. 


There will be two evaluation points for the forums. The first will occur on June 5th (by 11:55 PM) with a score from 0-7%. Anything posted from the beginning of the course – June 5th @ 11:55 PM will be included in this evaluation. The second point will occur on July 26th  (by 11:55 PM) with a score from 0-7%. Anything posted from June 5th 11:56 PM – July 26th 11:55 PM will be included in this evaluation.


The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4 and are necessary for meeting these learning objectives


Policy on Missing Coursework

Students requiring a make-up exam/test will receive a different exam from the original. These make-up exams cover a similar breadth and depth of the assigned material. Make-up exams will be provided only to students with official accommodations from their academic counsellor. Make-up exams will be scheduled at a time following the original exam date.


Due dates for all quizzes are provided on the course syllabus. You will receive a zero for any incomplete quiz. There will be no make-up quizzes as each quiz is only worth 2% of the final grade in the course. You may miss up to 2 without penalty (best 8 of 11 quiz scores will be included in the final grade). If you require a longer-term accommodation for a health or wellness concern lasting more than a week, please seek official accommodation by submitting your documentation to the academic counselling office in your home faculty. In these cases, the final quiz grade will be reweighted.


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines:


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


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.


6     Assessment/Evaluation Schedule


Weekly Quizzes: Each quiz will be posted on the dates below (usually Mondays) by noon, and due the following Friday by 11:55 PM.


Forum Discussion Participation evaluation point 1: June 5th by 11:55 PM


Midterm: June 11: Available 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, 2 hour writing time

Forum Discussion Participation evaluation point 2: July 27th by 11:55 PM


Final Exam: Scheduled during final exam period (July 29th – August 1st).


7     Class Schedule





Assigned Readings


(due on Fridays)


May 6th 

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Textbook Ch. 1

Quiz 1


May 13th 

Cognitive Neuroscience

Textbook Ch. 2


Quiz 2


May 21st 



Textbook Ch. 3


Quiz 3


May 27th 


Textbook Ch. 4


Quiz 4


June 3rd 

Memory I

Textbook Ch. 5&6

Quiz 5


June 10th 





June 17th

Memory II

Textbook Ch. 7&8

Quiz 6


June 24th

Conceptual Knowledge


Textbook Ch. 9

Quiz 7


July 2nd 

Visual Imagery


Textbook Ch. 10

Quiz 8


July 8th 


Textbook Ch. 11

Quiz 9


July 15th 

Problem Solving & Creativity

Textbook Ch. 12


Quiz 10


July 22nd 

Judgement, Decisions, & Reasoning

Textbook Ch. 13


Quiz 11


8     Academic Integrity


Scholastic offences are taken seriously, and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:


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.


Statement on Use of Electronic Devices


Use of ebooks, digital course notes and other digital course materials are all allowed during any and all assessments in this course. All tests and quizzes are open-book.


Use of AI


The use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to produce written work is not permitted unless permission is granted by the instructor for specific circumstances. Any work submitted must be the work of the student in its entirety unless otherwise disclosed. When used, AI tools should be used ethically and responsibly, and students must cite or credit the tools used in line with the expectation to use AI as a tool to learn, not to produce content.


Multiple Choice Exams


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.


9     Academic Accommodations and Accessible Education


View Western’s policy on academic accommodations for student with disabilities at this link.


Accessible Education provides supports and services to students with disabilities at Western.

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, visit Accessible Education for more information.  Email:  Phone: 519 661-2147


10  Absence & Academic Consideration


View Western’s policy on academic consideration for medical illnesses this link


Find your academic counsellor here:


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain academic considerations. Students 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.


Medical Absences


Submit a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for Academic Consideration.


Nonmedical Absences


Submit appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate.


Religious Consideration


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.


11  Other Information



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.


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 in writing 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.


12  Land Acknowledgement


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton. Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.