Cognitive Psychology Lectures: By Stephen R. Schmidt, MTSU

Required Text:

Reed, S. K. (2010/2013).  Cognition:  Theory and Applications, 8th or 9th Editions. Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

The text can be purchased at the bookstore.  Alternatively, the book can be bought on-line from the publisher at:  Cengage

Course Description:

Psychology 4040 provides a survey of the fundamental concepts and current issues in human cognition.  The topic is approached from a human information processing perspective.  Emphasis is placed on a theoretical treatment of the cognitive processes of normal humans.  The discussion includes the experimental methodologies with which cognitive processes are studied.

Course Requirements:

Students will be evaluated on the basis of three tests (see attached course schedule for test dates), each worth 1/4 of the course grade, and on the basis of a research paper which accounts for the remaining 1/4 of the course grade.  Each test will cover lecture and textbook material presented since the previous test.  The third test (during examinations week) will not be cumulative.  Details concerning the research paper are on-line, and will be covered in class.

Writing skills are essential to your college and career success; to that end, Writing Center attendance is encouraged.  Lectures will supplement textbook material, not merely cover it again.  Thus, regular class attendance is expected.

Makeup and Grading Policy:

If a student cannot take a test or turn in a paper at the appropriate time, make-ups and extensions will be given only if the student makes arrangements with the instructor prior to the test/due date.  Makeup exams are essay format.  Late papers are subject to a 5% penalty per day.  

Class Attendance Policy:

Lectures will supplement textbook material, not merely cover it again. Thus, regular class attendance is expected and required for good performance on the tests. In addition, I will take roll on random class days. Attendance during a roll call will earn extra-credit points applied to your grade.

Grading Scale:

The provisional grading scale will be as follows:
A: 90-100%; B: 80-89%; C: 70-79%; D: 60-69%; F: Below 60%
Plus and minus grades may be given at the instructor’s discretion.

Electronics in the Classroom

Recent research has definitively demonstrated that the use of electronic devices (e.g., laptops and cell phones) during class impairs learning and is distracting to other students. For this reason, students may not use cell phones, laptops, iPads, smart watches, or other electronic devices during class unless these devices are part of an approved accommodation for a disability. Failure to observe this policy will be considered disruptive behavior and may lead to loss of points and/or removal or exclusion from the classroom.

Web Pages:

Support material for this course is available on the Internet at the following URL: “”.  The web pages include lecture notes and graphics, as well other important support materials. Additional materials can be accessed through D2L.

Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: 

Middle Tennessee State University is committed to campus access in accordance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Any student interested in reasonable accommodations can consult the Disability & Access Center (DAC) website and/or contact the DAC for assistance at 615-898-2783 or

Do you have a lottery scholarship? 

To retain the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter.  A grade of C, D, F, FA, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility.
If you drop this class, withdraw, or if you stop attending this class you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship, and you will not be able to regain eligibility at a later time.
For additional Lottery rules, please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form ( or contact your MT One Stop Enrollment Counselor (

Title IX Statement

Students who believe they have been harassed, discriminated against or been the victim of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking should contact a Title IX/Deputy Coordinator at 615-898-2185 or 615-898-2750 for assistance or review MTSU’s Title IX website for resources.
MTSU faculty are concerned about the well-being and development of our students and are legally obligated to share reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking with the University’s Title IX coordinator to help ensure student’s safety and welfare. Please refer to MTSU’s Title IX site for contact information and details.

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:

If you have a disability that requires assistance or accommodation, or you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers, readers, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible.  Students may also contact the Office of Disabled Students Services (898-2783) with questions about such services.