Fall 2014; M 6:00-9:00 PM; COE 245
Instructor: Dr. William Langston
Office: JH 348
Phone: 898-5489 (office)
Office Hours: 12-1 T, 2:30-3:30 W, drop in anytime, calling first
is a good idea, email for appointments.
Description] [Responsibilities] [Grading] [Policies] [Calendar] [Reading List]
Any cognitive psychology text (I may have some to lend). You may
be able to get by with the readings if you've already had cognitive.
Readings are available via doi (digital object identifier) (see reading list
In this course we will explore what goes on in the “black box” between
stimulus and response. Loosely speaking, we will start with
getting information into your mind, and we will follow its progress
from there. We will spend a fair amount of time discussing the
problems associated with trying to observe unobservable mental
The plan (for each meeting):
1. Discuss the previous week's readings (related to the previous
week's lecture topic). This part will commence with week 2. You will
2. I discuss the current topic (a general overview) to
for the readings (discussed in the following week).
1. What is cognitive psychology (an overview of the areas and
concerns)? What are the ways in which the information processing
paradigm accurately describes what we do, and in what ways is it
2. How does science work (obviously, applied to psychology)? We'll look
at a variety of articles and responses
to see how data turn into ideas about cognition.
3. How does cognitive psychology fit into the discipline of psychology?
We will focus primarily on social psychology due to its close
connection (the social context surrounding cognition has been elevated
to a unit on its own). Overall, I have made an effort to bridge the
different units within cognitive psychology (by picking articles that
can't easily be classifed as one or the other). I've also chosen
articles that connect to areas outside of cognitive when possible. The
idea is to make sure we evaluate cognitive functioning in the context
of the entire person.
4. How is cognitive psychology applied? What are the implications of
research into attention, thinking, working memory, etc. for life? In
addition to the connection to areas highlighted by social psychology,
we will also look at educational implications.
5. Recent trends/latest data. Embodiment, the importance of executive
functioning. Emphasis on the word recent.
1. Exams: Exams in this class are an opportunity for you to have
some fun and interact with the material. I will ask you to apply the
core readings to problems or I will ask you to build bridges and make
connections. We will have two exams spaced evenly throughout
the semester. These will be take-home exams. Exams are
worth 100 points each.
2. Optional final: You will have the option of completing a final
exam. This exam has the same format as the other exams, but it will
incorporate material from your presentations. The final will also be
take-home. The final
is worth 100 points.
3. Weekly Reaction Reports (WRRs): During the semester you
will write at least 5 reports on topics that we are covering. These may
be based on the assigned readings. Note that these are
reaction reports, meaning that you are expected to critically evaluate
the material being discussed, not write a book report. These reports
give you an opportunity to talk back to the material, and to take some
time to think about issues that come up in a more formal context. These
reports are meant to assist you in making the transition from a
of information to a producer of it. It is in your best interest to turn
in reaction papers as we go along, so you should plan on turning in
only one per week (the paper doesn't have to "go with" the material
being covered in a given week). Also, you should plan to complete your
WRRs before the end of the semester so that we have a chance to discuss
your ideas. WRRs may not exceed one typed, double-spaced page
in length. WRRs are worth 10 pts. each. If you
write more than 5, additional scores
may be counted as extra credit. A brief presentation on a
may be substituted for a WRR. Information on WRRs is available on
Cognitive Psychology page.
4. Presentation: You will have the opportunity to present a
research design to the class
at the end of the semester. The presentation is worth 50 pts. Ideally,
this will be the description of a study you've designed (inspired by
the course), and it could translate into a thesis or an actual research
project. Again, as you make the transition from a consumer of
information to a producer of information, you need opportunities to
practice research design and opportunities to present those ideas to
interested colleagues for feedback and discussion.
5. Participation: This class is a seminar. Our conversations
about the material are the
class. So, it is important that you take
advantage of the opportunity to participate. The activities that go
this portion include reading the assigned material, leading
discussions, making contributions, and asking
of other presenters. This component is worth 50 pts.
|2 @ 100 each
|5 @ 10 each
Grading scale: >405 = A; >392 = B+; >374 = B; >360 =
B-; >346 = C+; >328 = C; >315 = C-; >302 = D+; >284 = D;
>270 = D-; >0 = F (choose the highest for which you qualify).
(If you choose to make the final optional, take your total out of 350
1. Attendance: In order to derive the maximum benefit from this
course, you need to attend the class meetings. At times, you may have a
problem making it to a class. In that case, please let me know that you
will miss and we can make arrangements at that time. I will pass
around a sign-up sheet every week.
2. Late policy: Please complete assignments on time. I have
scheduled due dates in my courses to be staggered so that I can return
grades in a timely manner. Please help me to keep the promise in number
3 below by turning in your assignments when they are due.
3. Grading guarantee (my late policy): Exams will be
returned within one week of the exam date. Bonus points will be
awarded at the rate of five points per incomplete exam per day until
they are graded. Bonus points will be divided equally amongst all
students with perfect
4. Missed exams: If you know in advance, please notify me to make
arrangements. I will work with you to reschedule if you are forced to
5. Course notes are available on the web at http://capone.mtsu.edu/wlangsto/AdvCog.html.
These notes explain my rationale for choosing each article and what I
am hoping to get out of it.
For background, check the notes for the regular cognitive course at http://capone.mtsu.edu/wlangsto/Cog.html.
The powerpoints in that course are the most up-to-date notes.
6. Drop deadlines: The last day to drop without a grade
is September 7. The last day to drop is October 29 (you will
receive some sort of grade). If you stay in the class after October 29,
you will not be able to drop unless you experience a major
tragedy or emergency. I am not the person who makes that
determination. Incompletes will only be given if you have
successfully completed the majority of the coursework and were
prevented from finishing by a major tragedy or emergency.
7. Any student engaging in any form of academic misconduct will
lose credit for the relevant assignment and will be subjected to the
appropriate university proceedings.
8. If you experience problems in the course, see me. You’re
welcome in my office anytime.
accommodations for students with
disabilities: If you require assistance or accommodation (e.g.,
testing, note-taking, etc.), or you have questions
related to such accommodations, speak to me as soon as possible.
Also, the Disability and Access Center (898-2783) can provide
information about such accommodations.
Additional information is here: http://www.mtsu.edu/ada/syllabus.php.
|Background/What is the cognitive psychology
|H O L I D A Y Monday, 9/1
|Long term memory
|F A L L B R E A K Monday, 10/13
|The social context
|Reasoning and problem solving
||Final exam -- Monday, 12/8, due by 9:00 PM
Please note: Some due dates and topics may shift to later
dates. In no event will due dates be moved to an earlier date. We may
stick entirely to this schedule if interesting diversions come up along
How to get the readings:
1. Most of the articles below are paired with a doi (digital object
identifier). Clicking on the doi will link you to the article and allow
you to download its pdf. Many of
these articles will require payment to download unless you access them
from MTSU. All of the articles with doi's below are free on campus
through MTSU's subscriptions. Theoretically, the links on the doi's
will take you to the article directly without any copying and pasting.
(Note: You can also type dois into crossref.org. The doi system is
sometimes busy and you will get an error message
for a doi that will work later. You might want to download articles a
little ahead of when you need them in case you have problems.)
2. If you click a doi and are asked to pay for a pdf, go to the
library's website and look up the article in the PsycInfo database. The
full text feature there will link you to the pdf for free.
3. Some articles might be on eReserve at the
library. For those, go to the course reserves and search this class.
articles are available from direct links.
If you have problems accessing any articles, please let me know ASAP.
Unit 1: Background/What is the cognitive psychoogy paradigm?
- Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, G. E. (2013). NASA
faked the moon landing--Therefore, (climate) science is a hoax: An
anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. Psychological Science, 24, 622-633.
- Zwaan, R. A., & Yaxley, R. H. (2003). Spatial iconicity
affects semantic relatedness judgments. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 10,
954-958. doi: 10.3758/BF03196557
- Louwerse, M. M., & Jeuniaux, P. (2010). The linguistic and
embodied nature of conceptual processing. Cognition, 114, 96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.09.002
- Hubbard, T., Magne, C., Langston, W., & Shields, E.
(2013, November). Spatial configuration of vertically
related word pairs modulates the N400 component of ERPs.
Poster presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Unit 2: Pattern recognition/Perception/Imagery
Unit 3: Attention
- Dunning, D., & Balcetis, E. (2013). Wishful seeing: How
preferences shape visual perception. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 33-37. doi:10.1177/0963721412463693
- Becker, M. W. (2009). Panic search: Fear produces efficient
visual search for nonthreatening objects. Psychological Science, 20, 435-437.
- Cole, G. G., & Wilkins, A. J. (2013). Fear of holes. Psychological Science, 24,
1980-1985. doi: 10.1177/0956797613484937
- Sim, J. J., Correll, J., & Sadler, M. S. (2013).
Understanding police and expert performance: When training attenuates
(vs. exacerbates) stereotypic bias in the decision to shoot. Personality and Social Psychology
Bulletin, 39, 291-304. doi:10.1177/0146167212473157
- DeLucia, P. R. (2013). Effects of size on collision perception
and implications for perceptual theory and transportation safety. Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 22, 199-204. doi:10.1177/0963721412471679
Unit 4: Working memory
- Kunar, M. A., Carter, R., Cohen, M., & Horowitz, T. S.
(2008). Telephone conversation impairs sustained visual attention via a
central bottleneck. Psychonomic
Bulletin & Review, 15, 1135-1140. doi:10.3758/PBR.15.6.1135
- Wolfe, J. M., Horowitz, T. S., & Kenner, N. M. (2005). Rare
items often missed in visual searches. Nature, 435, 439-440. http://search.bwh.harvard.edu/new/pubs/WolfePrevalenceNature05.pdf
- Wolfe, J. M., Horowitz, T. S., Van Wert, M. J., Kenner, N. M.,
Place, S. S., & Kibbi, N. (2007). Low target prevalence is a
stubborn source of errors in visual search tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology:
General, 136, 623-638. doi:10.1037/0096-3418.104.22.1683
- Eastwood, J. D., Frischen, A., Fenske, M. J., & Smilek, D.
(2012). The unengaged mind: Defining boredom in terms of attention. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7,
- Logie, R. H. (2011). The functional organization and capacity
limits of working memory. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 240-245. doi:10.1177/0963721411415340
- Morrison, A. B., & Chein, J. M. (2011). Does working memory
training work? The promise and challenges of enhancing cognition by
training working memory. Psychonomic
Bulletin & Review, 18, 46-60. doi:10.3758/s13423-010-0034-0
- Harrison, T. L., Shipstead, Z., Hicks, K. L., Hambrick, D. Z.,
Redick, T. S., & Engle, R. W. (2013). Working memory training may
increase working memory capacity but not fluid intelligence. Psychological Science, 24,
2409-2419. doi: 10.1177/0956797613492984
- Ashcraft, M. H., & Krause, J. A. (2007). Working memory, math
performance, and math anxiety. Psychonomic
Bulletin & Review, 14, 243-248. doi:10.3758/BF03194059
Unit 5: Long term memory
- Cepeda, N. J., Vul, E., Rohrer, D., Wixted, J. T., & Pashler,
H. (2008). Spacing effects in learning: A temporal ridgeline of optimal
retention. Psychological Science, 19,
- Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). The critical
importance of retrieval for learning. Science,
319, 966-968. doi:10.1126/science.1152408
- Patihis, L., Ho, L. Y., Tingen, I. W., Lilienfeld, S. O., &
E. F. (2014). Are the "memory wars" over? A scientist-practitioner gap
in beliefs about repressed memory. Psychological
Science, 25, 519-530. doi: 10.1177/0956797613510718
- Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is
mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note
taking. Psychological Science, 25,
1159-1168. doi: 10.1177/0956797614524581
Unit 6: Memory applications
- Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., &
Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students' learning with effective
learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and
educational psychology. Psychological
Science in the Public Interest, 14, 4-58. http://psi.sagepub.com/content/14/1/4.full.pdf+html?ijkey=Z10jaVH/60XQM&keytype=ref&siteid=sppsi
- Roediger, H. L., III, & Pyc, M. A. (2012). Inexpensive
techniques to improve education: Applying cognitive psychology to
enhance educational practice. Journal
of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 242-248. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.09.002
- Mayer, R. E. (2012). Advances in applying the science of learning
to education: An historical perspective. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and
Cognition, 1, 249-250. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.001
- Daniel, D. B. (2012). Promising principles: Translating the
science of learning to educational practice. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and
Cognition, 1, 251-253. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.004
- Dunlosky, J., & Rawson, K. A. (2012). Despite their promise,
there's still a lot to learn about techniques that support durable
learning. Journal of Applied
Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 254-256. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.003
- Kornell, N., Rabelo, V. C., & Klein, P. J. (2012). Tests
enhance learning--Compared to what? Journal
of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 257-259. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.002
- Pellegrino, J. W. (2012). From cognitive principles to
instructional practices: The devil is often in the details. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and
Cognition, 1, 260-262. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.005
- Roediger, H. L., III, & Pyc, M. A. (2012). Applying cognitive
psychology to education: Complexities and prospects. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and
Cognition, 1, 263-265. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.006
Unit 7: Cognition
Unit 8: Language
- Park, J., & Brannon, E. M. (2013). Training the approximate
number system improves math proficiency. Psychological Science, 24,
2013-2019. doi: 10.1177/0956797613482944
- Gobel, S. M., Watson, S. E., Lervag, A., & Hulme, C. (2014).
Children's arithmetic development: It is number knowledge, not the
approximate number sense, that counts. Psychological Science, 25, 789-798.
- Beilock, S. L., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2010). Gesture changes
thought by grounding it in action. Psychological
Science, 21, 1605-1610. doi:10.1177/0956797610385353
- Novack, M. A., Congdon, E. L., Hemani-Lopez, N., &
Goldin-Meadow, S. (2014). From action to abstraction: Using the hands
to learn math. Psychological
Science, 25, 903-910. doi: 10.1177/0956797613518351
- Uttal, D. H., Miller, D. I., & Newcombe, N. S. (2013).
Exploring and enhancing spatial thinking: Links to achievement in
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 22, 367-373. doi: 10.1177/0963721413484756
Unit 9: The social context
- Ziegler, J. C., et al. (2010). Orthographic depth and its impact
on universal predictors of reading: A cross-language investigation. Psychological Science, 21, 551-559.
- Goksun, T., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2010).
Trading spaces: Carving up events for learning language. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5,
- Gygax, P., Gabriel, U., Sarrasin, O., Oakhill, J., & Garnham,
A. (2008). Generically intended, but specifically interpreted: When
beauticians, musicians, and mechanics are all men. Language and Cognitive Processes, 23,
Unit 10: Reasoning and problem solving
- Taylor, V. J., & Walton, G. M. (2011). Stereotype threat
undermines academic learning. Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1055-1067. doi:10.1177/0146167211406506
- Sbarra, D. A. (2014). New ideas on intellectual ability,
interests, sex differences, and achievement: Three "integrative"
commentaries on four target articles. Perspectives
on Psychological Science, 9 209-210. doi: 10.1177/1745691614523137
- Schmidt, F. L. (2014). A general theoretical integrative model of
individual differences in interests, abilities, personality traits, and
academic and occupational achievement: A commentrary on four recent
articles. Perspectives on
Psychological Science, 9, 211-218. doi: 10.1177/1745691613518074
- Valla, J. M., & Ceci, S. J. (2014). Breadth-based models of
women's underrepresentation in STEM fields: An integrative commentary
on Schmidt (2011) and Nye et al. (2012). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9,
219-224. doi: 10.1177/1745691614522067
- Valian, V. (2014). Interests, gender, and science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9,
225-230. doi: 10.1177/1745691613519109
- Alibali, M. W., Spencer, R. C., Knox, L., & Kita, S. (2011).
Spontaneous gestures influence strategy choices in problem solving. Psychological Science, 22,
- Stanovich, K. E., West, R. F., & Toplak, M. E. (2013). Myside
bias, rational thinking, and intelligence. Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 22, 259-264. doi:10.1177/0963721413480174
- Joslyn, S., & LeClerc, J. (2013). Decisions with uncertainty:
The glass half full. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 308-315. doi:10.1177/0963721413481473
- Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K. H., Seifert, C. M., Schwarz, N.,
& Cook, J. (2012). Misinformation and its correction: Continued
influence and successful debiasing. Psychological
Science in the Public Interest, 13, 106-131. http://psi.sagepub.com/content/13/3/106.full.pdf+html?ijkey=FNCpLYuivUOHE&keytype=ref&siteid=sppsi
Advanced Cognitive Psychology Syllabus
Back to Langston's
Advanced Cognitive Psychology