Fall 2016; M 6:00-9:00 PM; JH 234
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.
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 below).
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 functions.
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 get to lead these discussions.
2. I discuss the current topic (a general overview) to prepare
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 classified 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. Emphasis on the word recent, not "will
be important" or "will stand the test of time," just what people are
talking about right now. As you progress in your career, some of
these ideas will fizzle out and some will show up as prominent.
Hopefully, by looking at them now you will eventually be able to
discern what is a trend (or even pathological science) as opposed to
what will actually matter. (Note that development of this skill will
take life experience.)
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
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 consumer 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 points
each. If you write more than 5, additional scores may be
counted as extra credit. A brief presentation on a topic may be
substituted for a WRR. Information on WRRs is available on the Advanced
Cognitive Psychology page.
If you are enrolled in 7190, you owe me 10 WRRs, and at least two of
those must be presentations.
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 points. 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.
If you are in 7190, you owe me a formal write up of your
presentation as a research proposal (intro and method sections).
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 into this portion
include reading the assigned material, leading discussions, making
contributions, and asking questions of other presenters. This
component is worth 50 points.
|2 @ 100 each
|5 @ 10 each
|50 (100 7190)
|450 (500 7190)
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
(400 7190) points.
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. You may skype in or
attend electronically occasionally if you need to, but you're on
your own with the technology aspects of that.
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
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
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
4. The last day to drop is October 26 (you will receive some sort of
grade). If you stay in the class after October 26, 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
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
|Discuss readings 1
Introduce pattern recognition/Perception/Imagery
||H O L I D A Y Monday, 9/5
|Discuss readings 2
|Discuss readings 3
Introduce working memory
|Discuss readings 4
Introduce long term memory
Exam 1 (due 10/3)
|Discuss readings 5
Introduce memory applications
|F A L L B R E A K Monday, 10/10
|Discuss readings 6
|Discuss readings 7
|Discuss readings 8
Introduce the social context
|Discuss readings 9
Introduce reasoning and problem solving
Exam 2 (due 11/14)
|Discuss readings 10
||Final exam -- Monday, 12/5, 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 not
stick entirely to this schedule if interesting diversions come up
along the way.
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.
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.
4. Some articles are available from direct links.
5. I haven't thoroughly read most of these. So, there might be a dud
in the mix. If we get a bad one, we can pivot.
If you have problems accessing any articles, please let me know
Unit 1: Background/What is the cognitive psychoogy paradigm?/Methodology
- Piantadosi, S. T., & Jacobs, R. A. (2016). Four problems
solved by the probabilistic language of thought. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 54-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721415609581
- Busemeyer, J. R., & Wang, Z. (2015). What is quantum
cognition, and how is it applied to psychology? Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 163-169. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721414568663
- Willingham, D. T., Hughes, E. M., & Dobolyi, D. G. (2015).
The scientific status of learning styles theories. Teaching
of Psychology, 42, 266-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0098628315589505
- Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011).
False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data
collection and analysis allows presenting anything as
significant. Psychological Science, 22, 1359-1366. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797611417632
- Carney, D. R., Cuddy, A. J. C., & Yap, A. J. (2015).
Review and summary of research on the embodied effects of
expansive (vs. contractive) nonverbal displays. Psychological
Science, 26, 657-663. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797614566855
- Simonsohn, U. (2015). Small telescopes: Detectability and the
evaluation of replication results. Psychological Science,
26, 559-569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797614567341
- Patil, P., Peng, R. D., & Leek, J. T. (2016). What should
researchers expect when they replicate studies? A statistical
view of replicability in psychological science. Perspectives
on Psychological Science, 11, 539-544. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691616646366
Unit 2: Pattern recognition/Perception/Imagery
Unit 3: Attention
- Hoffman, D. D. (2016). The interface theory of perception. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 157-161. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721416639702
- Dunning, D., & Balcetis, E. (2013). Wishful seeing: How
preferences shape visual perception. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22,
- Harvie, D. S., Broecker, M., Smith, R. T., Meulders, A.,
Madden, V. J., & Moseley, G. L. (2015). Bogus visual
feedback alters onset of movement evoked pain in people with
next pain. Psychological Science, 26, 385-392. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797614563339
- Zhao, M., & Warren, W. H. (2015). How you get there from
here: Interaction of visual landmarks and path integration in
human navigation. Psychological Science, 26, 915-924. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615574952
- Cunningham, C. A. & Egeth, H. E. (2016). Taming the white
bear: Initial costs and eventual benefits of distractor
inhibition. Psychological Science, 27, 476-485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615626564
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,
- Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Strayer, D. L., Biondi, F., Behrends, A.
A., & Moore, S. M. (2016). Cell-phone use diminishes
self-awareness of impaired driving. Psychonomic Bulletin
& Review, 23, 617-623. http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-015-0922-4
- Chen, H., & Wyble, B. (2015). Amnesia for object
attributes: Failure to report attended information that had just
reached conscious awareness. Psychological Science, 26,
- Castelhano, M. S., & Witherspoon, R. L. (2016). How you
use it matters: Object function guides attention during visual
search in scenes. Psychological Science, 27, 606-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797616629130
- Augustinova, M., & Ferrand, L. (2014). Automaticity of
word reading: Evidence from the semantic stroop paradigm. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 343-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721414540169
- Besner, D., Risko, E. F., Stolz, J. A., White, D., Reynolds,
M., O'Malley, S., & Robidouz, S. (2016). Varieties of
attention: Their roles in visual word identification. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 162-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721416639351
- Vandierendonck, A. (2016). A working memory system with
distributed executive control. Perspectives on Psychological
Science, 11, 74-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691615596790
- Melby-Lervag, M., Redick, T. S., & Hulme, C. (2016).
Working memory training does not improve performance on measures
of intelligence or other measures of "far transfer": Evidence
from a meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological
Science, 11, 512-534. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691616635612
- Unsworth, N., Redick, T. S., McMillan, B. D., Hambrick, D. Z.,
Kane, M. J., & Engle, R. W. (2015). Is playing video games
related to cognitive abilities? Psychological Science, 26,
- Ashcraft, M. H., & Krause, J. A. (2007). Working memory,
math performance, and math anxiety. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14,
- Wu, Y. C., & Coulson, S. (2015). Iconic gestures
facilitate discourse comprehension in individuals with superior
immediate memory for body configurations. Psychological
Science, 26, 1717-1727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615597671
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, 1095-1102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02209.x
- Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). The critical
importance of retrieval for learning. Science, 319, 966-968. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1152408
- Soderstrom, N. C., Kerr, T. K., & Bjork, R. A. (2016). The
critical importance of retrieval--and spacing--for learning. Psychological
Science, 27, 223-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615617778
- Norby, S. (2015). Why forget? On the adaptive value of memory
loss. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10,
- Jonker, T. R., Seli, P., & MacLeod, C. M. (2015).
Retrieval-induced forgetting and context. Current Directions
in Psychological Science, 24, 273-278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721415573203
- Koppel, J., & Rubin, D. C. (2016). Recent advances in
understanding the reminiscence bump: The importance of cues in
guiding recall from autobiographical memory. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 135-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721416631955
- Nairne, J. S., & Pandeirada, J. N. S. (2016). Adaptive
memory: The evolutionary significance of survival processing. Perspectives
on Psychological Science, 11, 496-511. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691616635613
Unit 6: Memory
- 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,
- 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. http://dx.doi.org/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. http://dx.doi.org/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. http://dx.doi.org/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,
- 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. http://dx.doi.org/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. http://dx.doi.org/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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.006
Unit 7: Cognition
Unit 8: Language
- Leopold, C., & Leutner, D. (2015). Improving students’
science text comprehension through metacognitive self-regulation
when applying learning strategies. Metacognition Learning,
10, 313-346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11409-014-9130-2
- 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721413484756
- Stieff, M., Ryu, M., Dixon, B., & Hegarty, M. (2012). The
role of spatial ability and strategy preference for spatial
problem solving in organic chemistry. Journal of Chemical
Education, 89, 854-859. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed200071d
- Matthews, P. G., Lewis, M. R., & Hubbard, E. M. (2016).
Individual differences in nonsymbolic ratio processing predict
symbolic math performance. Psychological Science, 27,
- Biggs, A. T., Cain, M. S., & Mitroff, S. R. (2015).
Cognitive training can reduce civilian casualties in a simulated
shooting environment. Psychological Science, 26,
- Woolley, A. W., Aggarwal, I., & Malone, T. W. (2015).
Collective intelligence and group performance. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 420-424. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721415599543
- Pennycook, G., Fugelsang, J. A., & Koehler, D. J. (2015).
Everyday consequences of analytical thinking. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 425-432. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721415604610
Unit 9: The social context
- Ziegler, J. C. et al. (2010). Orthographic depth and its
impact on universal predictors of reading: A cross-language
Science, 21, 551-559. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797610363406
- Montag, J. L., Jones, M. N., & Smith, L. B. (2015). The
words children hear: Picture books and the statistics for
language learning. Psychological Science, 26, 1489-1496.
- Rapp, B., Fischer-Baum, S., & Miozzo, M. (2015). Modality
and morphology: What we write may not be what we say. Psychological
Science, 26, 892-902. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615573520
- Snefjella, B., & Kuperman, V. (2015). Concreteness and
psychological distance in natural language use. Psychological
Science, 26, 1449-1460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615591771
- Lupyan, G., & Clark, A. (2015). Words and the world:
Predictive coding and the language-perception-cognition
interface. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24,
Unit 10: Reasoning and problem solving
- Maloney, E. A., Ramirez, G., Gunderson, E. A., Levine, S. C.,
& Beilock, S. L. (2015). Intergenerational effects of
parents' math anxiety on children's math achievement and
anxiety. Psychological Science, 26, 1480-1488. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615592630
- Halkjelsvik, T., & Rise, J. (2015). Persistence motives in
irrational decisions to complete a boring task. Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 90-102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167214557008
- FeldmanHall, O., Raio, C. M., Kubota, J. T., Seiler, M. G.,
& Phelps, E. A. (2015). The effects of social context and
acute stress on decision making under uncertainty. Psychological
Science, 26, 1918-1926. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615605807
- Coman, A., & Berry, J. N. (2015). Infectious cognition:
Risk perception affects socially shared retrieval-induced
forgetting of medical information. Psychological Science,
26, 1965-1971. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615609438
- Rattan, A., Savani, K., Chugh, D., & Dweck, C. S. (2015).
Leveraging mindsets to promote academic achievement: Policy
recommendations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10,
- Alibali, M. W., Spencer, R. C., Knox, L., & Kita, S.
(2011). Spontaneous gestures influence strategy choices in
problem solving. Psychological
Science, 22, 1138-1144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797611417722
- Dieguez, S., Wagner-Egger, P., & Gauvrit, N. (2015).
Nothing happens by accident, or does it? A low prior for
randomness does not explain belief in conspiracy theories. Psychological
Science, 26, 1762-1770. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615598740
- Hertwig, R., & Engel, C. (2016). Homo ignorans:
Deliberately choosing not to know. Perspectives on
Psychological Science, 11, 359-372. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691616635594
Advanced Cognitive Psychology Syllabus
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Cognitive Psychology Page