The University of Southampton
Courses

PSYC2021 Language and Memory

Module Overview

This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to cognitive psychology, or the study of human cognitive processes, with an emphasis on two of those processes—memory and language. Apart from being intrinsically interesting (who isn’t interested in understanding how their own mind works?), there are many practical reasons for taking this course. For example, cognitive psychology is the dominant theoretical perspective in modern psychology (much like behaviorism was up until the 1960’s), and so many of the basic principles that are important in other fields (e.g., education, abnormal psychology, etc.) are based upon what has been learned about the human mind from cognitive psychology. Moreover, what is learned in this course – how the mind works – may also have more direct and personal payoffs (e.g., by showing you how to study more efficiently). A note on my personal teaching philosophy: Because this course is the foundation for many other courses that you might take (e.g., cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, etc.), my lectures will emphasize “classic” experiments that have motivated decades of subsequent research and that have fundamentally shaped the types of theoretical questions that cognitive psychologists ask when they do their research. For the same reason, my lectures also tend to emphasize early theories of cognitive phenomena that have influenced the theories/models that are used by cognitive psychologists today.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to cognitive psychology, or the study of human cognitive processes, with an emphasis on two of those processes - memory and language.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the experimental evidence for theories of the different components of human memory
  • Describe key theories of reasoning, judgements, and decision making, and apply them to reallife scenariosDescribe key theories of reasoning, judgements, and decision making, and apply them to reallife scenarios
  • Evaluate the experimental evidence for theories of word recognition and sentence parsing
  • Explain the major theories of both skilled and atypical reading

Syllabus

Reasoning, Judgements, and Decision Making Problem Solving Attention Short-Term Working Memory Episodic Long-Term Memory Semantic Long-Term Memory Word Processing Language Comprehension Reading

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

By the end of the unit, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of human cognition, with specific knowledge of the factors that influence human memory and language processing. This knowledge and understanding will be evaluated through a final exam consisting of essays and multiple-choice questions. To do well in this evaluation, it is important to: (1) attend and be actively engaged in the lectures, and (2) to read, understand, and remember the assigned texts.

TypeHours
Independent Study150
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Eysenck, M.W., & Keane, M.T (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

This unit will be assessed through an examination (100%). The examination will consist of multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of the unit. In addition, you will be asked to answer two essay questions, one about memory and the other about language processing. Psychology and non-Psychology students will be assessed in the same way.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1000 words) 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1000 words) 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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