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The University of Southampton

PSYC2021 Language and Memory

Module Overview

This module 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 – language and memory. Apart from being intrinsically interesting (who isn’t interested in understanding how their own mind works?), there are many practical reasons for taking this module. For example, cognitive psychology is arguably one of the dominant theoretical perspectives in modern psychology, and has provided many of the principles that are important in related fields such as education, learning, forensic psychology and abnormal psychology. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly to you, this module may also have more direct and personal payoffs by showing you how to study more efficiently, remember better, and appreciate the basis for common deficits such as dyslexia or amnesia. A note on our teaching philosophy: Because this module is the foundation for several other modules (e.g., cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, etc.), our lectures will emphasize the “classic” experiments. These have motivated decades of subsequent research and have fundamentally shaped the types of theoretical questions that cognitive psychologists ask. For the same reason, lectures will start from these foundational theories as a basis for the more modern ideas used by cognitive psychologists today. Do not be put off if you hear about ideas that you have already met – we present them within this module as a springboard for newer ideas, and to highlight the process of comparison and contrast which you will need in your assignments and examinations. Pre-requisite for PSYC3063 One of the pre-requisites for PSYC3065

Aims and Objectives

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
  • Appreciate how fundamental thinking regarding human memory can be applied to real-world context such as eyewitness testimony
  • Evaluate the experimental evidence for theories of word recognition and sentence parsing
  • Explain the major theories of both skilled and atypical reading


Word Processing Reading Speech Perception The Modal Model Working Memory Long Term Memory Problem Solving Everyday Memory and Effects of Emotion Suggestibility and Amnesia

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will consist of two one-hour lectures per week during the semester. These lectures will include numerous in-class demonstrations to help you understand the basic methods used by cognitive psychologists to study cognition, and to emphasize important findings related to cognitive psychology. You will be provided with a brief summary of each lecture, a guide to corresponding reading(s) in the text, and self-assessment questions for each topic to help you gauge your understanding of the lecture and text materials. All handouts and lecture materials will be available via a dedicated Blackboard page. Students who have questions, or are otherwise having difficulty understanding the content, are encouraged to contact the relevant lecturer via e-mail or in person during office hours or immediately after class.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

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


Assessment Strategy

Your knowledge and understanding will be evaluated through: • One essay (40%) • One final exam consisting of an essay and multiple-choice questions (58%) • Research Participation (2%) To do well in this evaluation, it is important to: (1) attend and be actively engaged in the lectures, (2) to think deeply about the theoretical ideas in relation to real world experience, and (3) to read, understand, and remember the assigned texts. Psychology and non-Psychology students will be assessed in the same way.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (1000 words) 30%
Exam  (2 hours) 68%
Psychology Participant Pool Research Participation 2%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (1000 words) 30%
Exam  (2 hours) 68%
Psychology Participant Pool Research Participation 2%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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