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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.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the evidence for use of language in non-human animals
  • Describe the evidence for the association between language and various regions of the brain
  • Evaluate the experimental evidence for theories of word processing
  • Explain the major theories of reading
  • Explain the concepts of variability and categorical perception in relation to speech perception
  • Evaluate the experimental evidence for the different components of human memory
  • Appreciate how fundamental thinking regarding human memory can be applied to real-world context such as eyewitness testimony


1. Animal Communication 2. Language and the Brain 3. Word Processing 4. Reading 5. Speech Perception 6. Memory screening methods, and implications for memory models 7. Working Memory 8. Long Term Memory 9. Everyday Memory and Effects of Emotion 10. 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: • Essay worth 30% • A Multiple-Choice Test 10% • Second Essay worth 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
Essay  ( words) 58%
Essay  (1000 words) 30%
Multiple choice Test 10%
Psychology Participant Pool Research Participation 2%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 49%
Essay  (1500 words) 49%
Psychology Participant Pool Research Participation 2%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PSYC1016

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