PSYC208-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023


15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


This is an introductory course in cognitive psychology: the science of how the mind and brain are organised to produce intelligent human thought processes. Topics include visual cognition, attention, memory, problem solving and expertise, reasoning and decision making, and language comprehension.

What has more computing power than a billion PCs, is readily portable, and weighs less than 1.5 kg? How does this magnificent machine comprehend language and make inferences, such as for example that the previous sentence refers to the human brain? What is known about how the brain stores information from scenes and our environs, our past experiences, and general world knowledge so that the right information is conveniently available just when you need it, except in a test or exam? What is attention and why does it appear to be so selective? Do we ever process information unconsciously? What is known about our methods for solving problems? In our everyday thinking and decision-making does the brain lead us to follow logical rules and the rational procedures that economists assume or has evolution provided us with other modes of thought more suited to the uncertainties of our social and physical worlds? How do people become skilled and expert? Clever experiments coupled with brain imaging technologies are enhancing knowledge of human cognition and its underlying brain processes. Virtually every domain in psychology draws upon findings and concepts generated in cognitive psychology. You will find this course fundamental preparation for your later studies in social, industrial-organisational, abnormal, biological, clinical, forensic, and developmental psychology. Every student who is considering postgraduate study in psychology would be wise to include the study of human cognition in his or her undergraduate programme.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of theoretical and empirical foundations of cognitive processes.
  • Understand how a cognitive approach can help us to understand behaviour and mental processes.
  • Learn how to critically appraise the design, data analysis, and the validity of conclusions drawn from empirical investigations in human attention, memory, and language.
  • Gain an appreciation for creative thinking, sceptical inquiry, and rigorous scientific approaches to issues relating to mental processes.
  • Display enhanced writing skills and be able to apply these skills in the production of a research report.


PSYC105 and PSYC106, or
with the approval of the Head of School, a pass in a professional year of Engineering, or
in approved courses in Computer Science, Linguistics, or

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ewald Neumann


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test 20%
Research Report 25%
Laboratory Exercises 15%
Exam 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Anderson, J.R; Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications ; 9th Ed; New York: Worth, 2020.

Recommended Reading

O'Shea, R., & McKenzie, W; Writing for Psychology ; 6th Ed; Cengage, 2013.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing .

All PSYC208 Occurrences

  • PSYC208-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023