PSYCH 2H03: Human Learning & Cognition
Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
McMaster University Winter Term: January – April 2013
Course times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30-10:20 am.
Course location: HSC/1A1 Course web site: Avenue to Learn
Professor: Dr. J.M. Shedden Email: [email protected]
Office: PC-406. Office hours: by appointment
Teaching assistants: Your TA is determined by group (you can find your group assignment on Avenue):
Group 1: Your TA is Stefan Nazar: [email protected]
Group 2: Your TA is Faria Sana: [email protected]
Group 3: Your TA is Michael Slugocki: [email protected]
If you need help that you cannot get from the on-line discussions on Avenue, please email your TA.
Important: Please send email from your McMaster account; we cannot respond to email addresses that do
not provide you identity. Email from hotmail, yahoo, cogeco and some other service providers is often filtered
as spam and may not arrive at its destination. We will use the McMaster email system; please do not sent
email from Avenue unless you set the “reply to” your McMaster email address.
Course Description: The course will introduce the major themes in the field of Cognitive Psychology, including
topics in perception, attention, memory, concepts, language, imagery, problem solving and reasoning.
Required Text: Revlin, R. (2013). Cognition: Theory and Practice. First Edition. The loose leaf edition is
available from Titles.
80% Multiple-choice exams; all exams are cumulative:
15%: Midterm 1 15% Midterm 2 50% Final
5% Participation in on-line discussions on Avenue
15% Take part in 2 experiments (minimum 2 Experimetrix credits); write paper on one of them.
Tuesday, Feb 12, 9:30am MIDTERM 1 (1 hour)
Tuesday, Feb 26 Written assignment due before midnight if you want feedback from your
TA prior to the final due date of April 2
Tuesday, Mar 26, 9:30am MIDTERM 2 (cumulative; 1 hour)
Written assignment due before midnight – you have all term to work on
Tuesday, Apr 2 it -- don’t wait until the last week!
End of term Participation in Avenue on-line discussions will be evaluated
Exam period (date TBA) FINAL EXAM (cumulative; 3 hours)
1 Exams (15% Midterm 1; 15% Midterm 2; 50% Final):
The exams consist of multiple-choice questions. You are responsible for the textbook as well as the material
covered in lectures. You may be examined on material presented in lectures that is not in the textbook, and
also material from the textbook not covered in lectures. All the exams are cumulative. Each midterm will be
held during class time; the final will be held during a 3 hour time slot scheduled by the Registrar’s office during
the final exam period (April 12-30). No examination will be re-scheduled unless there is cancellation of the
class by the University, and there will be no makeup exams (see Missed Tests below).
Participation in on-line discussions on Avenue (5%):
The on-line discussion is a venue for students to help each other. Pose and answer questions, discuss
issues related to course material, and help each other study. Read what your colleagues are posting. Can
you help with any questions your colleagues are asking? Can you help with understanding? Perhaps take
the discussion in a different direction once the original question has been resolved? If you are starting a
thread of your own, make the subject line unique and informative.
Your participation will be evaluated at the end of the term. We will look at the quality and course-
relevance of your posts. We will look for professionalism and respect for your peers. Writing skills are
important, including grammar and spelling. We will look at the dates of your posts for an indication that
your participation is spread across the term and not all in one spurt. There is no “minimum” number of
posts required; however, aiming for at least 150 words per week of high quality discussion is a reasonable
goal. Try to use this venue as a tool to improve understanding and exchange of ideas, rather than going
for the minimum.
Written assignment (15%):
Take part in, or if you prefer, simply observe 2 or more experiments (minimum of 2 Experimetrix credits)
through the Departmental Participant Pool. Use Experimetrix (link on the Psychology department’s home
page) to select and sign up for experiments. Make sure the experiment is explicitly open to 2H03 students
otherwise you won’t get 2H03 credit for it. Write down the Experimetrix code for your experiments!
Understand and save the debriefing provided by the experimenter.
Choose one of your experiments to write about. Find a primary research article in the library (a primary
research article, not a secondary or review paper) that is relevant to the experiment you will write about.
Here are two sources to help you discriminate between a primary and secondary research article:
Write a paper no longer than 3 pages (12 point font, double spaced, 1” margins). Describe the experiment
you selected (the general motivation, the hypotheses, the independent and dependent variables).
Summarize the primary research article and discuss how the experiment you participated in and the
research article are related. How do the issues addressed in the experiment relate to the primary research
article? How might you extend the research with a follow-up experiment? How might the research be
important to understanding cognition and behavior in everyday life? You will be graded on writing skills as
well as content. See marking scheme below.
Your paper should have a cover page that includes the following information:
o Your name and student ID number
o Your Avenue group number and your TA’s name
o The title of your paper
o The Experimetrix code and the name of the experiment you are writing about
o The complete reference (APA format) for your primary research article