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Бакалаврская программа «Социология и социальная информатика»

Cognitive Psychology

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
4-й курс, 1, 2 модуль


Тихонов Роман Вадимович

Course Syllabus


Every day our mind performs incredibly complex computations. It helps us to make sense out of sensory information, memorize different things, learn new concepts and categories, make decisions and creatively solve problems. All these topics are studied by cognitive psychology. The course is designed for students that already have basic knowledge in psychology and want to deepen their understanding of human cognition. Students will learn about the most influential theories and empirical studies of perception, attention, memory, learning, thinking, and consciousness. Seminar activities designed to develop critical thinking and communication competence, while group projects and home assignments promote the ability to apply knowledge to real-life problems.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • describe major concepts in cognitive psychology
  • analyze and critically evaluate theories and empirical studies in cognitive psychology
  • understand the connection between basic and applied research in cognitive psychology
  • apply major concepts and theories of cognitive psychology to real-life problems
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Describe сognitive psychology as a part of cognitive science
  • List the assumptions of the information processing approach to cognition
  • Explain the relationship between applied and basic research in cognitive psychology
  • Define terms: attention, divided attention, selective attention, inattention blindness, change blindness
  • Describe types of sensations and distinguish between distant vs. contact senses; general vs. special senses.
  • Critically evaluate direct and indirect theories of perception
  • Describe theories of forgetting (displacement, trace decay, repression, interference)
  • Describe and provide examples of memory processes (encoding, storage, and retrieval)
  • Describe the multi-store memory model (Atkinson & Shiffrin)
  • Describe the structure of long-term memory (E. Tulving)
  • Apply memory principles to real-life problems
  • Critically evaluate theoretical perspectives on human decision-making
  • Describe different heuristics and biases in decision-making (anchoring, framing, representativeness, availability, and etc.)
  • Find, evaluate and use the necessary information from different sources in order to develop a critical test that allows to evaluate if an artificial intelligent system is conscious
  • Distinguish between connectionist and symbolic approaches to mental representation.
  • Identify trends and issues in cognitive psychology research.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Cognitive Psychology: Introduction & Historical Overview
    Cognitive psychology as a subfield of cognitive science. Assumptions of the information processing approach to cognition. Behavioral, neurobiological & computational research methods in cognitive psychology. Early studies of cognition. The difference between behaviorist & cognitive approach. Cognitive revolution and the birth of cognitive science. Criticism of the cognitive approach.
  • Sensation & Perception. Attention.
    Definitions of perception and sensation. Types of perceptual constancies. Gestalt laws of perception. Direct vs. indirect theories of visual perception. Definition & types of attention. Theories of selective attention. Inattentional & change blindness. Bottom-up vs. top-down processing of perceptual information.
  • Memory
    Memory processes and systems. Studies and theories of short-term memory and long-term memory. Levels of processing model (Craik and Lockhart, 1972). Tulving's memory systems & types of consciousness. Theories of forgetting: interference, trace decay, displacement, cue-dependent forgetting (retrieval failure), consolidation, repression. Memory errors in eyewitness testimony: confirmation bias, verbal overshadowing, cross-race effect, post- and pre-event information.
  • Learning, Thinking, and Decision-Making
    Learning in behaviorism vs. cognitive psychology. Exemplar vs. prototype theories of concept representation. Biases and heuristics in decision-making. Loss aversion principle. Anchoring effect, framing effect, representativeness heuristic, confirmation bias. Characteristics of System 1 and System 2 (Stanovich, West, 2000). Problem-solving and creative thinking. Functional fixedness in problem-solving. Insight solutions & Aha!-experience.
  • Trends and challenges in cognitive psychology
    The embodiment of cognition. Emotions. Individual and cultural differences. How cognition relates to physical and social environments? Benefits and limitations of computational modeling.
  • Consciousness. Human vs. Artificial Intelligence
    Consciousness as a conversational behavior & Chinese room argument. Consciousness as general intelligence & evolutional perspective (adaptability); Zombie argument. Consciousness as free will (acts, goals, plans); determinism paradox. Phenomenal consciousness and embodiment of cognition. Mary's room argument. Consciousness as self-awareness and awareness of others. Theory of mind and metacognition.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar participation
  • non-blocking Project 1
  • non-blocking Project 2
  • non-blocking Exam test
    The exam test conducted in a computer-based format. The test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions with one or multiple correct answers. Students are allowed to use handwritten or printed lecture notes during the exam test.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.3 * Exam test + 0.15 * Project 1 + 0.15 * Project 2 + 0.4 * Seminar participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Weisberg, R. W., & Reeves, L. (2013). Cognition : From Memory to Creativity. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=531239

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Chalmers, D. J. (1996). The Conscious Mind : In Search of a Fundamental Theory. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=55770
  • Dennett, D. C. (2005). Sweet Dreams : Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=138505
  • Levitin, D. J. (2002). Foundations of Cognitive Psychology : Core Readings. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=78136