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Why do we fall for visual illusions? How can we use the speed of our responses to tell us about the construction of the brain and the mind? How do we remember? How does the detection of noisy signals inform our understanding of faulty eyewitness memory? Are fingerprint experts better than novices at matching patterns? Perception, Memory and Cognition will cover a series of robust, valuable, and enduring findings illustrating the accumulation of knowledge through experimentation and theory development. From historical studies of response time and perceptual processes through to modern tests of applied decision making, you will learn how theories are tested, discarded, and revised in light of careful experimental evidence. We will discuss a variety of cognitive processes, from the initial stages of stimulus perception all the way through to decision making. The tutorial stream will provide an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of experimental techniques and scientific writing skills as they apply to forensic psychology.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Describe a selection of the key research findings that underpin current knowledge of Perception, Memory and Cognition;
- Discuss some of the key theories in this field and to what extent they can explain current experimental findings;
- Explain how these theories have been shaped by the use of human behavioural research techniques.
- Critically review literature in the area of Perception, Memory and Cognition in a way that could lead to clearly motivated research questions;
- Critically evaluate and compare conflicting theories and experimental studies in this field;
- Interpret experimental behavioural data accurately on the basis of appropriate analytical methods;
- Evaluate and draw conclusions from experimental research findings;
- Communicate psychological research findings effectively in various written formats.
Application of knowledge and skills
- Articulate how experimental studies can lead to theoretical advances in the field of Perception, Memory and Cognition;
- Discuss to what extent a given experimental finding is consistent with current theories in this field;
- Use a broad understanding of cognitive psychology to understand the place and significance of individual experimental and theoretical studies within the wider scientific context of cognitive psychology.
Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:
- think critically about theoretical and empirical issues in psychology
- evaluate research issues critically on the basis of empirical evidence
- demonstrate a knowledge of classical and current issues in psychology
- demonstrate an understanding of some of the obstacles to an integrated perspective in areas or psychology
- locate and use web-based material effectively (web pages, news groups, list servers, etc.)
Last updated: 25 January 2020