PSYC208-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018


15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


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

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


PSYC104, or PSYC105 and PSYC106, or with the approval of the Head of Department, a pass in a professional year of Engineering, or in approved courses in Computer Science, Linguistics, or Philosophy

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 Meremere 108 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 K1 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 11:00 Psychology - Sociology 225 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Tuesday 09:00 - 11:00 Psychology - Sociology 225 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
03 Wednesday 15:00 - 17:00 Psychology - Sociology 225 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
04 Tuesday 11:00 - 13:00 Psychology - Sociology 225 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ewald Neumann


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


Required Texts

Anderson, J.R; Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications; 8th Ed; Macmillan, 2014.

Recommended Reading

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

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $834.00

International fee $3,788.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Psychology.

All PSYC208 Occurrences

  • PSYC208-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018