PSY40830 Advanced Cognitive Psych

Academic Year 2022/2023

Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes - that is, thought, perception, learning, memory, language and so on. In this module, we will examine the theories and evidence surrounding a number of cognitive processes, with reference to recent research and cutting-edge theories. The module will have a particular focus on attention and memory, and their interactions with each other.

Some questions we will examine include:
- how do we filter out all the noise and detail in our environments in order to focus on one task or stimulus?
- how reliable is memory? What are the factors that can undermine it, and what are the consequences of that in the real world?
- can people make rational decisions, or are we slaves to our biases?
- what happens in your mind when you learn a new skill?

This is a research-focussed module that relies on evidence from behavioural research–i.e. experiments examining the
performance of of participants while they perform cognitive tasks–and cognitive neuroscience research–i.e. studies measuring brain activity during cognitive activities

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module you should be able to:

- Demonstrate an understanding of the different theories of attention and how they affect real world performance
- Discuss the processes underlying human memory and their application in real-world contexts (e.g. eyewitness memory)
- Critically evaluate theories of reasoning and problem-solving
- Describe the relationship between attention and other cognitive processes, e.g. memory, decision making and problem solving
- Critically assess the role of emotion in cognition
- Explain the cognitive processes underlying skill acquisition.

Indicative Module Content:

Key topics explored in this module include:

• Attention: selective attention, divided attention, spatial vs. non-spatial attention
• Memory storage
• The relationship between cognition and emotion
• Eyewitness memory and false memory
• Reasoning & problem-solving
• Judgement & decision-making
• Learning & skill acquisition (e.g. learning to drive, dance or play music)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Key approaches to Teaching and Learning used in this module include lectures, group discussion, class demonstrations and critical writing.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PSY30410 - Advanced Cognitive Psychology

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 2000 word essay Week 9 n/a Graded No


Assignment: 3000 word critical appraisal of cognitive research. Students select a theoretical debate in the field and critically evaluate three papers that present at least two points of view on the topic. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual written feedback for mid-trimester essays will be provided via Brightspace within 20 working days. Individual written feedback for end-of-trimester assignment will be provided via Brightspace by the end of the grades approval process in January.

Main course text:
Eysenck & Keane (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A Student's Handbook, 7th edition. (Note: 5th and 6th editions of this book are also fine).

Other essential and recommended readings from the scientific literature will be available via BrightSpace after each lecture.
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 15:00 - 16:50