Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science

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About Course

Conduct, analyse and understand cognitive psychology experiments

Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of internal mental processes. On this 3-week course, you will be introduced to two key areas of cognitive psychology: reasoning and thinking, and mental imagery.

Explore cognitive psychology as an experimental science

You’ll begin by studying how the mind works and learning why cognitive psychology is an experimental science. From the psychology of thinking and reasoning to the psychology of imagination and visual thinking, you’ll gain a strong introduction to cognitive psychology.

We’ll discuss how to measure the mind and think like a scientist before exploring the numerical rule and confirmation bias.

Learn to build experiments and discover mental rotation and mental imagery

In the second week, you’ll learn how to run an experiment, collect data, and understand the science behind memory and behaviour through experiments.

You’ll also learn how to carry out memory studies, after exploring the notion of mental imagery and how it can inform us about the inner workings of the mind.

Finally, you’ll delve into experimental work on mental maps, mental scanning and mental rotation.

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What Will You Learn?

  • By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the mind can be studied in a scientific way using experiments
  • Develop your knowledge of the psychology of reasoning and thinking
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the psychology of mental imagery
  • Perform a simple experiment in cognitive psychology

Course Content

Week1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

  • Welcome & Introductory remarks (Video)
  • Introduction to the Platform
  • Say Hello
  • Some key remarks about ethics and data protection
  • The Science of Cognitive Psychology: Measuring the Mind – Video
  • Cognitive psychology is a special science – Video
  • Adopting scientific methods
  • Thinking like a scientist
  • The numerical rule and the confirmation bias
  • Building Your Own Experiment
  • Basic steps in building a cognitive psychology experiment – Video
  • So, what is wrong with our crossword puzzles experiment?
  • How else might we run our crosswords experiment? – Video
  • Within- vs. between-participant experiments: Which kind is best?
  • Class Experiment: Our first cognitive psychology experiment (Video)
  • The Phonological Similarity effect
  • Testing memory experimentally
  • Week 1 – End of week questions
  • Reflections on Week 1

Week 2: Thinking and Reasoning

Week 3: What does mental imagery reveal about how the mind works?

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