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Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science

Knowledge cannot be fully digested if the information is presented out of context. The exercises in this course will not only teach you how to understand complex concepts, but also how to apply them in different settings.
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Last Updated:2022-08-08
Course level:Intermediate
Course Duration: 4h

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Course Content

11 sections • 28 lecture • 7h 33m total length

About Course

Knowledge cannot be fully digested if the information is presented out of context. The exercises in this course will not only teach you how to understand complex concepts, but also how to apply them in different settings.
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What You will 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 Curriculum / 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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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Target Audience

  • This course is designed for anyone with an interest in the workings of the mind and how to study this through experiments.
  • This course will be of particular interest to those looking to study Psychology at university, and those thinking of applying to study degree level Psychology at the University of York.

Material Includes

  • Video Instructions
  • Extra reading materials
  • Quizes and Assignements
  • Community Engagement


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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