PSYCH322-20A (HAM)

Memory and Cognition

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: donna.walsh@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: alistair.lamb@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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Who are you? The answer is that you are a collection of your memories. Our very identities depend on what we remember about our own lives, and the stories we tell ourselves and others. In PSYCH322, we examine these issues. PSYCH322 is an advanced undergraduate class on human memory with an emphasis on the related cognitive processes. If you’ve ever wondered why it is you sometimes pop into the store with the specific intention of getting aspirin, only to discover at home that you purchased a chocolate bar, a magazine, a few apples and no aspirin...well, you may have wondered what a weird thing memory is. What you will learn in this class will capture your imagination, hold your attention and sometimes baffle you. That’s a promise, because there’s no way it could be otherwise. For instance, you certainly know that a good memory can help you enormously in life, but did you know that too good a memory can cripple you? What does it mean when you don’t remember much of your childhood? How come certain songs remind you vividly of events you haven’t thought about in years? What’s the true story behind false memories? Do you remember things in images or in words? Stay tuned.
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Paper Structure

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Students are expected to attend each one­ hour lecture 11:00-12:00 on Tuesdays (K.G.07), Wednesdays and Thursdays (both K.G.09). The required readings consist of textbook chapters and empirical journal articles that can be accessed online from Moodle along with selected notes from some of the lectures. (The notes provided online are a condensed form of the lecture slides, students should supplement them with their own notes made during the lectures).

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • explain, apply, and analyse the cognitive processes related to memory.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • explain, apply, and analyse the kinds of memories that last only a very short time, all the way up to the kinds of memories that we think last forever—but do they?
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  • explain, apply and analyse the ways in which it makes sense to think of memory as a container vs. memory as a function.
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  • explain, apply and analyse the relationship between memory and your sense of who you are; the predictable distortions of memory and the implications, good and bad, of those distortions.
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  • explain theoretical and applied aspects of memory, apply those aspects, analyse strengths and weaknesses, and use them to interpret data and make predictions about novel approaches.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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There are several forms of assessment, arranged to give you flexibility and control over your grade. In short, your final grade will be based on a midterm test (worth 50%), a final test (50%), and—if it helps your grade—your performance on pop quizzes (see the Supplemental Information to learn more about the pop quizzes). There is no external examination.

Everything we assign to you, or discuss in lecture and labs, is fair game for any piece of assessment, whether we discuss it or not. In fact, to counter the disturbing trend among students of not reading all assigned readings, we are particularly inclined to test and quiz you on neglected readings.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Midterm test
9 Apr 2020
11:00 AM
50
2. Final test
4 Jun 2020
11:00 AM
50
3. Pop Quizzes
0
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required text book: Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2014). Memory (2nd ed.). Psychology Press, NY. The older version (first edition) of the text is out of date, which makes it not just old—like Dr. Garry—but also wrong.

You will also find additional required readings on Moodle. Pay attention to the reading list and do not take it lightly. You should do your readings by the first day of each week. For example, you should do all of week 2’s readings before you come to class on Tuesday of week 2. But you should also be aware that some of the demonstrations work only if you don’t know what is supposed to happen. Therefore, we sometimes will not want you to do certain readings until a certain point in the week. After all, if you know what patterns you’re supposed to discover, then you can’t really have the experience of discovering them. For these reasons, we may announce some specific readings after you have taken part in the relevant demonstrations. So, put aside a few hours each week and plan to devote them to readings, then regardless of whether we announce readings before or after the start of a topic, you will still have budgeted that time.

We cannot emphasise these points about reading too highly, so we are going to put it in italics: If you do not do your readings, or you don’t come to class, you will not do well in this course. In fact, you might not even pass. Yes, we are sure you have had courses where you didn’t really have to do readings, or you could just flip through your readings with less attention than you’d devote to a YouTube video. And yes, we are sure that you’d have courses where the same material was covered in readings and in lectures, which meant—of course—why do the readings, or why come to class? But this course is different. Trust us, we know: there is only going to be some overlap between what you learn in lectures and what you learn in readings. So, if you don’t do your readings, or you don’t come to class, you will not do well in this course. Hmm, maybe bold and italics will let you know that we are really serious: if you don’t do your readings, or you don’t come to class, then you will not do well in this course. And once more with feeling: if you don’t do your readings, you will not do well in this course.

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Online Support

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Nearly every document associated with this course is available via Moodle. We’ll also have discussion forums (it’s actually fora, but doesn’t that sound stupid) so you can post questions and learn from your colleagues. We’d prefer you to post your questions on Moodle, in the right forum, so that others can learn from the discussion. We will also post “self assessment” questions on Moodle after each lecture.

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Workload

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This class is a science class that is worth 15 points. In other words, national guidelines say that you should plan to spend an average of 150 hours over the term working on this course. But let’s put that 150 hours in context: the average, full time student wanting an average passing grade should plan for 150 hours in this course.

If you back up and read that sentence again, you will note that the word average crops up a lot. In other words, these are rules of thumb, and your mileage may vary, as the saying goes. For instance, if you don’t want an average pass, and you’d actually like to get the most out of this class, you might have to put in more time.

So that you know what we’re expecting of you, here is a guideline:

  • The lab is an hour; it is not mandatory that you attend, but everything in labs is examinable.
  • There are three hours of lectures per week, and they are not mandatory either— but likewise, of course, everything in lectures is examinable.
  • You will be assigned about a chapter or two per week from your textbook (during a couple of weeks you might be assigned three chapters), and chapters are about 20-30 pages. In addition to readings from your text, you will be assigned a number of extra readings many weeks.

Year after year after year, I have found that the students who don’t do well in this course are the ones who simply refuse to do the work. Some spend many hours at their job, or gaming, or hanging out. Some quite simply believe that they can get by with less. Guess what: you can’t. Welcome to 300 level—if you don’t do the work, you’re not going to do well.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper will build on the material covered in second year cognitive psychology. Students who have not had PSYCH203, or an equivalent paper may wish to review second-year cognitive material in order to perform well in this paper and should contact the lecturer.

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: PSYCH211 or PSYC208 and PSYCH203 or PSYC230 (PSYCH204 or PSYC225 recommended)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: PSYC340

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