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SSP502: Cognitive Psychology (2012-2013)

COURSE TITLE: Cognitive Psyc (Quantico Only)
CALENDAR YEAR: 2012-2013

Major Concepts/Content: The psychology course is designed to help the student become more knowledgeable of the cognitive influences on human behavior. The course is an in-depth study of the mind and the way it works, why people think, feel, and behave as they do. Emphasis is placed on research methods, learning theory, memory and thought, motivation and emotion, and states of consciousness. The process of the scientific investigation is a major part of this course.

Major Instructional Activities: Instructional activities will be provided using the content of the psychology course. Students will participate in-group activities that enhance the study of specific units, conduct computer-generate interactive exercises using PsychQuest and PsychSim, conduct psychological research, and complete research for oral and written reports. Activities should include participating in self-awareness and group dynamic activities.

Major Evaluative Techniques: Evaluation will be comprised of assessment of individual projects, unit tests, group participation, tests defining knowledge of psychological theories, and assessment of research methods.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of the psychology course, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • Research strategies used by psychologists to explore the mind and behavior
  • Ethical issues in research that are of importance to psychologists
  • The process of encoding or getting information into memory
  • Working (short-term) and long-term storage systems
  • The process of retrieval, or getting information out of memory
  • The biological basis of memory
  • Methods of improving memory
  • Characteristics of learning, according to psychologists
  • Principles of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning, and cognitive learning
  • Roles of biology and culture in determining learning
  • Basic elements comprising thought
  • Strategies and obstacles involved in problem-solving and decision-making
  • Motivational concepts and major theories of motivation
  • Interaction of biological and cultural factors in the development of motives
  • Physiological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of emotions and the interactions among these aspects
  • Effects of motivation and emotion on perceptions, cognition, and behavior
  • Concepts related to measurement of individual differences
  • Influence and interaction of heredity and environment on individual differences
  • The nature of intelligence and intelligence testing
  • Characteristics of sleep and theories that can be used to explain why we sleep
  • Theories used to explain and interpret dreams
  • Basic phenomena and uses of hypnosis