Cognitive psychology

This module covers human memory and perception as key cognitive processes that underpin much psychological functioning and behaviour. It aims to build upon the material taught in the FHEQ Level 4 modules and allow students to appreciate how the material from the various domains of psychological enquiry can be integrated to the study of how we represent the world.

This module will explore the concept of variation in perception and memory in both normal function and disease.

Topics will include:

  • The operation of the visual system
  • How perceptual illusions illustrate perceptual mechanisms, including their development and construction of a sense of self
  • The nature of distorted perception and attention in disease, including neuropsychological conditions such as neglect, psychotic illness and anxiety
  • The properties of memory, including insights from psychobiology, neuropsychological patients with acquired amnesia, the effect of the reconstructive nature of episodic memory and from social and cognitive studies of memory distortions such as misinformation effects and the role of interference in long-term memory.

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the key theories and evidence regarding normal and distorted long-term memory and perception, and the difference between illusion and hallucination.
  • Critically evaluate the evidence regarding the nature of human memory processes including evidence from neuropsychological studies. Understand the psychological mechanisms of the visual system, and the role that illusions play in illustrating these mechanisms.
  • Understand the implications of variation in perceptual and memory accuracy for our understanding of human experience, including (but not limited to) questions of objectivity, eye-witness testimony and the bodily self.
  • Understand, and provide a critical evaluation of, the explanations these theories offer, and the types of evidence that support and challenge them.

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