L1: What is Cognition?

This module presents an overview of Cognitive Psychology along with a tutorial on reading primary research articles. Read Chapter 1 from the textbook, watch the mini-lectures, and complete the quiz and/or writing assignment by the due date.

Matt Crump


August 30, 2022

This is the first content learning module for PSYC 2530.


  • Present an overview of Cognitive Psychology
  • Provide examples of primary research about cognitive abilities
  • Develop familiarity with reading primary research articles


Work through each of the following Read, Watch/listen, and Engage sections. You have the full week to complete any quizzes or assignments for this module.


Chapter 1: What is Cognition?

Overviews questions, methods, findings, explanations, applications and implications of cognitive psychology.

QALMRI method for reading primary research articles in cognitive psychology.

Reading time: 30 minutes



There are two mini-lectures for this module.

Lecture 1

Cognition Overview

html slides


30 mins


When you are ready complete the assignments posted on Blackboard for this module. Each quiz or assignment is worth points. Remember that you can do as many quizzes and or assignments as you want throughout the semester, up to 85 points (see syllabus).

  1. QUIZ: Complete the L1: What is Cognition quiz (2.5 points, on blackboard)
  2. Writing: See the options below (5 points, submit on blackboard)

Submit your work on blackboard. Then, move on to the next learning module.

For all writing assignments provide a suggested grade with an explanation. For example, if you think your assignment should get 5 points, just say so, and then briefly explain why. Self-assessed grades will be taken into consideration during grading by the professor.

Questions about cognition

This is an introductory course about human and animal cognition. What questions do you have about cognition? What kinds of questions would you want to know the answers to about how your mind works?

Brainstorm a list of questions about cognition that you think are interesting. Tell me why you are interested in these questions.

Length: You assignment does not need to be longer than 1 page double-spaced. But, feel free to brainstorm as much as you want.

Points: 5

Self-assessment instructions:

At the end of your assignment indicate how many points you should receive for your work, along with a brief explanation or justification of your decision.

What can cognitive science do for people?

This assigned reading is a short piece by many authors who are cognitive psychologists and people of color. As we will learn in other modules, psychology and cognitive psychology has historically been applied in ways that advantage or disadvantage different groups of people. This article expresses some of these concerns as well as discusses ways in which the discipline could change to produce knowledge that is relevant to people across globe.

Your assignment is to read the article, and then write down your thoughts and reactions to the ideas expressed in the paper. Your written reaction should be at least 250 words.

Your assigned reading is:

Prather, R. W. et al. (2022). What can Cognitive Science do for people?. Cognitive Science, 46(6), e13167.

This paper is available on blackboard in the assignment section of learning module 1.


  1. Download and read the paper
  2. Write down your reactions to the ideas in the papers in at least 250 words. Your reaction could include questions you had as you read the article, identifying and discussing topics you found interesting, your point view on the topics, and how these issues might relate yourself and society in general. These are only suggestions, feel free to explore writing what it means to react to this paper.
  3. At the end of your assignment, provide a recommendation and explanation for how many points out of 5 you should receive for completing this assignment.
  4. Submit your written work to this assignment posted on Blackboard.

This assignment is worth up to 5 points.

Self-assessment instructions:

At the end of your assignment indicate how many points you should receive for your work, along with a brief explanation or justification of your decision.