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Understanding Applied Cognitive Psychology


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Michael Mallaghan
  • Assessment: a 1500-word essay (50%) and one-hour in-class timed assessment (50%)

Module description

In this module you will learn the key principles of cognitive psychology and the major elements of cognition (attention, perception and memory) that will serve as the foundation for more detailed exploration of these topics later in your degree. You will also be introduced to key theories and research in areas of problem solving, decision making and expertise.

The focus throughout is on the applications of cognitive psychology, particularly in your own learning and problem solving.

Indicative syllabus

  • Key concepts in cognitive psychology
  • Attention and its relevance to problem solving and learning
  • Perception
  • Human memory (long term, short term) and how an understanding of this can help your own learning
  • Introduction to problem solving
  • Creative problem solving
  • How to become an expert
  • Introduction to decision-making models (and their limitations)
  • Heuristics and social biases
  • Assumptions and methods within cognitive psychology

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will able to:

    • outline methods of research relevant to the key topics on this course, highlighting their strengths and limitations
    • provide a brief overview and critique of main psychological theories relevant to each of the topics studied
    • offer valid examples of the ways in which these theories might inform our understanding of practical problems in the 'real' world, and be of use in supporting your learning
    • indicate some of the limitations of these theories with regard to 'real-world' application.