Psychology 311-002
Learning and Cognition
Spring 2013

Dr. Jonathan Golding
118 Kastle Hall
111A Kastle Hall (mailbox)
257-4395 (Dr. Golding's office)
257-9640 (Psychology Department Office)
Office Hours: Tuesday, 10:00 – 11:00 AM or by appointment

Course Website

The Course
Purpose. This course is designed to provide you with a broad, general introduction to learning and cognition. We will discuss basic subject matter, approaches to doing research, and also the means by which learning and cognition are (or can be) applied to our lives.

Goals. There are three objectives in this course. First, you should increase your knowledge of learning and cognition. You should finish this course with a better understanding of psychological approaches to studying learning and cognition, problems in studying learning and cognition, historical antecedents, and research findings, concepts, and methodologies.
The second goal is to help you to continue to develop scientific values and skills. The course should stimulate your intellectual curiosity about learning and cognition. Also, the course should impress upon you the importance of the scientific method, the possibility of biases in research, and the importance of having a critical attitude toward all generalizations.
Finally, the course should aid in your personal development. The knowledge that you gain from this course should increase your tolerance of the learning and cognition of others, give you a better understanding of the forces that limit your ability to learn and use your cognitive abilities, stimulate your curiosity to explain why people think and behave as they do, and allow you to be more critical of the "truth" often expressed by "experts."

Specific goals. I would like this course to be something very special for you, to be something you enjoy, look forward to, and will remember long after you leave the University of Kentucky. For this goal to be realized, we must all work together to create a unique educational experience. This will mean that you must stop thinking of yourself as a "passive academic garbage can" into which words are dumped and only retrieved for exams. You must contribute your curiosity, unique experiences, time, effort, and concern for constantly getting the most out of the course while trying to improve any aspect of class that is less than perfect. For me, this has meant rethinking my role as professor, being open to all suggestions for change, and being willing to invest time, energy, and enthusiasm into this course.

Course Facebook Group
The course has a Facebook group that should help with various aspects of the class. First, as you all know Facebook has bulletin boards, instant messaging, email, and the ability to post videos and pictures. Thus, we can all communicate about class in a seamless manner. Second, Facebook will allow you to connect with other students in the class, which is an important aspect of student education. For example, you can use the Facebook group  to contact classmates about questions regarding class assignments, class notes, and the group project as well as help one another prepare for exams.
The course Facebook group is:

Golding: PSY 311 Spring 2013 (University of Kentucky)

IMPORTANT: You have 2 weeks to add yourself as a “friend” to the Facebook group.

Required Readings
The required readings will be research articles and chapters. These readings will be available online from the UK Library via the PSY 311 Homepage or I will provide you with a copy. Please note that the reading list is not comprehensive, as a thorough coverage of the literature would require even more readings! You should see me for additional references if you become interested in a course topic and would like to explore it further, or if a topic of interest is not represented in the course readings. Also, there may be other readings that are added throughout the semester.

Classical conditioning overview.
Note: it is ”Psych and then an upper case “A” and an upper-case “I”
Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental        Psychology, 3, 1-14.
Skinner, B. F. (1992). Superstition in the pigeon. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 121(3),
Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive
models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.
Buckhout, R. (1974). Eyewitness testimony. Scientific American, 231, 23-31.
Saks, O. (1985). The man who mistook his wife for a hat (Chapters 2, 23). NY: Summit Books.
Rundus, D., & Atkinson, R. C. (1970). Rehearsal processes in free recall: A procedure for direct
            observation. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 9, 99-105.
Roediger, H. L., & Crowder, R. G. (1976). A serial position effect in recall of United States 
            presidentsBulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 8, 275-278.
Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example 
            of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and 
            Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589.
Ericsson, K. A., Chase, W. G., & Faloon, S. (1980). Acquisition of a memory skill. Science, 208,

12:30 – 1:45 PM on TR in 307B Funkhouser-Building

IMPORTANT--please note the following:
1) My overheads and handouts are protected by state common law and federal copyright law. They are my own original expression. Whereas you are authorized to take notes in class based on my overheads and handouts, this authorization extends only to making one set of notes for your own personal use, sharing one copy of those notes with a student who is enrolled in this class for his/her own studies, and no other use. You are not authorized to make any commercial use of my overheads and handouts without express prior written permission from me.

2) Be considerate of others. Please make sure that:
all cellular phones are on silent ring in class
NO text messaging on cell phones is done while in class
NO “surfing” the Web is done while in class.

The penalty for NOT following any of the above rules may be a “0” on the current or next in-class/out-of class activity or exam.

Class Schedule (Subject to Change)
Date                                         Topic                                                               Reading due
R, January 10                          Introduction to Course/What is Learning?

TR-Jan. 15, 17                         What is Learning?
                                                Science/History of Behaviorism

TR- Jan. 22, 24                        Habituation/Classical Conditioning                  Classical Conditioning
                                                Classical Conditioning                                                 Overview

TR- Jan. 29, 31                        Classical Conditioning                                     Watson & Rayner

T, February 5                           Operant Conditioning

R, February 7                           Exam 1: What is learning, Science, Classical Conditioning

T, February 12                         Operant Conditioning                                      Skinner
                                                Debate 1

R, February 14                         Operant Conditioning

T, February 19                         Operant Conditioning                                      Bandura, Ross, & Ross
                                                Debate 2

R, February 21                         Cognitive View of Learning

TR-Feb. 26, 28                                    Cognitive View of Learning
                                                Eyewitness Testimony

T, March 5                               Exam 2: Operant Conditioning, Cognitive view of Learning

R, March 7                               Eyewitness Testimony                                     Buckhout

TR-March 12, 14                     No Class, Spring Break

TR-March 19, 21                     Eyewitness Testimony

T, March 26                             Physiology of Memory                                    Saks (chapters 2, 23)
                                                Debate 3

R, March 28                             Physiology of Memory

T, April 2                                 Memory Encoding
                                                Debate 4

R, April 4                                 Memory Encoding                                           Rundus & Atkinson

T, April 9                                 Exam 3: Eyewitness Testimony, Physiology, Memory Encoding

R-April 11                               Memory Storage                                              Roediger & Crowder

T, April 16                               Memory Storage

R, April 18                               Memory Storage
                                                Wiki-Design Presentations

TR-April 23, 25                       Memory Retrieval                                            Loftus & Palmer

Thursday, May 2                    EXAM 4 (Memory Storage,
(1:00 – 2:00 PM)                    Memory Retrieval)

Evaluation Criteria (this course adheres to the university's regulations against cheating and plagiarism.)

          NOTE: Your final grade point total in this course is      from 0-100 points.

Class Participation                             15%
Writing Activities                               20%
Examinations                                      40%
Connections                                        10%
Wiki Design Project                           15%
            In-class debate                                    10%

Class Participation. 15% of your grade is based on class participation. Participation is defined as any meaningful spoken contribution to the entire class (comment or question) that pertains to class material. (Note: Even if you give an incorrect answer, your effort still will typically earn you credit.) Each time you participate in class you will turn in a card (with your name, seat number, and date) that day (i.e., no late cards will be accepted) to Dr. Golding with your name on it. You must participate at least 20 times. If you do not fulfill this requirement your final letter grade for the course will be dropped 2 letter grades. That is, if you had a final grade of “A” in the course, you will be dropped to a final grade of “C” in the course.

Each student will be required to begin one class with a short 2-5 minute presentation of a skill that he or she possesses (and that will not offend Dr. Golding or anyone in class). In the past this has involved students presenting examples of their hobbies (e.g., photography), showing videos (e.g., horseback riding, singing), and live performances (playing a musical instrument, riding a unicycle). Failure to fulfill this requirement will result in your final grade being lowered by one full letter grade.

Writing Activities. 20% of your grade will be based on your performance in numerous activities that will either be completed during lecture or out-of-class (e.g., via email). These activities: (1) may be completed by you alone, or Dr. Golding may ask you to work with one or more other students on an activity; (2) may include discussing a particular reading, doing library research, using the Internet, answering a survey about class, etc; and (3) are graded from 0-100. Note that there may be more than one writing activity per class meeting.

You must have a score above "0" on at least 80% of all in-class/out-of-class activities. If you do not fulfill this requirement your final letter grade for the course will be dropped 2 letter grades. That is, if you had a final grade of “A” in the course, you will be dropped to a final grade of “C” in the course. There will be a minimum of 20 of these activities. That is, if there are 20 activities and you miss 5 or more activities without having an excused absence for each activity you miss, your final letter grade for the course will be dropped 2 letter grades. To be clear about this grading policy: your in-class/out-of-class activities grade is based on the total number of these activities. Although you may miss one or more activities due to an unexcused absence and still pass the course, you will receive a 0 for each activity missed due to an unexcused absence when your in-class/out-of-class activity grade is calculated.

Examinations. 40% of your grade will be based on examinations (10% for each exam). The exams will be comprised of one or more of the following types of questions: multiple-choice, short-answer essay from all course material. The exams will be graded on a 0 to 100 scale (e.g., 90 to 100 = A). All exams will be from 12:30 -1:30 PM, except Exam 4 which is from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. The time allotted to each exam includes the distribution and collection of each exam.

Connections. 5% of your grade will be based on illustrating a real-world connection between course material and real-world events described in the news. Twice during the semester you will be randomly asked to find a news story that pertains to class material. The news story can be from a media web source and must be legitimate-not TMZ, Perez Hilton or The Drudge Report. You will turn in a 1-2 page typed summary of the connection on your assigned date. The assigned date will be within one week of when Dr. Golding gave you the initial assignment. In addition, you must be prepared to talk about your article if asked to do so by Dr. Golding.

            Wiki Design. 15% of your grade will be based on the design of an informative wiki/web page on the Internet that deals with learning or cognition. Groups of 5 will design their wiki/web page describing practical aspects of learning. This page must be comprehensive, based on empirical evidence, and all information you post must be cited in APA format at the end. You and your group will present and describe your wiki/web page to the class in a 15-minute presentation on R, April 18. The topics of the presentations are:

Group 1) using Behaviorism to reward and punish children
Group 2) using Behaviorism to train animals
Group 3) mnemonic techniques to help the elderly
Group 4) memory strategies and studying

In-Class Debate. For this activity (worth 10% of your grade) you will be assigned to either the pro or con side of one of 4 scheduled debates on a controversial issue related to learning or cognition. Groups of two or three will be asked to orally summarize the major arguments supporting your position and to defend it. In addition, within one week after the debate all students will provide a written summary of: (1) the major points presented during the debate, and (2) their personal position on your topic. The topics are as follows (dates listed in schedule):

Debate Topic 1: Ethics of advertising that uses behavioristic principles
Debate Topic 2: Language as a result of reinforcement/punishment
Debate Topic 3: Ethics surrounding cognition enhancing drugs
Debate Topic 4: Repression as a “cognitive” phenomenon

Extra Credit
The possibility of extra credit will be discussed during the course of the semester.

90-100             A
80-89.99          B
70-79.99          C
60-69.99          D
Below 60         E

Attendance Policy
Attendance must be discussed with regard to lecture and exams. First, attendance at lectures is not a specific course requirement. However, you are strongly encouraged to be present for lectures. Moreover, whether you are present or not, you will be responsible for material covered, written activities, and/or relevant announcements. It is most unlikely that you will be able to do well in this course without regular lecture attendance.
Second, attendance at exams is a specific course requirement. Make-up exams will only be offered in the case of an "excused" absence. Excused absences are defined by the University of Kentucky Bulletin--you should consult the Bulletin for a description of what is an excused absence. An excused absence from an exam must be verified by presenting documentation to me. If you know before the excused absence is to occur that you will be absent, then present documentation to me ahead of time.  An unexcused absence is any case that does not meet the University's definition. An unexcused absence from a lecture exam will result in a grade of 0 for that particular exam.

Make-Up Policy
You have the right to make up work due to an excused absence. The following conditions apply to making up the work due to an excused absence:
Work                                                    Make-up Time frame
Exam                                                    within 3 school days of returning to lecture
Writing Activity                                    day of returning to lecture
Connections                                          day of returning to lecture
Wiki Design Project                              day of returning to lecture
In-class debate                                      day of returning to lecture
Failure to make up any work by following the above conditions will result in a grade of zero (0).
            Failure to make up an excused lecture exam or other graded work by following the conditions specified above will result in a grade of zero (0) for that exam or graded work.

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