PSY 321:  Cognitive Processes

Lecture Notes
Check Grades
Address Book
Flash Cards

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Enjoy the Summer:

Enjoy the summer!

Exam 4 and Class Grades:

The grades for the final exam and for the class are available from the Check Grades link to the left.  The mean on the final exam is 156.6 points (78.3%) with a standard deviation of 21.5 points.  The class average (excluding one person who did not take the final) is 83.3%.  The following histogram shows the frequencies of each letter grade for the final exam and for the class:

Exam 4 Is Thursday, May 1:

The fourth exam is Thursday, May 1 from 2:30 to 4:20 PM.  The cumulative / comprehensive section is described below (see the entry called The Final Exam is Cumulative dated 4/2/2008.)  The non-cumulative section consists of 25 multiple choice questions, 20 fill-in-the-blank questions and one essay question and covers chapters 12 (Problem Solving), 13 (Expertise and Creativity) and 14 (Judgment and Decision Making) and lectures from April 4 to April 23 inclusive.

Study Guide for Cumulative Portion of Final Exam:

A non-exhaustive set of topics that might appear on the cumulative portion of the final exam is available here.  Do not rely solely on the study guide -- there will be topics on the cumulative portion of the final exam that are not addressed on the study guide.  The study guide does not cover the non-cumulative portion of the final exam.

The Final Exam Is Cumulative:

Please remember that the final exam is worth 200 points and is cumulative / comprehensive.  In addition to the typical 25 multiple choice, 20 fill in the blank and 1 essay question covering the material since exam 3, there will also be 50 multiple choice questions from the first 11 chapters of the textbook.  If you have not been reviewing the material from the first 11 chapters on a regular basis, NOW is the time to start doing so.  Your previous exams and the first 29 quizzes will help you prepare for the cumulative portion of the final exam, but you should not limit yourself to those sources of information when you study.

Exam 3 and Current Class Grades:

The grades for exam 3 are available from the Check Grades link on the left.  The mean score on exam 3 was 75.2% with a standard deviation of 18.0%.  The range was from 100 to 31.

So far there have been 553 points in the class -- 300 from the 3 exams, 145 from the 29 quizzes, 58 from the 29 participation points and 50 from the 2 lab reports.  Take the number of points that you have from those items and divide by 553 to get your percentage.  Page 2 of the syllabus has the grading scale based on your percentage.  The current mean in the class is 442.2 points (79.3%) with a standard deviation of 83.6 points (15.1%).  The class mean goes up over 2 percentage points if I remove the one outlying student (who is more than 4 standard deviations below the mean.)

The following frequency histogram shows the frequency of each letter grade on exam 3 and currently in class:

If you want to do better on the cumulative final exam, start following the suggestions I gave earlier NOW.  Those suggestions can be found under the entry Want To Do Better? posted on 2/6/2008 below.

Reference for Lab 3:

Posner, M. I., Goldsmith, R. & Welton Jr., K. E. (1967).  Perceived distance and the classification of distorted patterns.  Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73, 28-38.

Enjoy Spring Break:

I hope that each of you have a wonderful spring break.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our next class on Wednesday, March 26.

Exam 3 Is Wednesday, April 2:

The third exam is Wednesday, April 2.  It covers 9, 10 and 11 from the textbook and lectures from March 3 to and including March 31.  The exam will have the same format as the other exams -- 25 multiple choice questions, 20 fill-in-the-blank questions and one essay question.

Lab 3:

It is time to start working on the third and final lab.  You should read the background information about the lab and submit your data no later than 11:59 PM on Wednesday, March 26.  The paper is due at the start of class on Monday, April 7.

Reference for Lab 2:

Shepard, R. N. & Metzler, J. (1971). Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science, 171, 701-703.

Lab 2 Due at Start of Class on 3/12:

The second lab report is due at the start of class on Wednesday, March 12.  The body of the paper should be no more than two pages long and you need to pay more careful attention to APA style.

Exam 2 Grades:

Grades for exam 2 are available from the Check Grades link on the left.  The mean was 77.7% with a standard deviation of 14.5%.  The range is 100 to 28.  The following graph shows the frequency distribution of letter grades for exam 2:

Lab 2:

It is time to start the Mental Rotation lab.  You should read over the background information for the lab, participate in the experiment and submit your data to the web server no later than 11:59 PM on Sunday, 3/2. 

No Class on 2/22:

Because UD is closed until noon today, we will not have class.  Your papers are due on Monday and the second exam is still scheduled for Friday 2/29.

Exam 2 Is Friday, February 29:

The second exam is Friday, February 29.  It covers the material since the first exam (chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the text and the material presented in class from 2/6 to and including 2/27.)

Lab Paper 1 Is Due on 2/22:

The first lab report is due at the start of class on Friday, February 22.

Your Age Needed for Lab:

APA style says that we need to report the average age of the participants.  Thus, you need to provide your age to the web site by submitting the form on this page.

Lab 1 Starts Today:

The first lab starts today.  You should click on the Labs link to the left to see the schedule.  I will give more details in class.  By midnight on 2/11, you should participate in the study and submit your results (if you wait until the end to do it and have a computer problem, that is your fault for waiting.)  The paper is due at the start of class on 2/22.

Want To Do Better?:

I know that many of you are disappointed with the first exam.  I have put together some study suggestions that are based on cognitive research.  If you follow them, you should do better on the remaining exams.

Also, remember that the first exam is only about 12.5% of your grade in the class.  There are lots of semi-"free" points in the class -- 66 class participation points and 165 points from the online, open book, open notes quizzes.  Coming to class regularly and doing perfectly on the quizzes will go a long way toward improving your grade in the class.

Exam 1 Grades:

The grades for exam 1 are available from the Check Grades link in the list of links to the left.  The mean grade was 76.4% with a standard deviation of 15.5%.  The following histogram shows the frequency of each letter grade on the exam:

Exam 1 is Monday, February 4:

The first exam is Monday, February 4.  It will cover whatever material we cover in class up to and including on Friday, February 1 and the material in the first four chapters of the text.

Change Blindness:

Other examples of change blindness can be found at

Lecture Notes:

The PowerPoint slides, with space for you to take notes, are available from the Lecture Notes link on the left.

Daily Quizzes:

Remember to complete the daily quiz before coming to class.  The quizzes are available from the Quizzes link on the left.  The quizzes are open book and open notes.  If you are not 100% sure of an answer, look it up.  These are "free" points -- don't blow them off as you will likely need them.  You may submit the quiz only once.


I hope that you find this class as interesting as I find cognitive science. Cognitive psychology and cognitive science are fascinating because they cover such a broad range of topics -- perception, memory, attention, problem solving, creativity, to name a few -- and they offer both theoretical insights into the workings of the human mind and practical implications for both clinical psychologists and human factor psychologists.

*The time until the next exam is based on your computer's clock.
If your computer's clock is wrong, the time until the exam will be wrong too.