Pscych 315H and Psych 697R

Spring, 2022

Tuesday & Thursday
10:00 - 11:15 am

Tobin 520


Instructor: Kyle Cave

office: 432 Tobin
phone: 413-545-2787

Office hours on Zoom: Wednesday 2:00-3:00 pm or by appointment

(This page last updated 25 Jan 2022)

Cognitive Psychology is the scientific study of fundamental mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, knowledge, language, problem solving, reasoning, and decision-making. In short, Cognitive Psychology the scientific study of the mind and mental processes. This is an intensive course that will cover the different aspects of Cognitive Psychology in some depth at a level appropriate for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Students should already be familiar with principles of psychology, experimental design, and statistics. In addition to exams, students will give in-class presentations and write one or more papers.

This class is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates who have not taken Psych 315 or Psych 315H and have received permisison from the instructor.

Undergraduates in Commonwealth Honors College will receive honors credit for this class.


The textbook for this course is Cognition by Daniel Reisberg. It is available from eCampus, and also from other sources. Be sure that you are using the 7th edition. You can use one of the printed versions (hardcover, paperback, loose-leaf) or the electronic version. We will not be using the ZAPS experimental package that comes with some versions of the textbook, so it is fine to buy or rent a used copy without this package. Copies of the textbook can be checked out temporarily at the reserve desk of the library.

Additional readings will be available on Moodle.

The reading assigned for each class is listed on Moodle.

Class Meetings:

The class will meet face-to-face in Tobin 520. The material presented in class will be important for the quizzes and exams.

You should not attend class if you are not feeling well, or if you have had a positive Covid test. In those cases, you can view Echo360 recordings of each class. Recordings should be available on Moodle within a few hours of the end of each class.


Communicating Outside of Class:

You are encouraged to contact me with questions and comments about any aspect of the class. You can reach me at the email address or at the phone number at the top of this page, or you can come to my office hours on Zoom. (The Zoom link is on Moodle.) If you would like to make an appointment to meet at another time, please email me with somt times that you are free.

If I need to reach you in between classes, I will send you e-mail. There is also a Moodle site for this class with this syllabus, class notes, and other materials.

Quizzes on the Readings:

For readings from the textbook, there will be a quiz on Moodle. Be sure to complete the quiz before the class for which the reading is assigned.


Read this carefully. Ask me if there is any part you do not understand.

There will be two exams during the semester and a final exam at the end.

The exams will cover both material from class and material from the reading.

Each exam will cover all the material that has been presented up to that point, including material that may have been on previous exams.

The exams may include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching questions, along with short answer/essay questions requiring answers between one sentence and half a page.


You will write a paper on some topic within Cognitive Psychology. Consult with me about appropriate topics before you start. It should be no more than 2400 words for students in Psych 315H, and no more than 3600 words for students in Psych 697R. Turn in a written description of your paper topic by Mar 4. Papers can be turned in at any time before Apr 24. Your papers must show a good deal of research and thought, and should be based primarily on sources other than the assigned reading for the class. Generally, those sources should be peer-reviewed journal articles, or other sources written by researchers specializing in the topic.

You have the option to write a double-length paper. If you do, your paper will replace either Exam 1 or Exam 2. If you select this option, be sure to inform me that you are doing so before you hand in your paper.

See the Guide to the Paper and Presentation.


Many of the classes will include a student presentation. You will sign up to give one of the presentations.

Your presentation should be based on sources beyond the required course readings. For some topics, there may be suggestions for relevant sources on Moodle.

You should send me a list of your sources two weeks before your presentation. If you find other sources after you send me the list, you are free to include them as well.

Your presentation will be graded on its informativeness and its organization. Be sure to give careful thought as to how to structure your presentation so that it is clear and easy to understand.

Each presentation should be about 20 minutes long.

You should create a set of slides to use with your presentation. After your presentation, you should upload a file with the slides you displayed during your presentation to the discussion board on Moodle.

Sign up for your presentation on Moodle between 7:00 am on Jan 31 and 7:00 am on Feb 4. If you would like to do a presentation on a topic that is not on the list, speak to me.

See the Guide to the Paper and Presentation.

Other Assignments:

There may be other assignments throughout the class. They might include your written thoughts and questions about one of the readings or a class discussion, other short written assignments, and perhaps an occasional short quiz. I may encourage you to discuss these assignments with other students (except, of course, the quizzes). However, unless I specifically say otherwise, the work you turn in for the assignments must be entirely your own.

Academic Honesty:

Since the integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research, academic honesty is required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University.  Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty.  Appropriate sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty.  Instructors should take reasonable steps to address academic misconduct.  Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible.  Instances of academic dishonesty not related to a specific course should be brought to the attention of the appropriate department Head or Chair.  Since students are expected to be familiar with this policy and the commonly accepted standards of academic integrity, ignorance of such standards is not normally sufficient evidence of lack of intent (

Everything that you turn in for this class should be written entirely in your own words. For guidelines about plagiarism, see If you are ever in doubt about when and how to give credit for the ideas and experimental results you include in your written assignments and presentations, consult us.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students.  If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course.  If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.


In recognition and affirmation of the worth and dignity of all persons, the instructor of this class is dedicated to upholding the values of diversity and inclusion and to minimizing disparities in access to learning. All students who are willing to learn are equally welcome without regard to age, race, ethnicity, birthplace, sex, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or identity, socioeconomic status, political party or beliefs, or other group affiliation or personal characteristics. All students are likewise expected to accord each other the same level of respect, bearing in mind that becoming more respectful and inclusive is a journey rather than a destination. We will all have stumbling points along the way, including the instructor, and these are often valuable learning opportunities. If I ever say or do anything insensitive in this class, I sincerely welcome students to call me out or communicate their discomfort to me in person after class, during office hours, by email, or anonymously.

Final grade:

Exams 1 and 2: 30%
paper: 20%
presentation: 20%
reading quizzes and other assignments: 10%
final exam: 20%

Extra credit through the SONA system is not available for this class.

An updated version of syllabus is available on the World Wide Web at:

Psych 315H and Psych 697R Kyle Cave Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences U. Mass.