PSYCHOL 6507OL - Perception and Cognition

Online - Online Teaching 5 - 2022

Are you curious about what goes on in people's heads when making sense of the world? Humans are really good at interacting with their environment and solving problems. This course will delve into the adaptive psychological and neural processes involved with perceiving and thinking. Students will learn about key theories and principles in perception and cognition research, explore biases and limits in cognitive performance, and consider how these theories apply to real-world situations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 6507OL
    Course Perception and Cognition
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Online Teaching 5
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact 1 to 2 hour online tutorial
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PSYCHOL 6500OL and PSYCHOL 6501OL
    Restrictions Graduate Diploma in Psychology or Graduate Certificate in Psychology
    Course Description Are you curious about what goes on in people's heads when making sense of the world? Humans are really good at interacting with their environment and solving problems. This course will delve into the adaptive psychological and neural processes involved with perceiving and thinking. Students will learn about key theories and principles in perception and cognition research, explore biases and limits in cognitive performance, and consider how these theories apply to real-world situations.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Craig Thorley

    The course coordinator in OTP 5, 2022, is Dr. Craig Thorley (
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Full details of each week's activities can be found in MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the major topics, research, and theories in Cognitive Psychology.
    2. Critically evaluate and appraise different approaches to studying cognition, including cultural and ethical considerations.
    3. Identify the applications that psychological principles within Cognitive Psychology have to everyday life and society.
    4. Communicate key theories and findings from Cognitive Psychological research to a non-specialist audience.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This is a fully online offering. Students will require access to the internet to access course content and assessments.

    The required readings for this course are chapters from:

    Goldstein, E.B. (2018). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting mind, research and everyday experience (5th Ed.). Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.

    The Goldstein textook is accessible via the University library as an e-book. The University library has a limited number of licences for the online version of the textbook used in this course. We advise that students purchase their own copy of this textbook to ensure uninterrupted access to the resource when needed.
    Recommended Resources
    Links to relevant text book chapters and journal articles will provided within the Myuni course. 
    Online Learning
    This is a fully online offering. Myuni will be used for all course materials, communications, links to curated resources, online tutorial support and assessments - including submission, grading and feedback.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Engagement with course content is facilitated by online lectures, interactive online activities, curated readings and resources, and self directed study supported by weekly online tutorial sessions. There are 6 Weekly Modules with learning scaffolded across the modules to ensure that students develop deep discipline knowledge as well as the academic literacy, research skills and capacity to apply and communicate their understanding as specified for an AQF8 level offering.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    This course is a 6-week intensive, accelerated learning offering. Students should expect to spend around 24-25 hours per week engaging with the online content, in private study, attending online tutorials and completing the assignments for this course.

    Hours per Week:

    1.5 Hours: Tutorial
    1 Hour: Tutorial Preparation
    9 Hours: Assessment related tasks
    10 Hours: Engaging with online content (e.g., video presentations, podcasts, directed research activities, discussions, interactive tasks)
    3 Hours: Readings
    Learning Activities Summary
    The six weekly modules focus on the following topics:

    Module 1: Approaches to studying cognition
    Module 2: Visual perception
    Module 3: Attention
    Module 4: Everyday memory and memory errors
    Module 5: Language comprehension
    Module 6: Problem solving and creativity
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Multiple-choice quizzes Formative & Summative 20% 1
    Essay Summative 40% 1, 2
    Science communication article Summative 40% 1, 3, 4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Submission via Turnitin. All assignments are due by 11:59pm on the Sunday at the end of the week in which they are due. A penalty of 5% per day applies for late submissions.

    Extensions are granted on medical, compassionate or other special circumstances recognised under the University’s Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy. The completed extension application form and any documentation (such as a medical or counsellor's certification) should be emailed to the course coordinator and submitted before the due date. The course coordinator will consider the request in the light of the case made and University deadlines, and may grant an extension of up to three days.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Weekly MCQ Quizzes (20%)

    Students will complete 6 x 10-item multiple choice quizzes that assess their understanding of each week’s content. In Week 1, the quiz will be formative (i.e., for practice only). In Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, the quizzes will be summative. The quizzes will allow students to demonstrate whether or not they have achieved Learning Outcome 1.

    Assessment 2: Critical Evaluation Essay (40%, 1200 words)

    This critical evaluation essay has two components. In the first component (700 words), students will be required to give an overview and critique of two of three main methods of studying cognition (cognitive psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience). In the second component (500 words), students will explain how those two methods have been used in combination to advance our understanding of one aspect of visual perception. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate whether or not they have achieved Learning Outcomes 1 and 2.

    Assessment 3: Science Communication Article (40%, 1200 words)

    Students will write a 1200-word Science Communication article, modelled on those that appear on the Psychology Today website. The article will help a non-expert audience understand how cognitive psychological research in the area of attention, memory, or language have contributed to our understanding of a real-world issue. For example, students may explain how attention research has helped us understand the impact of mobile phone usage whilst driving on road safety, how memory research has helped us understand how accurate eyewitnesses are when recalling crimes, or how language research has helped us understand language disorders. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate whether or not they have achieved Learning Outcomes 1, 3, and 4.
    Online submission using Turnitin
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    Counselling for Fully Online Postgraduate Students

    Fully online students can access counselling services here:

    Phone: 1800 512 155 (24/7) 

    SMS service: 0439 449 876 (24/7) 


    Go to the Study Smart Hub to learn more, or speak to your Student Success Advisor (SSA) on 1300 296 648 (Monday to Thursday, 8.30am–5pm ACST/ACDT, Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm ACST/ACDT)

  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.