PSYC 2145 Introductory Cognitive Psychology


Cheri King, Ph.D.



Hey, in case you’re interested, I want to share a little about my background with you. I hold a doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in cognitive psychology. After earning  my Ph.D., I served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to cognitive psychology, I have taught courses on the psychology of learning, statistics (undergraduate and graduate level), research methods, writing for psychological research, teaching of psychology, and introductory psychology. I have served as a faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, and the Graduate School for Professional Psychology at the University of Denver.

My publications include topics such as the long-term retention of knowledge and skills; specificity of practice effects in the training and retention of the classic Stroop task; familiarity effects on the retention of spatial, temporal, and item information; and categorization and concept formation. I have also published work in the history of psychology including work on William James (a significant early figure in the history of cognitive psychology) and the impact of the 19th century humanitarian reform movement. In addition, I have been active in the development of educational multimedia software for use in general psychology courses.

Outside of academia, my time and interests include my husband, Brett (also a psychologist and the course instructor for four separate online courses), and our twin sons and daughter. I enjoy hiking in the mountains, photography, caving, traveling, watching movies, and reading novels. I look forward to working with you!


This course is designed to provide a broad introduction to the field of cognitive psychology, one of the most critical areas of contemporary psychology. Research in cognitive psychology reflects the way you think about yourself and other people as well as events and situations in your life. With that goal in mind, PSYC2145 offers a comprehensive overview of the field and explores current developments in the discipline. Introductory Cognitive Psychology is an important course for any student of psychology because it encompasses research on attention, perception, memory, imagery, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making.

The course will help you appreciate major contemporary trends in cognitive psychology. We will identify research methods used in the study of cognition as we explore broad patterns and real-world applications of thinking. This knowledge will give you the chance to better understand yourself and the way you look at the world.


This course will be delivered online through the Canvas course management system. This 10-week term-based course is worth three credits and requires PSYC1001 General Psychology as a pre-requisite with a minimum grade of C-. The course will feature online commentaries that will include additional information, videos and activities that will assist your understanding of concepts and research findings in the field. The required work includes reading material from the textbook and online, participating in discussion posts, completing lab assignments online, a term paper, quizzes and exams. See the grade breakdown section for more details.


I hope to offer you a new way of looking at human cognition with an integrated perspective of the field. After completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Appraise the role that neuroscience plays in shaping human cognition.
  • Reconstruct the processes of learning based on visual perception, object recognition, and attention.
  • Synthesize traditional and cutting-edge research on memory and knowledge-based structures.
  • Formulate an understanding of major intellectual trends in human judgment, decision making, problem solving and intelligence.
  • Discover how cognitive psychology can be applied to related areas such as education and the law.


The required readings for this course will come from the Reisberg textbook along with additional readings available on Canvas. The course requires completion of online laboratory assignments through ZAPS Cognition labs and therefore requires the purchase of an online access code.

Reisberg, Daniel. (2019). Cognition: Exploring the Science of the Mind (seventh edition). New York: Norton.

  • ISBN for Ebook with ZAPS: 978-0-393-66505-5

You can purchase the ebook with the access code from CU Bookstore or from the publisher at The ISBN above includes access to the full interactive ebook and a ZAPS Cognition Labs access code. Students who purchase an ebook directly from W. W. Norton can subsequently purchase a loose-leaf upgrade using a link within their ebook. The CU Bookstore might also have a rental option.

If you prefer a hardcover or paperback version over the ebook, use the appropriate ISBN number below:

  • ISBN for Hardcover with ZAPS: 978-0-393-62413-7
  • ISBN for Paperback with ZAPS: 978-0-393-66507-9

ZAPS standalone: A ZAPS lab access code can be purchased on its own without the ebook or printed book at This might be a necessary option if you purchase a copy of the text that does not include an online access code for the ZAPS labs (e.g., a used copy or a copy from a third party vendor).


Course assignments will include the following:

  • Discussion Posts Six online discussion threads will require participation to include an initial post and a response post.
  • Quizzes Ten quizzes will be posted online on the Canvas platform. Each quiz will consist of multiple-choice questions and possibly a few short-answer questions or fill-in-the-blank questions. The quizzes are timed, but you will have the option of attempting each quiz two times with the highest of the two scores counted towards your course grade.
  • ZAPS labs Ten ZAPS Labs will be required throughout the semester. The two lowest ZAPS lab scores will be dropped from the course grade calculation.
  • Paper A term paper of approximately 5-7 double-spaced pages that requires some aspects of cognitive psychology. The paper should be submitted via Canvas and will be due at about three fourths of the way through the semester.
  • Unit Exams There will be three timed unit exams. Each exam will be administered online via Canvas. The lowest of the three unit exams will be dropped from course-grade calculations. Unit exams will consist of two parts: (1) 35 multiple-choice questions and (2) 5 essay questions.
  • Final Examination Final Exam will consist of three parts: (1) 35 multiple-choice questions from the Unit 4 material; (2) 5 essay questions from the Unit 4 material; and (3) a cumulative portion with approximately 30 multiple-choice questions covering Units 1-4. The final exam will be timed and taken online via Canvas.
Assignment % of Course Grade
Discussion Posts 6%
Quizzes 10%
ZAPS Labs 8%
Term Paper 10%
Exams 1-3 40%
Final Exam 26%

Course letter grades will be based on the following:

Earned % Letter Grade Earned % Letter Grade
94.00-100% A 73.00-76.99% C
90.00-93.99% A- 70.00-72.99% C-
87.00-89.99% B+ 67.00-69.99% D+
83.00-86.99% B 63.00-66.99% D
80.00-82.99% B- 60.00-62.99% D-
77.00-79.99% C+ 0-59.99% F

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado