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Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology
Theory, Process, and Methodology

Experience with SAGE edge

© 2016 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

This student-friendly text introduces cognitive psychology’s main topics by demonstrating how cognitive processes have been and continue to be studied by researchers. Employing the lauded pedagogical approach of her best-selling The Process of Research in Psychology, author Dawn M. McBride and co-author J. Cooper Cutting put the focus on the science behind current methods of study. Rich with real-life examples, the book’s engaging presentation encourages students to see core cognitive psychology topics through the eyes of the researcher.


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About the Authors
Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Introduction: Cognition and Shopping  
What Is Cognitive Psychology?  
Development of cognitive psychology  
Current approaches to the study of cognition  
Research in Cognitive Psychology  
The scientific method  
Research methodologies  
Commonly used measures within cognitive psychology  
Chapter 2: Cognitive Neuroscience
Introduction: Knowledge from Cognitive Deficits  
Clinical Case Studies in Cognitive Neuroscience  
Structure of the Nervous System  
The neuron  
The brain  
Measures in Cognitive Neuroscience  
Single-cell recording  
Electroencephalography (EEG)  
Magnetoencephalography (MEG)  
Electrical stimulation/inhibition of neurons  
Brain imaging techniques  
Recording activity in the living brain  
Can All Mental Processes Be Explained in Terms of Brain Activity?  
Chapter 3: Perception
Introduction: Perception in Everyday Tasks  
Sensory Systems: How Sensations Become Perceptions  
Approaches to the Study of Perception  
Computational approaches  
Gestalt approaches  
Perception/action approaches  
Comparison of Approaches to Perception: Motion Perception  
Chapter 4: Attention
Introduction: How We Pay Attention  
Views of Attention  
Attention as an information filter  
Attention as a limited resource  
Attention as a feature binder  
How Attention Affects Our Perceptions  
The gorilla in the room: Inattentional blindness  
Incompatibilities tax attention: The Simon effect  
Effects of automatic processes on attention: The Stroop task  
Automatic and Controlled Processes: A Cognitive Dichotomy  
Chapter 5: Memory Structures and Processes
Introduction: The Pervasiveness of Memory  
Memory as Structure or Process  
Encoding, storage, and retrieval  
Modal model of memory  
Sensory Memory  
Short-Term Memory (STM)  
Capacity of STM  
Duration of STM  
Long-Term Memory (LTM)  
Types of LTM memories  
The Working-Memory (WM) System  
Baddeley’s model  
Beyond Baddeley’s model  
Retrieval From Long-Term Memory  
Recall tasks  
Recognition tasks  
Comparing recall and recognition tasks  
Implicit-memory tasks  
Prospective-memory tasks  
Memory Overview  
Chapter 6: Long-Term Memory: Influences on Retrieval
Introduction: Superior Memory  
Why We Forget  
Encoding Effects  
Levels of processing  
Spacing effects  
Serial position curve  
Retrieval Effects  
The testing effect  
Using the testing effect  
Encoding-Retrieval Interactions  
Environmental context effects  
Mood-dependent effects  
Transfer-appropriate processing  
Summary of encoding-retrieval interactions  
Superior Autobiographical Memory  
Chapter 7: Memory Errors
Introduction: The Inaccuracy of Memory  
The Seven “Sins” of Memory  
Error #1 Transience  
Error #2 Absentmindedness  
Error #3 Blocking  
Error #4 Source misattribution  
Error #5 Suggestibility  
Error #6 Bias  
Error #7 Persistence  
The Reconstructive Nature of Memory  
Bartlett’s studies  
Schemata and scripts  
Memory Errors in the Laboratory  
The DRM procedure  
Eyewitness memory studies  
Applications of eyewitness memory research  
Summary and conclusions  
Clinical Memory Failures - Amnesia  
Types of amnesia  
Amnesia and implicit memory  
Amnesia in Alzheimer’s Disease  
Amnesia in childhood  
Chapter 8: Imagery
Introduction: Visual Imagery in Everyday Life  
Mental Images and Cognition  
The Debate on Propositional and Spatial Representations  
Imagery and Memory  
The picture superiority effect  
The concreteness effect  
The bizarreness effect  
Imagery and mnemonics  
The dark side of imagery  
Imagery in Problem Solving and Wayfinding  
Imagery in problem solving  
Imagery in wayfinding  
Nonvisual Imagery  
Imagery and simulation  
Chapter 9: Language
Introduction: A Simple Conversation  
What Is Language?  
The structure of language  
How Do We Process Language?  
Language comprehension  
Language production  
Dialogue: Production and comprehension together  
Acquiring Language  
Typical language development  
Nature or nurture: Mechanisms for learning words and syntax  
Human Language and Animal Communication  
Comparing human language to animal communication  
Attempts to teach animals human language  
Chapter 10: Concepts and Knowledge
Introduction: Game Night  
What Are Concepts?  
The classical approach: Concepts as definitions  
Alternative approaches to concepts  
Other alternative approaches to concepts  
Organizing Our Concepts  
Conceptual hierarchies  
Basic-level concepts  
Organizational approaches  
Summary of conceptual organization  
Using Concepts: Beyond Categorization  
Category induction  
Conceptual combination  
The Future of Research and Theory of Concepts  
Chapter 11: Problem Solving
Introduction: Problem Solving in Daily Life  
Recognizing and Identifying a Problem  
Defining and Representing Problems  
Functional fixedness  
Developing Solutions to Problems: Approaches and Strategies  
Associationist approach: Trial-and-error strategy  
Gestalt approaches  
Problem solving as problem space searches  
Summary of approaches and strategies  
Allocating Mental Resources for Solving the Problem  
Experts versus novices  
Becoming a better problem solver  
Chapter 12: Reasoning and Decision Making
Introduction: A Night at the Movies  
Deductive Reasoning  
Syllogistic reasoning  
Conditional reasoning  
Deductive-reasoning approaches  
Combining these approaches: Dual-process framework approach  
Inductive Reasoning  
Types of induction reasoning  
Everyday reasoning  
Making Decisions  
A general model of decision making  
Ideal decision making: A normative model  
Heuristics and biases  
Descriptive decision-making approaches  
Dual-process framework  
Future Advances in Theories of Reasoning and Decision Making  
Author Index
Subject Index


Instructor Teaching Site

The Instructor Resource Site includes:

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.
  • Multimedia content includes original SAGE videos that appeal to students with different learning styles.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.
  • Course cartridge for easy LMS integration is included.
Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience.
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Interactive exercises and meaningful Web links facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included. 

A very practical and well explained review of cognitive psychology that draws upon a number of relevant case studies

Mr Steve Robinson
Faculty Of Business Sport And Enterprise, Southampton Solent University
March 22, 2017

Excellent introductory book covering cognitive psychology main topics well.

Mrs Emma Richards
Department of Psychology, Swansea University
December 13, 2016

This is a good book as it addresses essential areas of cognitive psychology. It can also be used at numerous levels of study as an addition to prescribed texts.

Ms Cindy Melanie Swartbooi
Psychology , Cornerstone Institute
December 1, 2016

Fantastic text that is readable and appealing for instructor and student. Highly recommend.

Mr Alan Whitehead
Family Social Science Div, Southern Virginia University
October 6, 2016

A very good textbook, covering all the topics we cover on our module.

Mrs Musurrat Perveen
Psychology , Manchester College of Arts & Techn.
May 17, 2016
Key features



  • Chapter-opening vignettes illustrate real-world situations or applications to connect cognitive psychology topics with everyday life.
  • A focus on the methods used to study each topic aids students in understanding the science behind the methodology.
  • Thinking About Research sections in every chapter contain carefully edited summaries of published studies and questions that prompt students to think critically about the studies and their methods.
  • Stop and Think sections embedded within chapters prompt students to assess their understanding and connect it to their own lives.
  • A student-friendly writing style enhances engagement and understanding.
  • A dynamic Interactive eBook, FREE when bundled with the print version, offers integrated multimedia resources including access to video, audio, and relevant academic and professional articles.
  • FREE SAGE edge online resources for instructors and students include a test bank, PPT slides, quizzes, personalized action plans, access to SAGE journal articles, and more!

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