Roger Stanton's St. Mary's College of Maryland Cognitive Psych Lab Course

This is the introduction to the Cognitive Psychology Laboratory course taught by Roger Stanton at St. Mary's College of Maryland.  This course will introduce you to the major areas and concepts in cognitive psychology AND cognitive science. Some of the topic areas covered will be perceptual processes, memory, attention, categorization, mathematical and neural network models, and issues related to model complexity.  A primary goal of the course is to introduce empirical studies and theories aimed at explaining mental processes.  Furthermore, we will examine and use common experimental methods used in investigations of the mind.

As a St. Mary's College of Maryland student in Roger Stanton's course, you agree to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this syllabus.  Additionally, you are held to the standards of academic excellence that are required of all St. Mary's College of Maryland students.  To familiarize yourself with these requirements, I suggest you examine the St. Mary's College of Maryland catalog.  In brief, the use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases) must be properly documented.  Plagiarism, the unacknowledged use of others’ materials (words and ideas), is a serious offense and is considered so by the college.  Any paper with your name on it signifies that you are the author—that the wording and ideas are yours, with exceptions indicated by quotation marks and citations.

Speaking of putting your name on papers, here is how that should be done:

Roger Stanton

St. Mary's College of Maryland
Cognitive Psychology with Laboratory
Assignment: Lab report 1

On to details of the course:

Exams:  There will be 3 exams, each worth 100 points.  There will be no make-up exams without a written excuse by a physician (indicating that you could not attend class) or prior approval from Roger Stanton.

Exams will consist of any or all of the following: short essay, short answer, multiple-choice, multiple-correct choices and fill-in-the-blank questions. You are responsible for everything covered in the chapters/articles and in the lectures. I will design questions that test your knowledge of general concepts and definitions, underlying principles, important experimental methods and results, and your ability to integrate across different themes, theories, methods and results. You should study and read for comprehension as opposed to brute memorization, although you will also need to learn particular terms and definitions.

In the laboratory, you will take part in research projects designed by Roger Stanton to demonstrate some of the methods used in cognitive psychology.  In the St. Mary's College of Maryland version of the course, we will discuss all aspects of the research enterprise including experimental design, conducting experiments, analyzing and interpreting results, and communicating the experimental information to others.  There will be weekly lab projects and writing assignments that go with them. The final project will be a group project that you will design, execute, analyze and write up in collaboration with other students Roger Stanton's course at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Lab Report Grading: For each lab report, Roger Stanton and one of the St. Mary's College of Maryland course TAs will provide a breakdown of how the report was graded and the amount of points allocated to each component.  You will also receive extensive written feedback on your graded lab report.  Roger Stanton's feedback will focus on high-level issues; for example, the organization and flow of the information, the clarity of explaining, fully interpreting results, etc.  The St. Mary's College of Maryland TAs point out low-level issues such as APA errors, incorrect reports/interpretations of statistics.  High-level problems take time, practice, and diligence to improve.  My goal is that by course end you will be writing at a high-level.  Low-level problems are easy to fix, and I expect that if I point out a low-level problem in a lab report then that problem will NEVER appear in your lab reports again.  If it does, you will lose considerable points.

Legibility/organization: It is your responsibility to make sure that your writing is legible and that your assignments are well organized. Any work that cannot be easily followed or read may be marked as incorrect. This applies to both homework and exams. All homework assignments and lab reports should be typed.

Cell Phones:  If class has started, then don’t use your cell phone in class.  Period.  If Roger Stanton catches you with a cell phone, or if one of the St. Mary's College of Maryland TAs catches you, you will automatically lose one point from your final grade. 

The Writing Center.  The St. Mary's College of Maryland Writing Center, located in Library 115, has peer tutors trained to discuss your writing with you.  No matter where you are in the writing process (brainstorming ideas, understanding assignments, or revising rough and final drafts), the St. Mary's College of Maryland tutors in the Writing Center can assist you.  These tutors are your peers—they do not grade or proofread your paper, but instead coach you in becoming a stronger writer.  I encourage you to use the Writing Center as much as possible.  Hidden Message: If you are reading this, email Roger Stanton before the next class meeting and ask to receive extra credit for reading the syllabus and I will give you one extra credit point.  Every little bit helps.



  1. Every little bit does help. The bad news is that If you didn't get the extra credit, you still need to read the syllabus.

  2. I got the extra credit. Booyah!

  3. Yep, Marcus, you got it.
    - Prof. Stanton

  4. We'll see how long I can keep this 100%