Psyc 3713:  Psychology of Memory

Fall 2002


Course Professor:  Cindy Reese, Ph.D.

Office:  412 North Murray

Phone:  744-4386


Office hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 – 3:15 or by appointment


Required text:  Baddeley, A.D. (1999).  Essentials of human memory.  East Sussex, U.K.:  Psychology Press.


Optional text:  American Psychological Association (2001).  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).  Washington, DC: Author.


Course Aims:  This course presents an overview of human memory.  We will examine the findings of laboratory research to gain a better understanding of the structure and organization of memory.  We will also explore special topics related to human memory.  Just to name a few of these topics, we will discuss ways to improve memory, what happens to memory as we age, and why we don’t remember much of our early childhood.


Grading System:  Your grades will be determined based upon your work in the following two areas.


1.  Exams:  There will be three exams.  Each exam will be worth 25% of your grade for the course.  The exams will consist of some combination of multiple-choice items, matching, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and essay.  Exams will cover materials from the text and from the lecture.


2.  APA-style Research Paper:  The paper will be worth 25% of your grade.  The paper will be a 6-8-page review of the literature on a topic related to human memory.  You may choose the topic, but to give you a little bit of direction, we will discuss some ideas in class towards the beginning of the semester.  The paper must include at least 5 references, three of which must be from peer-reviewed journals.  The other two references may be from books or peer-reviewed journals.  Internet references are not acceptable.  The paper is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, November 19th.                                  


I would like each of you to turn in a one-paragraph description of your paper topic and five references that you will use.  If the reference is a journal article, you need to turn in a photocopy of the front page of the article.  If the reference is a book, you need to turn in photocopies of the title page and the copyright page.  Additionally, if the reference is from a particular chapter of an edited book, you need to turn in a photocopy of the first page of the chapter, as well as the title and copyright pages.  Please turn in the paper description and references no later than September 17th.  Anyone who does not submit his or her topic and references on or before the 17th will receive a five-point penalty on the paper.


Writing Resources:  It is important for you to be aware that writing does constitute an important part of this course.  This is a not-so-subtle suggestion that you take time and care in preparing your written assignment. 

APA manual:  It is my recommendation that you obtain a copy of the APA publication manual listed above.  Following APA style is crucial to your success on the paper, and the manual will be essential to your future as a psychologist. 

Writing Center: Take advantage of the OSU Writing Center (104 Morrill; 744-6671), which offers free assistance on writing assignments.  They’ll be glad to help you with the structure and organization of your paper.

University Academic Services:  This department offers free tutoring for many different subjects.  They will help you with the grammar and punctuation of your paper.  Here’s how to get their help: You have to go by 214 Student Union and make an appointment at least one day before you need assistance.  You cannot call to make an appointment.  The service is free unless you cancel less than 24-hours in advance or fail to show up for an appointment.  There is a charge of about 7 dollars an hour for short-notice cancellations and no-shows.

Please take advantage of this service because your paper must be well-written for you to earn an above average grade (B or A) on it.  Communicating your written message clearly is just as important as the memory-related content of your paper. 


Late Assignments:  You are expected to complete and turn in your paper by the announced deadline.  Grades will be reduced by 10% (one letter grade) for each day they are late.  If an assignment is late by more than 4 calendar days, it will receive a zero.


Lecture Attendance:  You can expect that missing lectures will have a negative effect on your performance in the course.  My past teaching experiences have taught me that those who attend class consistently make better grades than those who do not.  If you miss a lecture, get the notes from another person in the class.  I cannot provide you with copies of my notes on the material.  If you do miss a lecture, however, be sure to check with me to make sure that there were no announcements, handouts, or changes to the schedule or syllabus.


In an effort to encourage attendance, attendance quizzes will be given randomly 10 times during the semester.  Each attendance quiz is worth one point, which may be applied toward your lowest exam score.  For example, if at the end of the semester you have taken 8 attendance quizzes you can add 8 points to the score of your lowest exam.  Make-up attendance quizzes will not be given for any reason.


Research Participation:  You can earn 2 points towards your final course grade by volunteering to participate in 2 hours of research.  Throughout the semester, announcements will be made about research participation opportunities.  Be sure to come to class regularly, so you don’t miss out.  If you choose not to participate in research, there is one other way for you to earn the 2 points.  Find and watch a movie where human memory is central to the plot.  After watching the movie, write a two-page report on the movie and how its portrayal of human memory either does or does not fit with what we have learned in class.  A handout on research participation and the movie report will be provided in class.  You must follow the guidelines of the handout to earn the points.  It is important to note that you cannot earn more than 2 points and that you can only choose one avenue for earning points.  That is, you may either participate in the research or write the report, but you cannot do both.  


Missed Exams:  Make-up exams will be given only to students who have missed an exam for University approved reasons (e.g., serious illness, death of a family member, religious holiday observance, and University sanctioned activities), provided that the instructor clears the absences in advance.  Make-up exams must be taken within 3 days of the missed test at a time to be arranged with the instructor.  The content of the make-up exam will differ from the exam given to the class as a whole.


Academic Dishonesty:  Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses and will not be tolerated.  There are no exceptions to this policy.  Because of the writing component of this course, it is important that you understand what constitutes plagiarism.  Anytime you use someone else’s exact words, you must use quotations.  Anytime you paraphrase someone else’s words or even use their ideas, you must give them credit by citing their name and work.  If you have any doubt about whether or not you need to cite a reference for something you have written in assignment, see me for advice.  The consequences of plagiarism are too severe to take a chance.  Academic dishonesty is grounds for dismissal from the University (see Student Rights and Responsibilities Governing Student Behavior for further details).


Exam Schedule

Date                                                     Exam                                        Chapters from text

            Thursday, September 19th                       1                                              1, 2, 3, 4

            Thursday, October 24th                       2                                              5, 6, 9, 14

            Thursday, December 12th @ 10:00a.m.  3                                         7, 10, 11, 12, 13


Note: The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.  Dates may be adjusted or material may be omitted.  The best way to keep up is to come to class.