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Cognitive Psychology (IBP)


For students following the Dutch programme, see Cognitieve Psychologie

Entry requirements



Cognitive psychology studies general human functions such as perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, decision-making and motor skills. Cognitive psychologists try to answer questions such as the following: How do we recognise words? How do we remember events? How do we turn our thoughts into speech? Why do we make mistakes? How do we solve problems and how do we improve our cognitive abilities? The objective of the discipline is to describe and provide an explanation for observable behaviour that can be measured in adequately controlled experiments. This introductory course offers knowledge and understanding of the following:

The most important theories and models of various functions and functional disorders, the methods for observing and measuring behavioural symptoms and the application of theoretical insights to practical situations.

Experimental practical: The experimental practical consists of four sessions in a computer room in which demonstrations are given and behavioural experiments carried out the results of which can then be analysed and interpreted. Students are also required to write a short research report on one of these experiments in accordance with the APA norms. First-year full-time students are automatically assigned to a practical group; all other students have to register. For more information please consult the Experimental Practical workbook and Blackboard. Although you are allowed to miss one of the four practical sessions, we strongly advise you to attend all four: all the materials covered in the four sessions are included in the examination materials. In case of exceptional circumstances, you can submit a request to Dr S.P. Akerboom to be allowed to swap groups for once.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the historical developments that have led to the development of the field of cognitive psychology (Psychonomy)

  • Knowledge of the most important theories regarding perception, attention, memory, thought, decision-making and language

  • Knowledge of functional disorders and their interpretation within cognitive neuropsychology

  • Knowledge of the research methods used within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuropsychology

  • Knowledge of the way in which a scientific report is designed

  • Application of knowledge and understanding

  • Practical skills in carrying out cognitive psychological research and analysing and interpreting the results obtained

  • Learning to write a short research report on a conducted behavioural study in the form of a scientific article


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables

Work group sessions



First year students are automatically enrolled for courses, but do need to register themselves for the exam.

Other students do not only need to register for exams themselves, but also for lectures and work group sessions. For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Consult the first year guide in the info for first year students International Bachelor in Psychology

Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures and 4 2-hour experimental practicals

Assessment method

The examination consists of two parts:

  • A multiple-choice examination of 40 questions on Groome’s book

  • An essay examination (five open questions) about the practical and the accompanying syllabus. These two components are tested simultaneously.

The final grade is a combination of the multiple-choice examination grade (70%) and the essay examination grade (30%). The essay examination grade is only registered once the practical assignments, including the research report, have been successfully completed. The partial grade for each of the two components remains valid, if need be also in the following academic year. Regulations on grade calculation.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

Book: To be announced
Cognitive Psychology Experimental Practical Syllabus. The syllabus can be ordered later via Readeronline

Contact information