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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen J Ross
TPSYCH 462
Tacoma Campus

Human Memory

Research and theory in key areas of memory. Issues covered include information processing theory, the link between memory processes and their biological underpinnings, autobiographical memory, implicit memory, and the effect of emotion on memory. Prerequisite: TPSYCH 355.

Class description

This course will cover basic biological processes of memory in addition to psychological theories/models of memory systems and the application of these principles to real-world situations. The topics will be covered through a basic information-processing perspective examining how we get information into our memory (i.e., encoding), keep that information in our memory (i.e., storage), and reproduce that information on request (i.e., retrieval) as well as failures in these processes (e.g., forgetting and amnesia).

Student learning goals

1. Relate the significant historical perspectives and theoretical developments within memory research. This objective contributes to the Psychology SLOs to 1.)be familiar with the major theoretical approaches and historical trends in psychology.

2. Understand how basic memory processes relate to phenomena observed in other fields of psychology and the social & natural sciences. This objective contributes to the Psychology SLOs to 5.) be able to synthesize theories and methodologies across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences

4. Understand the structures of our memory systems and how these structures are related to the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. This objective contributes to the Psychology SLO to 4.) understand that human behavior may have some common determinants.

5. Differentiate between various types of knowledge (e.g., episodic, semantic, declarative, procedural). This objective contributes to the Psychology SLO to 4.) understand that human behavior may have some common determinants.

3. Apply the scientific method and basic principles of memory research and be able to critically evaluate such research. This objective contributes to the Psychology SLO to 2.) understand the core concepts and methodologies of psychology.

7. Identify and apply these principles of memory within criminal investigations. This objective contributes to the Psychology SLO to 6.) understand the application of psychological principles to the understanding of social issues.

General method of instruction

As this is a 400-level course, the expectations are similar to that of a graduate seminar. Success in this course requires regular class attendance and participation in class discussions. In addition, this course has a significant amount of reading each week. It is critical that you complete the required readings PRIOR TO the first date the chapter will be discussed in class according to the dates specified in the schedule (provided on the last page of the syllabus). As an upper-division course, the most-enhanced learning experience is one in which all participants have a basic understanding of the material (developed through readings) allowing in-depth discussions of the phenomena rather than basic-level lecture on the content.

Recommended preparation

Students enrolling in this course would benefit greatly from the successful completion of TPSYCH 250 (Human Cognition).

Class assignments and grading

Grades for the course will be based upon the student's performance on examinations, chapter quizzes, and a group project/presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephen J Ross
Date: 03/24/2011