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Sixth Edition

Scott Sinnett, Daniel Smilek, and Alan Kingstone

Publication Date - December 2016

ISBN: 9780199019700

560 pages
10.0 x 8.0 inches


This engaging guide to the hidden corridors of the mind explores the mental processes through which we interact with the world. Drawing on the work of esteemed researchers and scholars, Cognition applies real-life examples to key theories in order to create an accessible, yet comprehensive primer to the field.


  • Demonstrates how theory can be applied to real-life situations, providing a practical introduction for first-time students of cognitive psychology.
  • Covers key topics such as perception, memory, language, problem-solving, creativity, and reasoning, giving students a well-rounded introduction to the field.
  • Cites classic and current research from around the world, including Canada, the U.S., and Europe, offering students a global perspective on the study of cognition.
  • Key historical information at the start of each chapter offers context for the material that follows.
  • Student-friendly pedagogy encourages active learning of key concepts.
  • Chapter-opening case studies invite students to see how concepts explored in the text relate to real-world situations.
  • Case studies are revisited at the end of each chapter, giving students the opportunity to reconsider each case based on material covered in the chapter.
  • Cognition in Action boxes connect real-life examples with chapter material.
  • Think Twice boxes feature creative review exercises that invite students to engage with ideas and issues raised in the chapter.
  • Consider This boxes highlight notable and cutting-edge research findings.
  • In the Know review questions at the end of each chapter provide further opportunity for students to test their comprehension.
  • Also includes a running glossary, highlighted key terms, learning objectives, chapter summaries, and suggestions for further reading.
  • A vibrant full-colour design - with over 200 images - helps students visualize concepts and theories.

About the Author(s)

Scott Sinnett, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i at Manoa,Daniel Smilek, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo,Alan Kingstone, Professor, University of British Columbia

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Case Study: What Is Cognition?
    Cognitive Psychology and Information Processing
    Information Theory
    Models of Information-Processing
    Ecological Validity
    Metacognition and Cognitive Psychology
    The Range of Cognitive Psychology
    2. Cognitive Neuroscience
    Case Study: Head Office
    The Brain as the Organ of the Mind
    The Relation between Mind and Brain
    Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience
    3. Perception
    Case Study: An Unusual Perceptual Experience
    The Physiology of Visual Perception NEW
    The Ventral Pathway and Object Recognition
    Context and Feedback Effects in Perception
    The Dorsal Pathway and the Relation between Perception and Action
    Interactions Between the Ventral and Dorsal Pathways
    Multimodal Perception
    4. The Varieties of Attention
    Case Study: A Total Wreck
    James's Description of Attention
    Selective Attention
    Dual Tasks and the Limits of Attention
    Task Switching
    Sustained Attention NEW
    Overt Visual Attention
    5. Memory Systems
    Case Study: What Was That Movie . . . ?
    Understanding Memory Systems NEW
    Modal Model of Memory
    - Sensory Memory NEW
    - Short-Term Memory NEW
    - Long-Term Memory
    Working Memory
    Further Developments in Memory Systems Theory
    Connectionist Models of Memory
    Aging and Memory Disorders
    6. Memory Traces and Memory Schemas
    Case Study: When Memory Fails
    Schema-based Theories of Memory
    Autobiographical Memory NEW
    Levels of Processing
    Two Approaches to Memory Research
    7. Imagery
    Case Study: Time-Space Synesthesia and Number Forms
    Memory and Imagery
    Synesthesia and Eidetic Imagery
    Mental Rotation
    Egocentric Perspective Transformations
    Controversy over the Nature of Mental Imagery
    Cognitive Maps and Mental Models
    Auditory Imagery NEW
    8. Concepts
    Case Study: Grasping a New Concept
    The Classical Approach
    Learning Complex Rules
    Wittgenstein's Analysis of Concepts
    Rosch and Prototypicality
    Embodied Cognition
    Folk Biology
    9. Language
    Case Study: Reading in the "Olden Days"
    The Structure of Language - The Building Blocks of Language NEW
    Transformational Grammar
    The Innateness Hypothesis
    Communication and Comprehension
    The Social Context of Language
    Language, Cognition, and Culture
    10. Problem-Solving
    Case Study: Vaccinating in the Wake of Wakefield NEW
    Insight Problems and the Gestalt Theory of Thinking
    Current Approaches to Insight Problems
    Functional Fixedness and the Design of Tools
    The Flexibility-Rigidity Dimension
    Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Problem-Solving
    Thinking Aloud as a Method for Studying Human Problem-Solving
    Can Computer Programs Experience Insight?
    Solving Problems in Science
    11. Reasoning, Judgment, and Choice
    Case Study: The (In)famous Hockey Stick NEW
    Judgment and Choice
    Ecological Rationality
    Training in Statistical Reasoning
    12. Intelligence and Creativity
    Case Study: A Child Prodigy
    The Concept of Intelligence: Historical Background
    General Intelligence (g)
    The Flynn Effect
    Sternberg's Theory of Successful Intelligence
    Howard Gardner and the Theory of Multiple Intelligences
    13. Consciousness NEW
    Case Study: Blindsight
    Distinguishing among Different Levels of Consciousness
    Unconscious Perception?
    Consciousness and the Grand Illusion?
    Consciousness and the Brain?
    Deficits of Consciousness
    Note: All chapters end with
    - Summary
    - Case Study Wrap-Up
    - Key Concepts
    - In the Know: Review Questions
    - Links to Other Chapters
    - Further Reading