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Mixed Media 528 pp.
73 photos; 144 figures; 12 tables, 8" x 10"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Sixth Edition

Scott Sinnett, Daniel Smilek and Alan Kingstone

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.

Readership : Second- and third-year undergraduate students taking cognitive psychology courses.


  • "My goal in teaching Cognitive Psychology is to share my enthusiasm for this subject with students, and I feel like this text would help me to do that; it's current, engaging, and appropriately challenging."
    --Penny Pexman, University of Calgary

  • "The writing style is very easy to read. The authors have tackled describing some potentially difficult theories and done a great job of making them comprehensible."
    --Michelle Eskritt-Keck, Mount Saint Vincent University

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. 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

Instructor Resources:
Instructor's Manual:
For each chapter:
- Chapter overview
- Learning objectives
- Chapter summary
- Key concepts with illustrative examples
- Discussion and debate ideas
- Further reading, media suggestions, and teaching aids
- Homework assignments with sample answers
- Suggestions for research paper topics
- Sample syllabus
- Web links
Test Generator:
For each chapter:
- 40-45 multiple-choice questions
- 30 short answer questions
- 40-45 true-or-false questions
- 30 fill-in-the-blank questions
- All questions organized by skill level
Image Bank:
- All images, photos, figures, and tables from the text
PowerPoint Slides:
For each chapter
- Summary of key points
- Figures, tables, and images from the book
Presentation Labs:
- PowerPoint Slides that include a brief explanation and the typical results of the experiments available for students in Discovery Labs
Student Resources:
Interactive Quizzes:
- Sample mid-term and final exam
- Review questions with answers
For each chatper:
- 3-4 short answer questions
- 5 fill-in-the-blank questions
- 5 true-or-false questions
- 10 multiple-choice questions
Student Study Guide:
For each chapter:
- Chapter summary
- Learning objectives
- Key terms with definitions
- Mid-term and final exam study tips
Online Chapter:
- · Personal Cognition (Ch. 13 from the 5/e)
Discovery Labs for Cognition:
- uses classic and recent experiments to teach important concepts that demonstrate how the brain functions
E-Book (ISBN 9780199019717)

Scott Sinnett is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Daniel Smilek is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. Alan Kingstone is a professor at the University of British Columbia.

Cognitive Psychology - Edited by Nick Braisby and Angus Gellatly
Fundamentals of Comparative Cognition - Sara Shettleworth
Series Editor Paul Bloom and Lynn Nadel
Making Sense in Psychology - Margot Northey and Brian Timney

Special Features

  • 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.
  • Online lab component - Discovery Labs - offers a variety of interactive experiments, exercises, and animations designed to help students understand important concepts and principles. Students will have an opportunity to act as researcher or test subject, giving them practical exposure to the field.
  • NEW! In-text icons direct students to online labs related to the chapter material.
  • 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.
New to this Edition
  • New chapter on consciousness focuses on the distinction between the mind and the brain and covers theories and disorders related to consciousness. (Ch. 13)
  • Reorganized presentation of the memory chapters - memory systems is now covered before memory traces and memory schemas - gives students a logical introduction to the topic.
  • New and expanded coverage of key topics, including animal models (Ch. 2), spatial and sustained attention (Ch. 4), sensory memory (Ch. 5), childhood amnesia (Ch. 6), and more.
  • 5 new online labs give students even more opportunities to practice applying important cognitive concepts.
  • Extensively revised chapter on perception now begins with the physiology of visual perception. (Ch. 3)
  • New and updated chapter-opening case studies explore topics such as the anti-vaccination movement, motivated reasoning, and visual perception.
  • Updated citations throughout, incorporating recent research studies and exposing students to the latest developments in the study of human cognition.