BCSC 111: Syllabus

Spring 2023

Time & Location

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:25 – 4:40pm
in-person Hoyt Auditorium


Instructor: Martina Poletti
Zoom or In-person office: 312 Meliora Hall
Office hours: Fri 11-12pm, Tue 11-12 (to better organize the time with students during office hours, please let the instructor know beforehand if you are planning to come to office hours)

Graduate TA: Yue Zhang
Office hours: Thursdays 10am-11am
Location: BCS Lounge

Graduate TA: Zoe Stearns
Office hours: Wed 9-10am, Fri 2-3pm
Location: Room 252 Meliora Hall

Undergraduate TA: Zenith Shrestha
Office hours: Mon 5-6pm
Location: Zoom or in-person by appointment
Zenith will monitor the #LiveQuestions channel on slack to address student’s questions during the lecture.

Undergraduate TA: Kepler Palacio-Soto
Office Hours: Friday 1pm-2:15pm
Location: IZone/Zoom
Recitation: Friday 11am-12pm
Location: Meliora 324

Undergraduate TA: Tianming Guo
Office Hours: Tuesday 4pm - 5pm
Location: Meliora 324/zoom
Recitation: Thursday 4:40pm - 6:05pm
Location: N/A

Undergraduate TA: Brian Ganeles
Office Hours: Friday 9-10 am
Location: Zoom or in-person by appointment
Recitation: Monday 10:25 - 11:40 am

Undergraduate TA: Kelly Zhang
Office Hours: Wednesday 10:00 -11:00 am
Location: Zoom or in person by email appointment
Recitation: Wednesday 6:15- 7:30 pm

Please note that your presence at recitations is not required and does not factor in your grade. However, they are highly encouraged because they ensure that course material is thoroughly gone over and talked about.

Class Communication

PLEASE NOTE: Much of official communication related to BCSC111 will take place through Slack and Blackboard.

Please join the Slack workspace ASAP before the first day of classes to ensure you remain abreast with the rapid developments in the course and so that you can communicate quickly with the professor, TA, and fellow students.

Course Description

This course examines the study of thinking behaviors in humans and other higher animals, including perception, categorization, reflection, self-awareness, communication, language, creativity, and other related topics.

Student Learner Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will (1) know the history of cognitive psychology, (2) identify and define basic experimental procedures used to examine cognition, (3) describe the various facets of cognition and the research involved in each, and (4) critically analyze topics relating to cognitive psychology.

Required Text

Galotti, K. 2017. Cognitive Psychology In and Out of the Laboratory (6th Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
ISBN: 9781506351568
Student Study Site is available
This book is not available online to libraries.
A number of physical copies of this textbook are available at the UR main library.
Previous editions of the same textbook are also suitable for this class.


Four exams will be administered (each exam will consist of 50 questions, 5 T/F questions and 45 MC questions). One essay test will be administered on the last day of class consisting of 1 discussion question asking students to elaborate based on the knowledge acquired (max 800 words). Essays should be submitted a week after the last day of class on gradescope.

Exams Policies

Only students who suffer a documented medical or family emergency will be granted the opportunity to take a make-up exam. NO alternate exams for cases when a student has multiple exams on the same day. Official university events require an advance notice so that an alternative accommodation can be made.


  87 < x < 90 = B+ 77 < x < 80 = C+ 67 < x < 70 = D+  
x > 94 = A 83 < x <= 87 = B 73 < x <= 77 = C 63 < x <= 67 = D < 60 = E
90 <= x <= 94 = A- 80 <= x <= 83 = B- 70 <= x <= 73 = C- 60 <= x <= 63 = D-  

The lowest exam score will be dropped and the three remaining exams will each account for 30% of the final grade, and the essay test will account for 10% of the final grade. Students are required to take all exams and submit the essays test.

Grades are rounded to two decimal points (89.99 = 89.99; 89.999 = 90.00). There is NO “grade bumping”! Note that 94.00% is A-, and 89.99 is B+.


Strongly encouraged

Academic Misconduct

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy. Please get in touch with your instructor or TAs if you have any questions regarding what constitutes as academic dishonesty especially as it relates to exams and the final paper. Read the University’s policy on Academic Honesty.

Special Accommodation

If you need special accommodation, please let the course instructor know. We will do our best to suit your needs.

Mobile Devices

Please silent your mobile devices. No cellphone/smartphone or any other entertainment devices are allowed while class is in session.


Slides will be posted on Slack in advance of each class.

Participation and questions

Students can ask questions in class or post their question on the dedicated slack channel #LiveQuestions that will be monitored in real-time by a TA during the class. A TA will then read the question for the instructor to answer or will directly answer the question in slack. All students are required to sign up to the channel and use it to communicate with TAs and to stay up to date with class announcements.


Recitations (and office hours) will start in week 2 (on Jan 23th). Recitations will NOT be recorded.

Out-of-class help

There are 12 scheduled weekly opportunities to get help outside of class. This includes 3 recitation sessions and 7 scheduled office hours. All office hours will be conducted in person or zoom if convenient.


By taking this course, you can expect to learn about the topics we discuss in class. In turn, I expect that you will respect the learning environment and be courteous to your instructor and classmates by:

  • using the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity (see Honesty Policy.)
  • asking for help during office hours or via email if you don't understand something in the lectures or the readings
  • asking questions in class (if they require a lengthy answer, they may be deferred until after class)

Diversity Statement

All people have the right to be addressed and referred to in accordance with their personal identity. In this class, we will have the chance to indicate the name that we prefer to be called and, if we choose, to identify pronouns with which we would like to be addressed. I will do my best to address and refer to all students accordingly and support classmates in doing so as well.

It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you.