PSYC 309Q - Cognition In The Digital Age

This course will focus on research into how people’s cognition may be affected by the use of digital media and technology as compared to more traditional ways of accessing and processing information. We will address questions such as: How does reading text on computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. differ from reading books and other printed materials? Is there a difference in comprehension level, attention span, the likelihood to skim, or other variables? How does the ubiquity of smartphones and social media affect people’s attentional focus, productivity, and emotional well-being? Can people effectively multitask or is the presence of such technology and apps always detrimental? How does reading fake or inaccurate news affect people’s understanding of the world? After exposure to such information, are there effective methods to combat the misinformation so that people gain a more accurate understanding of the topic? Does easy access to Google, Wikipedia, and other online sources affect people’s idea of what it means “to know” something? Does it affect people’s motivation to commit information to memory? Prerequisite PSYC 111.
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