The following [tentative] sequence of topics differs from the one adopted by most textbook writers and instructors. Usually, we start with a bit of method/history (Week 1), and move to sensation (Week 2), attention (Week 4?), object perception (Week 5?), sometimes followed by action/movement, short-term memory, long-term memory, and so forth. A lot of time is often devoted to debates surrounding object/face perception, top-down/bottom-up attentional control. Usually, there is not much time left for topics such as consciousness or narratives. The topic of thinking & reasoning comes much later (supposedly building upon previous topics, but not really). The following is what I’m considering for my cognition course (I’m less attached to the particular references). My selection is guided by the aim to teach students what is most relevant and useful in Cognitive Psychology, and the lines of thinking in this subdiscipline that more readily connect with other disciplines and subdiscipline of Psychology.
Week 1: Consciousness
Baumeister, R. F., Masicampo, E. J., & Vohs, K. D. (2011). Do conscious thoughts cause behavior? Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 331-361.
Week 2: Decision Making
Newell, B. R., & Shanks, D. R. (2014). Unconscious influences on decision making: A critical review. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 1-19.
Week 3: Problem Solving
Kounios, J., & Beeman, M. (2009). The “Aha!” moment: The cognitive neuroscience of insight. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 210-216.
Week 4: Narratives
Oatley, K. (2016). Fiction: Simulation of social worlds. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20, 618-628.
Week 5: Writing
Oatley, K., & Djikic, M. (2008). Writing as thinking. Review of General Psychology, 12, 9-27.
Week 6: Self
Sui, J., & Humphreys, G. W. (2015). The integrative self: how self-reference integrates perception and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 719-728.
Week 7: Memory
Hasson, U., Chen, J., & Honey, C. J. (2015). Hierarchical process memory: memory as an integral component of information processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 304-313.
Week 8: Language
Carruthers, P. (2002). The cognitive functions of language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 657-674.
Week 9: Action
Hommel, B. (2017). Goal-directed actions. In M. Waldmann (Ed.), Handbook of Causal Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Week 10: Perception
Kravitz, D. J., Saleem, K. S., Baker, C. I., Ungerleider, L. G., & Mishkin, M. (2013). The ventral visual pathway: an expanded neural framework for the processing of object quality. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17, 26-49.
Week 11: Attention
Awh, E., Belopolsky, A. V., & Theeuwes, J. (2012). Top-down versus bottom-up attentional control: A failed theoretical dichotomy. Trends in cognitive sciences, 16, 437-443.
Week 12: Emotion
LeDoux, J. (2012). Rethinking the emotional brain. Neuron, 73, 653-676.