As a discipline, cognitive science explores how the brain takes in information about the world, how it represents information about the world, and how it uses it. Through elegant experiments, cognitive scientists have learned a lot about how perception, attention, and memory work.

What Students will do

In this project, students will learn about classic experiments in this field and will have the opportunity to analyse previously collected data using well-established tasks. All data was collected using an online tool called Mechanical-Turk, which collects responses from participants across the world. All experiments were approved by the School of Psychology's in-house ethics panel. Working with their mentor, students will create unique hypotheses (related to the available data) that they are interested in exploring and testing. Additionally, students will be shown how to analyse this de-identified data for trends that support the drawing of a conclusion related to their hypotheses. Students will also have the opportunity to learn some basics in R, which is a programming language, to help understand, analyse, and visualize their data.

Prerequisite Study 

  • Nil  

Areas of Student Interest

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Data Analysis 

Lead Academic: Dr Steven Most - Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology 

Steven Most

Steven's research is grounded in cognitive psychology, with strong links to social psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience. His lab specialises in relationships between motivation, emotion, and attentional control. Topics include mechanisms of emotion-driven attentional bias, how attention and emotion shape our awareness of the world, impacts of physical and emotional stress on cognition, and emotion regulation.The lab also specialises in understanding the implications of these processes for real-world safety, including on the roadways. Steven is also passionate about fostering understanding of psychology outside the university.



PhD Student: Jennifer Sloane 

Jennifer Sloane

Jennifer is a PhD student studying cognitive psychology at UNSW. Jennifer received a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Science in experimental psychology from Syracuse University. Her research interests include studying the effects of interruptions and time-pressure on decision-making and using computational models to get a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms in decision-making. Jennifer has several years of experience as a teaching assistant for a range of psychology courses. She is also a member of the UNSW Women in Maths and Science Champions Program, where she participates in outreach activities to encourage and inspire women to pursue careers in math and science.