Introduction to Comparative Cognition - Online psychology courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Introduction to Comparative Cognition

PSYC 305 (formerly PSYC 205)/3.0

An overview of the evolution and function of cognitive processes. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how natural selection shaped cognition across animal species. Topics such as memory, decision making, cooperation, and communication will be examined from a behavioural ecology and experimental psychology perspective.


Please note: This course is typically offered in the winter term

Please note: The Fall 2021 offering of this course is an on-campus version being offered remotely to distance students with a limited number of spaces. For more information about the Fall 2021 offering of this course, please see the Queen's Psychology website (click on PSYC 305: Introduction to Comparitive Cognition).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Recognize and recall experimental findings that support or do not support existing theories in comparative cognition.
  • Apply theories to predict outcomes of experimental manipulations.
  • Engage in critical reading of primary and secondary sources.
  •  Combine critical reading skills and conceptual knowledge of comparative cognition to create a review of experimental findings for a broad audience.




  • History of comparative cognition
  • Sensory systems
  • Memory
  • Associative processes
  • Orientation and navigation 
  • Causality and tool use
  • Decision making
  • Categorization and concept formation
  • Social competence
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Communication
  • Social learning


Winter 2023
Course Dates: 
Jan. 9 - April 10, 2023
Exam Dates: 
April 14 - 27, 2023


Cella Olmstead

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks, if required, can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.