Introduction to Comparative Cognition

PSYC 305 (formerly PSYC 205)/3.0



  • 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

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.



Winter 2023
Course Dates
Delivery Mode


10% - Quizzes
50% - Weekly Activities
20% - Paper Assignment
20% - Take-Home Final Exam

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Instructor Information

Dr. Mary Olmstead (

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Required Textbook

  • Olmstead, M.C., & Kuhlmeier, V.A. (2015). Comparative Cognition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 9-10 hours a week (108-120 hours per term equivalent) in study/reading and online activity for.