PSY319 Cognitive Processes in Computer Games (8)

This subject examines the applications of psychological theories and methods to the understanding of the functions and effects of computer games on children and adults. Topics address the following areas: (1) cognitive theories and constructs relevant to understanding computer game playing, (2) the effects and influence of computer games on human behaviour, (3) ethical issues and considerations in computer game design and use, and (4) research methodology useful for examining the psychological aspects of playing computer games.
Students should note that this subject does not contribute to an Australian Psychological Society accredited major in psychology.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), or Bachelor of Arts students.

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of major theories of cognitive psychology, as they apply to aspects of computer modelling and games
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to apply psychological theories and research to understanding the influence of computer games on the behaviour of children and adults, especially with regards to addiction, violence, aggression and child development
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues and consideration relevant to computer game design and gameplaying (e.g., portrayal of gender/ethnic stereotypes, level of violence, age restrictions, responsibilities of game designers)
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to apply psychological methodology to the analysis and evaluation of psychological aspects of gameplaying and gameuser satisfaction


This subject will cover the following topics:

- Higher-order cognitive processes involved in game behaviour (e.g., problem solving, creativity, intelligence, language, emotion, and face perception/recognition) - Neural networks and its application to understanding psychological processes - Psychological theories and research of addiction and violence - Developmental issues in game-playing - Psychology of computer game design and game-playing - Research methodology in computer game evaluation and user-satisfaction - Ethical issues/considerations in computer game design - Future directions in understanding the interaction between psychological processes, human behaviour and game-playing


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.