Psychology 434

PSYC 434: Research in Learning

Prerequisites: PSYC 302, PSYC 333

Credit Hours: (3)

An empirical and theoretical survey of the major areas in the psychology of learning. Data from both animal and human experiments will be discussed from varying points of view. Requires student to design an experimental project, construct apparatus as needed, collect data, analyze data and submit a report in the American Psychological Association (APA) format.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Introduction
2. Fundamental Principles
3. Reinforcement
4. Theoretical Issues in Reinforcement
5. Patterns of Reinforcement and Extinction
6. Avoidance and Punishment
7. Generalization and Discrimination
8. Comparative Cognition
9. Verbal Learning
10. Concept Learning
11. Forgetting
12. Short Term Memory
13. Memory for Meaningful Material
14. Pavlovian Conditioning


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of two lectures per week plus a minimum of three hours per week on a research-type of laboratory project. The laboratory times will be individually arranged. The topic may be anything that focuses on the learning process: using either animal or human subjects. There may be two tests and a final examination. The final grade will be based upon these evaluation procedures and the project report.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student should learn the basic principles of learning. The processes involved in memory, retention and retrieval of information. The application of learning theory to applied uses in education and behavior modification will be emphasized. In appreciation of the scientific method, research procedures, experimental contracts and report writing will be stressed in the laboratory project.


Assessment Measures

Graded assignments may include in-class tests, a final examination, pop quizzes, the assignment and presentation of exercises, and projects, and in class preparation and participation. The laboratory report will be graded as twenty-five percent of the course grade.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated and put in new format Alastair V. E. Harris