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Psychology (PSYC) 387

Learning (Revision 4)

PSYC 387 Course website

View previous syllabus.

Revision 4 closed replaced by current version.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study or grouped study. Online-enhanced.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science. Course can also be used to fulfill Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 or professor approval.

Centre: Centre for Psychology

PSYC 387 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Course website

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PSYC 387 introduces students to the principles of learning and how those principles can be used to modify human behaviour. The course emphasizes the application of learning theories and principles to solve behavioural problems as they exist in oneself; one's family; schools; the workplace; and in larger social, economic, and political groups.

Topics include reinforcement, extinction, punishment, schedules of reinforcement, stimulus discrimination, prompting and fading, stimulus-response chaining, generalization, modelling, rule-governed behaviour, problem-solving, cognitive therapy, feedback, Pavlovian conditioning, concept learning, general case instruction, and stimulus equivalence.


Unit 1: Introduction

Unit 2: Pavlovian Conditioning and its Applications

Unit 3: Operant Reinforcement

Unit 4: Operant and Vicarious Processes

Unit 5: Generalization, Discrimination, and Stimulus Control

Unit 6: Schedules of Reinforcement

Unit 7: Remembering and Forgetting and the Limits of Learning


To receive credit for PSYC387, you must achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent on the examination and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 per cent). The weighting of assignments is as follows:

Seven Unit Quizzes Project Final Exam Total
42% 8% 50% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Chance, P. (2006). Learning and behavior (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth.

Other Materials

The course materials include a student manual, a study guide, and a resource file consisting of a reading and exercises supplementary to the course textbook.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 387 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "D" (50 per cent) or more on the examination.

Quizzes Exam Total
42% 58% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, July 4, 2007.

View previous syllabus

Last updated by SAS  06/23/2015 08:56:45