Psychology (PSYC) 387

Learning (Revision 6)

PSYC 387

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eText

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.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

Course website
(Must be a registered student to view course website)

PSYC 387 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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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, fading, stimulus-response chaining, generalization, modelling, problem-solving, Pavlovian conditioning, forgetting, and concept learning.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Pavlovian Conditioning and Its Applications
  • Unit 3: Operant Reinforcement
  • Unit 4: Schedules of Reinforcement
  • Unit 5: Operant Learning: Punishment and Operant Applications
  • Unit 6: Observational Learning and Generalization, Discrimination, and Stimulus Control
  • Unit 7: Remembering and Forgetting and the Limits of Learning


To receive credit for PSYC387, you must achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the examination and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). You must also complete the course assignment, to the satisfaction of your tutor, and the seven unit quizzes. The weighting of activities for credit is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Seven Unit Quizzes (4.5% each) 31.5%
Tutor-Marked Assignment 18.5%
Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials

Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.


Chance, P. (2014). Learning and behavior (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Materials

The rest of the course materials are available online and include a Course Information, a Study Guide, and practice conceptual exercises.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit credit for the PSYC 387 challenge registration, you must write the examination alone, worth 100% of your final grade, and you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

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 6, October 28, 2019.

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