Psychology (PSYC) 365

Behaviour Modification Principles (Revision 2)

PSYC 365 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

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

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 or professor approval.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 365 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Behaviour Modification Principles introduces students to the field of applied behaviour analysis, which is concerned with understanding behaviour problems and solving those problems through the application of behaviour-change techniques. Students will become familiar with the general characteristics of applied behaviour analysis as well as specific procedures including reinforcement, shaping, chaining, respondent conditioning, response cost, avoidance and escape learning, schedules of reinforcement, and stimulus discrimination procedures. Students will also learn to work with behavioural data, learning to measure and record behaviours and display behavioural data in graphic form. This will allow students to begin to conduct elementary research projects in the field of applied behaviour analysis.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Reinforcement and Extinction
  • Unit 3: Schedules of Reinforcement
  • Unit 4: Stimulus Discrimination, Stimulus Generalization, Fading, and Shaping
  • Unit 5: Behaviour Chaining and Aversive Control
  • Unit 6: Respondent Conditioning
  • Unit 7: Behaviour Change Generality and Antecedent Control
  • Unit 8: Motivation and Dealing with Data


To receive credit for PSYC 365, you must achieve a mark of at least C- (60 percent) on the examination and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). You must also complete the assignments and all of the unit quizzes. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Unit Quizzes (3% per quiz) 24%
Assignment 1: Information Retrieval 4%
Assignment 2 Course Project: Conditioning Attitudes 35%
Final Examination 37%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials

The course materials for Psychology 365: Behaviour Modification Principles include the items listed below.


Martin, G. L., & Pear, J. (2015). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Other Materials

The course materials include course information and a study guide, as well as several online readings.

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 for the PSYC 365 challenge registration, you must write the examination alone, worth 100% of your final grade, and you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) or more 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 2, April 7, 2016.

View previous syllabus