Psychology of Learning
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Psychology of Learning
Course level: Graduate
This course examines major theories of learning, covering topics such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, shaping and chaining, reinforcement schedules, punishment, one-trial learning, and cognitive and social processes in learning. Students will examine research from animal and human studies, emphasizing basic and complex models of acquired behavior, motivation and memory.
- PSYCH/620 – Multicultural and Social Issue in Psychology or equivalent AND
- PSYCH/625 – Statistics for the Behavior Sciences or equivalent
- This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a Bachelor's degree.
What you'll learn
Course skills and outcomes
- Explain how the primary functions of theory relate to the study of learning.
- Evaluate research methods that are used to study the process of learning.
- Investigate tools and techniques for measuring learning.
- Apply relevant ethical principles to the conduct of research on human and nonhuman participants.
- Interpret the critical issues for learning theory.
- Evaluate the process of learning from the perspectives of behaviorism, social cognitive, information processing, and constructivism.
- Evaluate the relative effectiveness of each learning theory.
- Use the three theories of learning to explain the processes of classical conditioning and operant conditioning, supporting each usage with relevant evidence in animal and human psychological research.
- Explain how professionals apply knowledge of learning to real-world problems and issues.
- Examine the role of memory in learning, as described in behaviorist, social cognitive, information processing, and constructivist theories.
- Assess the role of memory as described in each learning theory.
- Evaluate shaping and chaining, reinforcement schedules, and one-trial learning, supporting each evaluation with evidence from relevant human and animal research.
- Generate examples of how professionals in the field of psychology help individuals maximize memory.
- Evaluate the role of motivation in learning, as described in behaviorist, social cognitive, information processing, and constructivist theories.
- For each of the four major theories, discuss the role and the relative importance of motivation in the learning process.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of punishment as a tool to increase motivation.
- Critically evaluate common motivational techniques in terms of ethical principles and professional codes of ethics.
- Explain how professionals apply knowledge of motivation to real-world problems and issues.
- Describe the transfer process as it relates to learning in general.
- Analyze specific factors in the transfer process using behaviorist, social cognitive, information processing, and constructivist theories.
- Propose research-based strategies for applying the transfer process in learning to real-world problems and issues.
- Create an ethical plan for self-regulation of learning, as described in behaviorist, social cognitive, information processing, and constructivist theories.
- Critique the relative effectiveness of each self-regulation theory.
- Design a research proposal to measure self-regulation of learning as explained by each of the four learning theories, developing each plan from a sound basis in theory and human and animal research.
- Generate strategies for applying self-regulation methods to real-life problems and situations in the field of psychology.