Welcome to Dr. Del Chiaro's Human Learning Page


Ivan Pavlov

"While you are experimenting, do not remain content with the surface of things. Don't become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin."


B.F. Skinner

"Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten."


John B. Watson

"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select--doctor, lawyer, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors." 

Link to Syllabus Word Doc.

San José State University
Department of Psychology
PSYC 155.1, Human Learning
Fall 2013


Dr. Steven Del Chiaro

Office Location:

DMH 342


(408) 924-5612



Office Hours:

TU- TH 9:00 am – 10:00 am
MO-WE 8:00 am – 8:45 am

Or by appointment.

Class Days/Time:

Monday/Wednesday 10:30 am  – 11:45 am


Dudley Moorhead Hall 348

Course Web Page

Class Website:
Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my web page at http://www.drdelchiaro.com. You are responsible for regularly checking with the messaging system through MySJSU.

I am still attempting to learn:

https://sjsu.instructure.com/  Go here for all course information, announcements, and handouts; check 3x/week

Logging Into Canvas

Canvas Login URL: https://sjsu.instructure.com/ . Please note that it should NOT have the "www" at the start of the URL like many other websites.

All students and faculty must first set up their SJSUOne account before accessing Canvas.  To do so, go to http://its.sjsu.edu/services/sjsuone/ . The Username for Canvas then is your 9 digit SID or Employee ID and your PW is the one you chose when you established your SJSUOne account.  You will see the courses you taking (assuming the instructor is using Canvas).

Further Assistance with Canvas

Students should go first to http://guides.instructure.com/m/4212 with problems and then to the University Help Desk for Canvas problems, including logging in  (http://www.sjsu.edu/helpdesk/).                                                                    

Course Description

Through learning, humans and animals share a capacity to adapt to ever changing demands in the environment.  Attempts to understand these processes form a cornerstone of experimental psychology. Theories from this basic research have contributed to applications and further theory development in many other areas of psychology (e.g. clinical, social and education). PSYC 155 is an introduction to the study of learning and behavior and focuses on the Behavioral Perspective as a way of improving our understanding of human behavior and how it is shaped. 

The course will focus on two types of learning:  Classical and Operant conditioning.  Students can have a life-changing experience in this course, because it provides the basis for new ways of approaching common life challenges such as disciplining children, maintaining positive marriages and other relationships, and procrastination (to name just a few).  The material is intellectually challenging at times, but well worth the effort required to learn to think like a Behaviorist!   

Required Texts/Readings


Powell, R. A., Symbaluk, D. G., & MacDonald, S. E.  (2013).  Introduction to Learning & Behavior. 4rd Edition.  Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth Thomson Learning.

ISBN: 978-0495595281

Student Companion Site for Text:

Other Readings
Course Handouts

Learning Outcomes
The primary goal of this course will be to help you develop an understanding of the major themes, issues, and methods recognized within the psychology of learning. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the basic principles of the leaning process. You will discover the learning processes that allow us to know how and when to act in order to obtain desired pleasurable aspects of our environment and to avoid unwanted unpleasant ones.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. To understand the importance of history and context when examining and classifying psychological distress;
  2. To familiarize students with diagnosable psychopathologies;
  3. To be familiar with and critical of different types of assessment of abnormal behavior;
  4. To present some theories of etiology and have students come to their own conclusions of the nature and causes of specific psychopathologies;
  5. To introduce some clinical therapies that have been proven useful in the treatment of specific disorders.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Upon successful completion of the psychology major requirements…

PLO1 – Knowledge Base of Psychology – Students will be able to identify, describe, and communicate the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology. (test, quizzes, paper)

PLO2 – Research Methods in Psychology – Students will be able to design, implement, and communicate basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretations. (paper)

PLO3 – Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology – Students will be able to use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and a scientific approach to address issues related to behavior and mental processes. (paper)

PLO4 – Application of Psychology – Students will be able to apply psychological principles to individual, interpersonal, group, and societal issues. (tests, paper)

PLO5 – Values in Psychology – Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and recognize their role and responsibility as a member of society. (paper)

Library Liaison

Bernd Becker
Phone: (408) 808-2348

Classroom Protocol

Syllabus Policy:
The course syllabus presented in this document will be followed as closely as possible. However, the course syllabus, schedule, policies, and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor or in the event of extenuating circumstances. This includes the tentative dates listed. The instructor will announce possible changes of the syllabus in advance. Since such announcements are typically made during class, it is the student’s responsibility to clarify any of these changes that may have been made when the student is absent.

Although you will be responsible for all of the material in the assigned readings, some of the information may not be covered in class. Therefore, if there is material that is unclear to you it is highly recommended that you discuss this material with me at an appropriate time (e.g., during office hours). It is your responsibility to read the syllabus and ask questions about it so that you have a clear understanding of the expectations. If you are unclear about any of the requirements/expectations, then please set up a time to speak with me. I will be grading as though you have a clear understanding of the course requirements and material.

I will not be taking attendance. You are adults and need to make your own decisions.  Please realize that your decisions have consequences (If this makes no sense to you then this is the course for you, as you will understand through operant conditioning that behaviors have consequences!).  Students are responsible for everything that is said and done in class. I strive to make my classes not only educational but also enjoyable. It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a course they do not wish to take. If you simply stop coming to the class and do not withdraw from the course, then you will still receive a grade that will be based on the completed work. Additionally, I encourage students to arrive on time for the class. However, I understand that extenuating circumstances do arise that can prevent your diligent efforts toward punctuality. If you are late to class, please take a seat in the row of desks/seats closest to the door in order to prevent disruption to the class. I hope you will take advantage of this policy only when absolutely necessary.  I do have a small portion of your grade based on participation, tardiness affects participation.  Many important pieces of information are discussed in class, and students are responsible for knowing and complying with this information including changes in assignments. Please make appropriate adjustments to your schedule to allow for arrival to the class on time (e.g., arriving early to avoid traffic/parking problems).  

Classroom courtesy and disruptions:
Class disruptions are not tolerated. Students will be asked to leave if they are being disruptive to fellow students or the professor. Disruptions include but are not limited to cell phones and pagers going off for any reason (even accidental), TEXTING (yes, I still see it if you hold the phone under your desk during class!), talking when not participating in an instructor- assigned activity, and not paying attention (e.g., reading the newspaper, sleeping). In addition, please place electronic communication devices (e.g., pagers, cell phones) in the “off” position during class. If you must make or answer a call, please excuse yourself from class for such activity.  In accordance with university policies on student conduct, it is expected that you will treat other students and the instructor with courtesy and respect. Being on the phone and texting ARE ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT RESPECTFUL!  Additionally, this class is conducted where you have wireless Internet access, please do not “surf’ the web.  You may use your computer to take notes, but you must sit in the back of the classroom or along the wall with your screen out of other students view.  In addition, if I or other students deem “keyboard noise” distracting, you will have to stop using the computer. This policy is in existence so that you do not distract me or other students.  I reserve the right to ask you to put the computer away at any time.  Failure to do so may result in you being asked to leave the classroom and dropped from the course.

Recording of Class Lectures
Common courtesy and professional behavior dictates that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor’s permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. This permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material.

Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor-generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc.  Refer to the current semester’s Catalog Policies section at http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/policies.html.  Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic calendar web page located at http://www.sjsu.edu/academic_programs/calendars/academic_calendar/.  The Late Drop Policy is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/aars/policies/latedrops/policy/. Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes. Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at http://www.sjsu.edu/advising/.

Assignments and Grading Policy


There will be three exams that will be multiple-choice, short-answer and fill in.  The tests will have questions from the text, lectures and videos.  Each exam will be given during the lecture period, and you will have the class period to complete the exam.  Students will not be allowed to use the restroom during the exam period and cell phone use during a test, or test review, will result in referral to Judicial Affairs and receive a course grade of F/NC.  There will be NO Rescheduling of an exam.


At 6 points during the semester a quiz will be given.  These quizzes will cover the text reading and will be aimed at helping you understand and think about the material covered.  Your four best quizzes will constitute 20 points towards your final grade. This means that two quizzes can be missed or dropped.  There will be no make-ups for quizzes.


Assignments are also listed on course website.

This semester there will be three projects:  the Self Change Project, the Reinforcement Exercise, and the Physical Punishment Exercise.  All of these assignments will be kept in your Behavior Journal. I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK.  An assignment is considered late if a hard copy is not turned in by the end of the class period it is due.  I do not accept electronic copies of assignments.

Reinforcement Exercise

For this exercise, go to the following link (http://psych.athabascau.ca/html/prtut/reinpair.htm) and follow the directions.  Complete the practice exercise.  At the end of the exercise, print out your answer sheet.  In addition, write at least a one-page reaction paper to the exercise, noting what you learned about positive reinforcement.  Lastly, access a psychological journal (JABA) or any empirical peer reviewed journal and find two current articles relating to positive reinforcement and write an article summary for each article. These articles should be used in your final paper.

Punishment Exercise (15 points)
Read the Baumrind (2001) Does Causally Relevant Research Support a Blanket Injunction Against Disciplinary Spanking by Parents? article which can be found at http://ihd.berkeley.edu/baumrindpaper.pdf 

This paper is somewhat more difficult to read, so here are some notes to help you (including which sections you don’t need to read); page numbers refer to the numbers at the bottom of the pages, and do not include the title page:

1.   A little background: psychologists and non-psychologists have taken an anti-spanking position regarding the discipline of children (e.g., see http://www.nospank.net).  It has been argued that research has shown negative outcomes as a result of spanking, such as increased aggression, poor mental health, and poor parent-child relationships.  Note that this position requires a cause-and-effect conclusion about the spanking-behavior relationships: that spanking causes bad outcomes.  Diana Baumrind argues in this paper that the research others have cited is not “causally relevant”; that it cannot be used to support cause-and-effect conclusions.  In her study she tests the idea that occasional (“normative”) spanking has negative effects, and asks whether evidence supports a blanket injunction against all spanking.  (Note: Baumrind states that she does not advocate spanking, she just wanted to see if the evidence supports the idea that all spanking is harmful.)

2.   On page 2 (not counting the title page), Baumrind describes the characteristics that, she says, allow us to make cause-and-effect conclusions from correlational studies.  I do not completely agree, but I do believe her results tell us something important.  The 3rd, 4th, and 7th might be kind of hard to understand, so do not worry too much about them.  The 3rd and 7th points basically say that you need to include important parenting variables in the research, such as whether the parent emotionally rejects the child.

3.   Do not read page 3.

4.   On p. 4, ‘n’ refers to the number of participants in the study.

5.   On p. 4 there is a reference to ‘Table 1 of your handout’.  The handouts are not included in the paper; they are available on Baumrind’s WWW page but we can get by without them.

6.   Skip the material from “Data Analyses” (p. 6) up until “(Question 1)” on p. 7.  Read the questions on pp. 7-9 and the conclusions based on data analyses.

      Quick summary of data analyses (p. 6): Baumrind started by seeing if the use of physical punishment (spanking) was related to bad child outcomes such as getting into fights and being untrustworthy.  Then she added other parenting variables to the analysis (e.g., self-centeredness), to see if these other variables might account for relationships between spanking and child outcomes.

7.   The section of the paper labeled “Question 3” might be difficult.  To summarize, Baumrind found that when she controlled for a variety of parenting variables, the relationship between physical punishment and bad child outcomes disappeared.

8.   Skip the section of the paper labeled “Question 6” (this does not mean to skip my question #6).

Read the Baumrind (2001) paper (“Does Causally Relevant Research Support a Blanket Injunction Against Disciplinary Spanking by Parents?”) and respond to the following:

  1. Briefly describe the methods of the ‘FSP’ study (Who participated?  What did they do?) (see p. 4)
  2. How common was physical punishment (spanking) in the FSP study? (see p. 4)
  3. Was the frequency and intensity of physical punishment associated with detrimental child outcomes? (p. 7)
  4. Did Baumrind find that children who were occasionally spanked were worse off than children who were never spanked? (“Question 4”, p. 8)
  5. Did Baumrind find that physical punishment was associated with worse child outcomes than verbal punishment? (“Question 7”, p. 8)
  6. Do you think it is acceptable to spank children as a form of discipline?  Why or why not?  Please discuss in behavioral terms.   What limitations do you think there should be on spanking (when should it be used or not be used)?
  7. Lastly, access a psychological journal (JABA) and find two current articles relating to punishment and write an article summary for each article.

Self- Change Project 

Nobody is perfect. Some of us drive too fast, or too carelessly. Some of us want to recycle our newspapers, but never get around to it. We want to eat less and exercise more, but it just does not happen for us. We know some of our habits are bad for us (smoking, drinking) but we cannot cut back. 

Principles of learning offer a solution. B. F. Skinner's behaviorism, although developed through carefully controlled scientific laboratory research, can be used to help people increase behaviors that they desire and decrease behaviors they wish to avoid.  Use self-change principles to change some aspect of your behavior. Focus on some specific type of behavior that you would like to perform more (exercise, studying, being polite) or a behavior you would like to do less (partying, eating, drinking, being rude). (Some other examples of things students have tried to change are listed at the bottom of this handout). Record the behavior on the provided behavioral checklist for one week, without attempting any change.  Please note:

Please know that self-monitoring your behavior is difficult, but a task that can (and will) be completed. bullet 

Step 1:  Behavior Decision.

bulletDecide on the behavior you will increase or decrease
bulletWrite a paragraph description of the behavior, being as behaviorally specific as possible; express the goal of your project in observable, quantifiable terms.
bulletThese goals must be very specific, and include both long and short range (daily) goals--but most important, they must be measurable;
bulletYou can select those behaviors which you wish to do away with, non-desired goals as well as desired behaviors--but it would be best if you described behaviors that you want to increase (focus on creating behaviors that are incompatible with the behaviors you want to remove)

Step 2: Baseline 1.

bulletEstablish the baseline, the operant level: measure the frequency of both the good and the bad behavior before you try to create any changes:

*Measurement is critical in self-change projects, so begin by recording your behavior on the checklist.  Please note what is happing before during and after the selected behavior.

*Include the information about baseline in your report (If, for example, you were trying to study more you should say something like "On day one the participant spent 2.3 hours studying, on day two the participant did not study at all, and on day three the participant spent 1 hour studying).

bulletThe length of your baseline recording will be over a one-week period.
bulletYou also need to indicate where the behavior occurs; for example you might say "The researcher decided to modify smoking behavior but needed to know the situations which elicited smoking --so for 7 days the researcher kept track of how many cigarettes were smoked, when, and where."

Step 3: Design Behavioral Change

bulletSelect Sr (Reinforcing Stimulus) and design the contingencies.
bulletMake a list of the reinforcers that you have decided are potent and controllable for and by you.
bulletList these reinforcers or in your report, and note which one you plan to use to control the behavior.
bulletYou can also identify punishers: aversive stimuli that you would rather avoid. You will be using these to reduce behavior.

Types of reinforcers to consider:

bulletPhysical rewards: such as candy, food, drinks, etc.: thinks you want;
bulletSocial rewards: arrange for someone else to give you praise, attention, and so on if you perform the target behavior;
bulletActivities: things you like to do (such as watching TV, socializing, etc) that you cannot do if you don't perform the behavior;
bulletNote: It is often advisable to use a variety of reinforcers so you will not "burn out" on one.

Name the Contingencies:

bulletState the exact conditions under which these consequences are applied (e.g., If I study for 1 hour I will get 5 M&M candies).
bulletIf you plan to use punishment, then state those criteria as well (e.g., I did not meet my goal of studying for 3 hours and so the following day I did not permit myself to listen to any music).

Step 4: Intervention Stage: 

bulletInstitute the Program of Behavior Modification. Begin controlling the behavior through judicious use of reinforcers and punishment. This period should last one week (use another self-monitoring check list for recording behavior).
bulletKeep good records: record the behavior and the reinforcers/punishments constantly.
bulletControl the "stimulus environment". It is essential that you can administer the reinforcers immediately after the behavior, and that you can reduce interference from reinforcers that you do not control. That means you should make changes in your routine to avoid temptations (e.g., tell other people about the project and ask them not to interfere).
bulletIf appropriate, post cues in your environment that will trigger your response: if you are supposed to be exercising more, then put up a sign in bedroom that says "Today you must exercise for 1 hour." (Describe your use of such a sign in your report).

Step 5: Follow up.

Because of time constraints, this step is optional, but would be used in any professional behavior modification project. Once the behavior has been created, you would return to baseline by stopping the rewards or punishments. This step is not necessary for this report. However, should you decide to complete this step, record your behavior on the checklist for one week.

Step 6: Write up the report

bulletPlease type the report. There are no length restrictions. Use the length that you feel is appropriate to exactly specify what you did.  The paper will have five sections:

1.      Introduction. 

2.      Literature review.

3.      Methodology.

4.      Results.

5.      Discussion.

bulletThe report can include charts and graphs of the behavior rates, but it should be a well-written narrative (with sentences and paragraphs).
bulletAdd a final paragraph that draws conclusions about the project.
bulletIn addition, please turn in all behavioral self-monitoring checklists.
bulletUse appropriate terms from the lectures and text.

Weaknesses or omissions or something incorrect with the following areas will result in a loss of points:

Step 1: Behavior Decision.

bulletDefine the problem in a situation in a paragraph. 
bullet Clearly state, "target behavior is..."

Step 2: Baseline.

bulletCollect baseline data.
bulletDescribe what is found.
bulletGraph the baseline data.

Step 3: Design Behavioral Change

bullet Self-reinforcements listed, explained.
bulletSelf-punishments clearly indicated
bullet Reinforcement and/or punishments contingencies described (state contingencies, e.g., "If I exercise, then I will get a cookie).

Step 4: Intervention Phase.

bulletBehavior modification process described.
bulletData are provided describing the behavior modification results
bulletAttempts at stimulus control are noted
bulletFinal conclusion paragraph describing results

In Addition:

bulletAll checklists turned in (must be legible).
bulletProject Not as Well Organized as it Could Have Been.
bulletProject Not as Well Written as it Could Have Been.

Helpful Information:

Some sample behaviors that you can modify are listed at the end of this page. Also, if you would like more information on the psychology of self-control--especially the science side of self-control based on verified principles of behaviorism instead of that "pop" psychology stuff that is not really helpful at all--begin with Dr. Clay Tucker-Ladd page. He is the author of Psychological Self-help, which is available on the web at the following site: http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/

Dr. Tucker reviews, in detailed, dozens of self-change methods, including:

bullet           Change the environment to change your behavior

bullet           Learn new behavior (using models, self-instructions)

bullet           Controlling/Conditioned response

bullet           Relapse prevention

bullet           Motivation training--increasing our drive level

bullet           Avoid self-deception--recognize your motives and defenses

bullet           Record behavior--self-monitor and check your progress

bullet           Record antecedents & consequences; behavioral analysis

bullet           Disrupt the unwanted habit; thought stopping

bullet           Substitute new behavior to break a bad habit

bullet           Satiate behavior or flooding; paradoxical intention

bullet           Change defeatist attitude; quieting the internal critic; flow

bullet           Develop positive expectations; building self-efficacy

bullet           Increase intrinsic satisfactions

bullet           Reward the desired behavior--a powerful method

bullet           Negative reinforcement--an important concept for insight

bullet           Self-punishment



Structure for Assignments

  1. ALL OF YOUR WORK NEEDS TO BE PUT IN YOUR BEHAVIORAL JOURNAL.  The order inside your journal (which will be a paper folder – see class example)
    1. Cover page.
    2. Divider 1 labeled “Video Sheet”
    3. Video Sheet
    4. Divider 2 labeled “Self Change Project”
    5. Self Change Paper with cover page and reference section
    6. Self Change handout page
    7. Answers to Self Change page
    8. Self- Change Behavioral Checklist 1
    9. Self- Change Behavioral Checklist 2
    10. Edited Draft of Paper
    11. Divider 3 labeled “Reinforcement Exercise”
    12. Reinforcement Exercise
    13. Article Summaries on Reinforcement.
    14. Divider 4 labeled “Punishment Exercise”
    15. Punishment Exercise
    16. Article Summaries on Punishment.
    17. Divider 5 labeled “Feedback”
    18. Feedback sheet provided by instructor
  1. Your papers need be organized - you should be developing a central idea in each section and the reader should be able to follow the logic of your argument.  Each paragraph should have a coherent theme and paragraphs should follow each other in an organized manner. Read over your papers to be sure that there is a logical order to them. 
  1. Watch for grammatical errors, particularly sentence fragments and run-on sentences. More than five spelling or grammatical errors will result in points deducted from final grades.  More than ten will result in a zero (0).  I encourage you to have your paper proof read.
  1. Your papers will be typewritten, double-spaced, one-inch margins, using Times New Roman (or VERY similar) font.
  1. On a sheet attached to the front of all your papers, type the Title of your paper. In addition you must include Name, Course, Course Number, Semester/Year, and Due Date.
  1. Citations/references included in your paper are to be done according to APA style as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th Edition, which is available in the library, the campus bookstore, and on-line.  You should have at least 2 references for every paper and they will be listed on a separate sheet of paper attached to the back of your assignment.


How to write an Article Summary
Purposes:  To understand the research on your topic, to develop the backbone of your paper, and to learn to apply APA style.


1.      Put your name, class time, date and the number of the article summary (AS#__) at the top right hand corner.

2.      Put a complete APA reference for the article at the beginning of your summary.

3.      Each summary is 2 paragraphs long and approximately 200 - 250 words total.  The first paragraph summarizes the authors’ purpose (~1 sentence) and methods (~3-5 sentences).  The second paragraph summarizes the results (~2-4 sentences) and the authors’ discussion and conclusions (~2-3 sentences). 

4.      After the initial sample article summary, attach a copy of the first page of the article (including the abstract) to your summary.




Website to Help with Writing Article Summaries

Grading will be based on the sum of the following: 

  1. 2 exams covering lectures, films, guest speakers, outside readings and the text are worth 100 points each (200). 
  2. Four out of Six quizzes will be worth 5 points each (20). 
  3. Reinforcement exercise will be worth 15 points (15)
  4. Physical punishment exercise will be worth 15 points (15).
  5. Self-Change project will be worth 80 points (80)
  6. Behavioral Journal will be worth 10 points (10)

Grading scale (& and points)

A+ = >95%                  B+ = 87-89%               C+ = 77-79%               D+ = 67-69%

A = 92-94%                 B = 82-86%                 C = 72-76%                 D = 62-66%

A- = 90-91%                B- = 80-81                   C- = 70-71%                D- = 60-61%

                                                                                                            F < 60%


Late Work:  No Late Work Will Be Accepted

No Make-up Exams Allowed:  Only with valid written medical excuse will any exam be allowed at a time other than those scheduled for your class. 

Electronics Policy:  After many semesters of students misusing electronic devices in a large lecture room, I have now implemented a NO ELECTRONICS policy. That means NO PHONES OR TABLETS OR LAPTOPS during class or exam. Even for note taking. I know you are used to these, but experience has shown me that a vast majority of students simply spend most of their time with their head down and looking at the screen rather than being engaged in the course material. I have data to back me up on this: research shows that Websurfing/texting during class directly lowers your grade (and disrupts those around you). Go to:


University Policies

Academic integrity

Your commitment as a student to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University.  The University’s Academic Integrity policy, located at http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/S07-2.htm, requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/studentconduct/.

Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include your assignment or any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy S07-2 requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at http://www.drc.sjsu.edu/ to establish a record of their disability.

Student Technology Resources

Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Additional computer labs may be available in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library.

A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, projection screens and monitors.

Learning Assistance Resource Center

The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) is located in Room 600 in the Student Services Center. It is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic potential and to inspire them to become independent learners. The Center's tutors are

trained and nationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). They provide content-based tutoring in many lower division courses (some upper division) as well as writing and study skills assistance. Small group, individual, and drop-in tutoring are available. Please visit the LARC website for more information at http://www.sjsu.edu/larc/.


SJSU Writing Center

The SJSU Writing Center is located in Room 126 in Clark Hall.  It is staffed by professional instructors and upper-division or graduate-level writing specialists from each of the seven SJSU colleges. Our writing specialists have met a rigorous GPA requirement, and they are well trained to assist all students at all levels within all disciplines to become better writers. The Writing Center website is located at http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/about/staff/.

Peer Mentor Center

The Peer Mentor Center is located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall in the Academic Success Center. The Peer Mentor Center is staffed with Peer Mentors who excel in helping students manage university life, tackling problems that range from academic challenges to interpersonal struggles. On the road to graduation, Peer Mentors are navigators, offering “roadside assistance” to peers who feel a bit lost or simply need help mapping out the locations of campus resources. Peer Mentor services are free and available on a drop –in basis, no reservation required. The Peer Mentor Center website is located at http://www.sjsu.edu/muse/peermentor/

Student Success and Wellness

Attending to your wellness is critical to your success at SJSU. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the workshops and programs offered through various Student Affairs Departments on campus such as Counseling Services, the SJSU Student Health Center/ Wellness & Health Promotion Dept., and Career Center. See http://www.sjsu.edu/wellness or http://www.sjsu.edu/counseling/Workshops/ for workshop/events schedule and links to many other services on campus that support your wellness! You may go to http://events.sjsu.edu to register for any one of the workshops.

Reading Topics, Exams and Dates: Psych1, S13

Note:  This course will follow this syllabus to the extent possible.  The timing and specific nature of topics and activities may change.  You are responsible for keeping informed of any changes made to the class syllabus.  Such changes will be clearly stated in class and will be posted on the class web site.  You are responsible for checking the class web site before each class. Therefore, it is extremely important to check the website before each class.



Topics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines


Aug. 21

Class Business/Syllabus



Aug. 26

Aug. 28

Classical and Operant Video



Sept. 2

Sept. 4

No Class – Labor Day

Classical and Operant Video



Sept. 9

Sept. 11

Introduction, Chapter 1


Sept. 16

Sept. 18

Research Methods, Chapter 2



Sept. 23

Sept. 25

Elicited Behaviors and Classical Conditioning, Chapter 3

Self-Change Paper Assignment 1



Sept. 30

Oct. 2

Classical Conditioning: Basic Phenomena and Various Complexities, Chapter 4



Oct. 7

Oct. 9

Classical Conditioning: Underlying Processes and Practical Applications,

Chapter 5


Oct. 14

Oct. 16

Examination #1/Change Agent Proposal Due

Operant Conditioning: Introduction, Chapter 6


Oct. 21

Oct. 23


Schedules and Theories of Reinforcement, Chapter 7Reinforcement Exercise Due



Oct. 28

Oct. 30


Extinction and Stimulus Control, Chapter 8



Nov. 4

Nov. 6


Escape, Avoidance and Punishment, Chapter 9
Physical Punishment Exercise Due



Nov. 11

Nov. 13

No Class – Veterans day



Nov. 18

Nov. 20

Choice, Matching, and Self-Control, Chapter 10
Self-Change Paper Assignment 2 Due


Nov. 25

Nov. 27

Biological Dispositions in Learning, Chapter 11
Self Change Paper Draft Due




Dec. 2

Dec 4.

Observational Learning, Language, and Rule, Chapter 12
Self Change Paper/Behavioral Journal Due


Dec. 9

Catch up Day

Final Exam

Tuesday, December 17

9:45 - 12:00 noon

Downloadable content
Power Points:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
HL Paper Sample
HL Sample Folder