Skip to content

Course Syllabus

Course: PSY 1400

Division: Social and Behavioral Science
Department: Behavioral Science
Title: Analysis of Behavior

Semester Approved: Summer 2018
Five-Year Review Semester: Summer 2023
End Semester: Summer 2024

Catalog Description: In this course, students learn about the fundamental principles of learning and behavior. The course reviews topics related to the effective use of conditioning to influence one’s personal behaviors, behaviors of others, as well as animal behaviors. This class has broad application in education, medicine, and even raising a family.

Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0

Prerequisites: PSY-1010

Justification: This course is designed to give students a basic introduction to the psychology of learning and behaviorism. The applications of the class has broad use in education, medicine, and raising a family. Students can receive great personal and professional benefit from learning how to correctly implement behavioral principles. This course also serves as a prerequisite for several courses in psychology and is required for psychology majors and minors at most four year institutions in Utah. Not only will psychology majors and minors benefit from this course, but education majors and people generally interested in human behavior will benefit from taking it.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Explain social institutions, structures, and processes across a broad range of historical periods and cultures from a social and behavioral science perspective. By participating in class discussions, lectures, and tests or quizzes, students will become more conversant in the discipline of behaviorism. They will explore the history of the discipline, and the process of conducting behavioral research.

Draw on the social and behavioral sciences to evaluate contemporary problems using social science research methodology. Behavior Analysis is a discipline steeped in research methodology. Upon being provided case studies and/or scenarios, students will use behavioral principles to research underlying causes of maladaptive behavior and develop methodologically sound behavioral interventions. These interventions will be written responses outlining the process. Students will also track and attempt to change a problematic behavior of their own in a self-change project. They may also have smaller opportunities through the use of literature, on quizzes, and tests.

Develop and communicate hypothetical explanations for individual human behavior within the large-scale historical or social context. The afore mentioned case studies will deal with behaviors that take place individually as well as in small group and larger group social contexts. Hence, the use of behavioral principles for research and development of interventions will also be adaptive based on the size of the group with which the methodology is being employed. These interventions will be written responses outlining the process. They may also have smaller opportunities through the use of literature, on quizzes, and tests.

Explain and use the social-scientific method to test research questions and draw conclusions. By examining the behavior of those around them (i.e. room-mates, family members, people studying, or through examining literature) students will develop behaviorally oriented research questions, outline a methodology to assess or change such behaviors, and draw conclusions from results. Through class discussions and written observations, students will demonstrate their ability to reason clearly and think critically about behavior.

Write effectively within the social science discipline, using correct disciplinary guidelines, to analyze, interpret, and communicate about social science phenomena. Students will be provided the opportunity to track their own behaviors as well as try to modify those behaviors. Upon doing such they will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of the experience by writing a paper or “lab report” that will employ their use of data interpretation and analysis as well as literary connections; all of which within APA format.

Become familiar with the basic principles, procedures, terms, and concepts of applied behavior Analysis and behavior modification Students will demonstrate competence in understanding the concepts of learning and behavior. They will not only recognize them and apply them in formative assessments such as tests and quizzes, but they will show proficiency in using them in real to life situations through other projects and assignments.

Psychology 1400 provides a more detailed exploration of behavioral principles that students may be exposed to in an introductory psychology course. Through readings, labs, lectures, as well as other formative and summative assessment activities students will explore the depth of subjects including, but not limited to: The research methods specific to behavior analysis, classical conditioning processes and procedures, and detailed operant conditioning process and procedures. Students may also learn biological implications for behavior analysis, more advanced behavior analysis concepts, and employment applications of such principles.

Key Performance Indicators:
Quizzes 10 to 20%

Tests 20 to 40%

Self Change Projects 15 to 25%

Life Application Papers 5 to 20%

Behavioral Interventions & Essays 20 to 40%

Spontaneous Assignments 0 to 7%

Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Powell, R.A., Honey, P.L., & Symbaluk, D.G. (2016) Introduction to Learning and Behavior.

Bailey, J. & Burch, M. (2003) How to think like a behavior analyst.

Sniffy the Virtual Rat, current edition.

Pedagogy Statement:
This course will be taught by lecture, class discussion and classroom activities.

Instructional Mediums:

Maximum Class Size: 40
Optimum Class Size: 30