Learning and Behavior

by Tutor Team

Course Description

Learning and Behavior is a most comprehensive course at graduate level reviewing the various forms animals learn and acquire new behavior. It is an essential course to understand behavior modification.

In lesson one, you’ll read Paul Chance’s “Learning and Behavior” that you’ll have to acquire separately. If you arrived at this course via our program path, you have completed CPDT and CACE. You are, now, an advanced student of behavioral sciences. Therefore, we leave it more up to you to plan how best to take this course. We recommend you read the textbook and takes notes. You will need your notes to complete the lesson quiz and to write your course assignment. Sort out the most fundamental from the least. It’s a big book. Enjoy your reading. Your knowledge will increase with each page you read.

In lesson two, you will also practice and demonstrate your behavior modification skills with Sniffy, the virtual rat. Using a CD-ROM and lab manual, you will get a hands-on experience in setting up and conducting experiments that prove the phenomena of classical and operant conditioning using Sniffy the digital rat.

If you have a question that you’d like answered, or you find a topic especially challenging, feel free to ask in the course forum. This is true for all students and most of all for the student who arrives at this course without having previously taken any of our courses. In the course forum, our tutors will guide you and will answer your questions. We want you to feel confident that you know your stuff once you have earned your certificate. In distance education, lacking the personal contact of traditional classes, it is essential for student and tutors to keep in touch using all the means they have at their disposal. Our course forums are by far the best option.

PS—If you arrive at this course without having taken any previous courses, we strongly recommend you take The 20 Principles All Animal Trainers Must Know and Animal Learning and then come back. These two courses are at the undergraduate level and easier than the current Learning and Behavior, which is at the graduate level.

Course Level

Advanced. This is a course at the graduate level.

Course Textbook

“Learning and Behavior”

by Paul Chance, Ph.D.


Book contents

Introduction Learning to Change

The Study of Learning and Behavior

Pavlovian Conditioning

Pavlovian Applications

Operant Learning Reinforcement

Reinforcement Beyond Habit

Schedules of Reinforcement

Operant Learning Punishment

Operant Applications

Observational Learning

Generalization Discrimination and Stimulus Control


The Limits of Learning



Supplementary Literature

Although not mandatory, we recommend that you supplement your readings with:

Online Studying and Tutoring

Watch the movie(s) and read the book(s). Join the course forum where you can read our tutors’ answers to questions previously posed by your colleagues. If you have a new question, do not hesitate in posting it.

The course forum is solely for academic questions. For administrative matters or difficulties accessing the functionality of the site, please submit a ticket.

Once you’re ready for it, take the quizzes. You may take a quiz as many times as you like. We recommend you re-take quizzes once a year as a self-imposed quality control.

Tutor Team

Our Tutor Team consists of all tutors who collaborate in creating courses, lessons, and study resources. We guide you throughout your studies and answer the questions you pose on the course forums.

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Ethology Institute