The Psychology of Learning -- A Video Textbook
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The Psychology of Learning -- A Video Textbook

It's a world full of "stimuli" and "responses". How do we make connections among them? How do we...learn?
3.6 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
315 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2016
Price: $75
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Provides a framework for understanding concepts, phenomena, and theories from the field of learning
  • Illustrates the field's key ideas using film clips and other popular media
  • Explains important topics rarely covered at length in Learning textbooks
View Curriculum

You could see the world as nothing but randomly appearing stimuli (i.e., events you experience) and responses (i.e., your own behaviors), but you don't. How do you learn that one stimulus is associated with another (classical conditioning)? How do you learn that your own behavior can make something in your environment change (operant conditioning)? And how do classical and operant conditioning change the way you behave? As it turns out, these two forms of learning--and what they tell you about the predictability of your world--can change your behavior in surprising ways.

These videos are the ideal study tool for AP Psychology courses, CLEP Psychology test preparation, and any college-level Psychology of Learning course.

Take this Psychology of Learning course and discover how we learn.

Who is the target audience?
  • Those taking (or preparing to take) courses in Introductory Psychology, Learning and Memory, or related topics
  • Anyone interested in a deeper understanding of classical conditioning (e.g., Pavlov's dogs) and operant conditioning (e.g., reinforcement and punishment)
  • People interested in learning more about why people do what they do
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 51 Lectures Collapse All 51 Lectures 06:28:33
What's Learning All About?
4 Lectures 01:05:18

What's "learning," and what's the field of learning all about?

Preview 15:49

A summary of the first lecture, focusing on a definition of learning and why it might not be what you'd expect it to be.

...and What's it Not?

To explain learning phenomena, we need theories. To test theories, we need experiments. Why?

Studying Learning: Within-Participants Experiments

Studying Learning: Between-Participants Experiments
Simple Forms of Learning
4 Lectures 52:53

Briefly, another simple form of learning.


A relatively simple, non-associative form of learning.


Why does lengthy or repeated exposure to a stimulus sometimes produce sensitization, and sometimes produce habituation?  And is that even the right question to ask?

Dual-Process Theory

How can the consequences of repeated exposure to a mild stimulus be explained?  There are numerous theories, but mostly they look like opponent-process theory.

Opponent-Process Theory
Classical Conditioning Basics
8 Lectures 01:28:28

Slapping stimuli together is always classical conditioning, even when nothing spectacular (or even noticeable) happens.  But to study animals, it's convenient to slap certain stimuli together--ones that will produce clear, obvious behaviors.  This video will reinforce what you've probably already read about the basic Pavlovian procedure, and address a few common errors people make in thinking about Classical Conditioning.

An Introduction to Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning comes up in real life in significant ways.

Real-Life Examples of Classical Conditioning

Is your I.S.I. too B.I.G.? There's a solution for that.


Contingency, Contiguity, and Filler Stimuli

By-Products of Classical Conditioning

Billions and billions of becomes a CS. Why? One answer is overshadowing.



Suppression and facilitation can be used as measures of Pavlovian learning, and higher-order conditioning can extend the reach of classical conditioning into your life.


Suppression, Facilitation, Second-Order Conditioning

...and another reason is latent inhibition.


Latent Inhibition

...and if other stimuli are around that are already CSs? 


Blocking and Conditioned Inhibition
Classical Conditioning Theories
10 Lectures 01:01:25
What is it about classical conditioning that needs explaining?

An Overview of Classical-Conditioning Theories

What sort of change can you expect from your CR as the result of the CS showing up?


An Overview of the Rescorla-Wagner Model

Well, not all the details; just three little things allow you to predict two little things (and to get a sense of how the model works). 

Details of the Rescorla-Wagner Model

The Rescorla-Wagner Model in action (so to speak).

Rescorla-Wagner Illustrations

Why do CRs sometimes mimic URs, but sometimes seem to compensate for URs?


Preparatory-Response Theory

 Mono. Bi. Mono. Bi. Mono. Bi. Mono. Bi. Mono. Bi. Mono. Bi. Decaf?

Sometimes-Opponent Process Theory

 What sort of association gets learned during classical conditioning?

An Overview of Stimulus-Substitution Theory

First-order associations?

Stimulus Substitution (First Order)

So,...if you eliminate the response to the US, the CS2 will...what?!

Stimulus Substitution (Higher Order)

 Substitutes. Signals. Substitutes. Signals. Substitutes. Signals. Substitutes. Signals. Substi...

Substitutes? Or Signals?
Operant Conditioning Basics
10 Lectures 57:08
How does operant conditioning differ from classical conditioning?


Operant Conditioning vs. Classical Conditioning

E. L. Thorndike had a few ideas about what got learned during operant conditioning procedures. How was he right? How was he wrong?


E. L. Thorndike

Ouch. Smack-down.

B. F. Skinner's Three-Term Contingency

Looks pretty simple, but...

Operant Consequences

A few things to keep in mind as you sort out what's what with operant conditioning.


Fuzzy Stuff

"Well, I walked under a ladder and nothing bad happened, so...."


Superstitious Behavior

"Daddy, where do new behaviors come from?"



Sometimes can be better than all the time.

Reinforcement Schedules

Maybe pigeons are smarter than they seem.

Probably not, but maybe.

The Post-Reinforcement Pause

Everybody s-t-r-e-t-c-h now!

Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery, and Resurgence
Operant Conditioning Theories
15 Lectures 01:03:21

I know what feels good and I know what feels bad. Oh, wait a, I don't.

Why Theories Of Reinforcement?

Needs and arousal.

Physiological-ish Theories Of Reinforcement

Just the time, relatively speaking.


Premack 's Principle


Equilibrium Theory

Why avoid something that doesn't happen (anymore)?


The Avoidance Paradox

Avoidance isn't avoidance.

Two-Factor Theory and the Safety-Signal Hypothesis

And they were looking so good.

Trouble in Two-Factor Town

Two hard.  One easy.  Questions?

One-Factor and Cognitive Theories

Well...nobody's perfect.


Learning to get better.


Discrimination Training

Discriminating involves more than it might seem.



What's going to happen?

The Intermediate-Size Problem

Theories of Discrimination

Prior learning influences current learning.


Behavioral Contrast

At the risk of repeating myself, prior learning influences current learning.

Transfer of Learning
About the Instructor
Dr. Don J. Sharpsteen
3.2 Average rating
119 Reviews
9,569 Students
4 Courses
Psychology professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Dr. Sharpsteen has been a professor of psychology for nearly 30 years, specializing in topics related to social psychology and personality. He's the author of REA's CLEP Introductory Psychology, a test preparation guide for introductory/general psychology courses.