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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Unit aim

Covers learning and memory in an integrated fashion. Learning and memory are concerned with understanding the processes by which behaviour is acquired through experience and expressed in later performance. Topics will include basic principles of behaviour change, learning and addictive behaviours, information processing account of memory, the role of implicit memory and learning, and the effects of aging on learning and memory.

Unit content

Examines key topics in Learning and Memory including:

  • Short-term and Working Memory
  • Long-term memory
  • Every day and Applied Memory (e.g. Memory improvement, memory and the law, ageing and memory, autobiographical memory, Skill memory)
  • Basic processes in Pavlovian (Classical) conditioning
  • Models of Pavlovian (Classical) conditioning
  • Instrumental learning (Operant Conditioning) and the analysis of behaviour
  • Learning emotional responses
  • Applying Learning to problems in the real world (e.g. Behavioural psychopharmacology and addictive processes, Verbal behaviour, Two-process learning theories and fear appeal marketing)
  • Learning and Memory research methods and dissemination of research.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 describe the ways in which learning and memory have been studied, the critical results of their investigation in the laboratory, and competing theories that have been developed to account for these findings Knowledge of a discipline
2 apply knowledge of the theories and principles of learning and memory to understanding, and developing effective management procedures for, a range of problem behaviours (e.g., drug addiction, Alzheimer's syndrome) Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
3 critically evaluate theories of learning and memory in order to derive hypotheses about potential empirical tests of their principles Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
4 design and conduct a piece of empirical research that examines one or more theoretical constructs in learning and memory Creativity
5 write a standard research report adhering to American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Guide style Communication and social skills

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe the ways in which learning and memory have been studied, the critical results of their investigation in the laboratory, and competing theories that have been developed to account for these findings
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. apply knowledge of the theories and principles of learning and memory to understanding, and developing effective management procedures for, a range of problem behaviours (e.g., drug addiction, Alzheimer's syndrome)
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. critically evaluate theories of learning and memory in order to derive hypotheses about potential empirical tests of their principles
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. design and conduct a piece of empirical research that examines one or more theoretical constructs in learning and memory
    • GA2: Creativity
  5. write a standard research report adhering to American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Guide style
    • GA6: Communication and social skills

Prescribed texts

  • Gluck, MA, Mercado, E & Myers, CE, 2014, Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior, 2nd edn, Worth, NY.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.