Learning Psychology

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1. Characterize learning systems through the respective mechanisms and processes;

2. Identify the basic functions of learning and interpretative systems involved therein;

3. Recognize the bases of associationist, functional and behavioral learning systems;

4. Learn the relationship between learning and phylogenetic and ontogenetic evolution;

5. Distinguish between learning, behavior and performance and natural and learned responses;

6. Identify the properties and characteristics of the instincts or fixed action patterns;

7. Distinguish between non-associative and associative learning;

8. Understand the principles of associative learning as well as its procedures of conditioning;

9. Distinguish, in the context of applied behavior analysis, between acquisition, maintenance, suppression and transfer of learned responses;

10. Identify neobehavior theories of learning.


1. Learning: Definition and concepts

2. Theories as interpretive systems

3. The epistemological basis of the theories of learning

4. The process of evolutionary adaptation of the body in half

5. Relationship between behavior and learning

6. Learning and performance

7. Learning vs. instincts

8. Non-associative learning

9. Associative learning

10. Mechanisms of associative learning

11. Techniques of behavior modification

12. Learning by observation / Tolman’s mediational theory

Teaching Methodologies

Teaching methodology combines problem-solving, project-based work and lectures complemented with PowerPoint presentations. It includes theoretical-practical classes on certain topics, in which students work in small groups, present their results to the class. By the end of the class, there is a large group discussion on each group’s work.


HAYS, T. (2006). The science of learning: A systems theory approach. Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press.

HERGENHAHN, B. & OLSON, M. (2005). An introduction to theories of learning. (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill-Prentice Hall.

JOYCE-MONIZ, L. (2002). A modificação do comportamento. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte.

KELLER, F.S. (2006). Aprendizagem: Teoria do reforço. São Paulo: EPU.

MOREIRA, M. (2006). Teorias da aprendizagem. São Paulo: Editora Pedagógica e Universitária.

OLSON, M. (2008). Introduction to theories of learning (8th Ed.). Pearson Higher Education

PEAR, J. (2001). The science of learning. Philadelphia, PA.: Psychology Press.

PEIXOTO, E. (1995). Aprendizagem de mestria e resolução de problemas. Lisboa: McGraw-Hill.

SCHUNK, D. (2004). Learning theories: An educational perspective (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill- Prentice Hall.

SHANKS, D. (2008). Psychology of learning. London: Sage Publications Ltd.



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours