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Module

PSY1006 : Instinct, Learning and Motivation

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Caroline Allen
  • Demonstrator: Mrs Billie Moffat-Knox
  • Other Staff: Dr John Lazarus
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts of instinct, learning and motivation.

Original Summary:
Behaviour is a product of influences from the individual’s genotype and from its environment; nature and nurture. These two influences interact in complex ways to influence behaviour throughout the individual’s lifetime. The causal path from gene to behaviour is complex but we are beginning to unravel some of this complexity. Simple learning occurs by classical and instrumental conditioning, but birds and mammals are also capable of learning that may require more complex cognitive capabilities. General laws of learning are constrained by evolutionary influences on the learning process. Motivation is concerned with the immediate causes of behaviour, both internal to the organism and from the environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Instinct
The concept of instinct.
How genes influence behaviour.
The nature/nurture issue: problems and answers.
How does behaviour develop? Some general principles.
Learning
Non-associative learning.
Classical Conditioning - description and explanation; Pavlovian and cognitive views.
Instrumental Conditioning - description and explanation; behaviourist and cognitive views.
Film: 'The Autobiography of a Non-Person': An interview with B F Skinner on his life and work; behaviourism and its applications.
Predispositions and constraints on learning.
Applications of learning principles in psychological treatments.

Motivation
Principles of motivation and approaches to motivation: causal factors; drive; control theory; homeostasis.
Some motivational systems: drinking; aggression (including homicide); romantic love.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable