Cengage Learning

Higher Education

The Principles of Learning and Behavior: Active Learning Edition, 6th Edition

  • Michael Domjan University of Texas, Austin
  • ISBN-10: 0495601993  |  ISBN-13: 9780495601999
  • 696 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2006, 2003, 1998
  • © 2010 | Published
  • Newer Edition Available
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This active learning edition includes a new, built-in workbook that provides examples and exercises to help students practice and remember what they read in the text. In addition, students read graphs and make their own interpretations of what the information yields about behavior. Each exercise begins with a short lesson, and then has short assignments that range from 1 minute to 30 minutes worth of work—some are short answer, some are projects, and some are more involved. The workbook also incorporates students exercises for SNIFFY THE VIRTUAL RAT, VERSION 2.0. Known for its currency and clear writing style, PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to elementary forms of learning that have been the focus of research for much of the twentieth century. The book covers habituation, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, stimulus control, aversive control, and their applications to the study of cognition and to the alleviation of behavior problems. Biological constraints on learning are integrated throughout the text, as are applications boxes that relate animal research to human learning and behavior. The book closely reflects the field of research it represents in terms of topics covered, theories discussed, and experimental paradigms described.

Features and Benefits

  • Major efforts have been made to make this book more student-friendly, for example there are more human examples, headings, and succinct paragraphs.
  • The preface presents data on the number of publications that have appeared on learning in animals during the past 30 years.
  • The book presents the basic principles of learning and the latest relevant research available in a clear and user- friendly style.
  • Careful organization of each topic is provided by moving from simple to more complex paradigms, concepts, and theories.
  • Complex ideas are introduced with analogies and concepts are illustrated with examples from daily life.
  • Chapter Outlines, Chapter Summaries, and a Glossary of Technical Terms extend the opportunities for reinforcement of student learning.
  • The book contains numerous figures and illustrations that enhance understanding, particularly for visual learners.
  • This student-friendly book provides thought-provoking questions and a glossary at the end of each chapter.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
2. Elicited Behavior, Habituation, and Sensitization.
3. Classical Conditioning: Foundations.
4. Classical Conditioning: Mechanisms.
5. Instrumental Conditioning: Foundations.
6. Schedules of Reinforcement and Choice Behavior.
7. Instrumental Conditioning: Motivational Mechanisms.
8. Stimulus Control of Behavior.
9. Extinction of Conditioned Behavior.
10. Averse Control: Avoidance and Punishment.
11. Comparative Cognition I: Memory Mechanisms.
12. Comparative Cognition II: Special Topics.

What's New

  • Chapter 1, The section on the relation of behavior theory and cognition, relation of behavior theory and conscious control was expanded. The section on machine learning and automated systems was expanded, as well as, a discussion of the relation between neuroscience and behavioral studies of learning. A new section on animal learning models and drug development was added.
  • Chapter 2, Developed a new rationale for including elicited behavior in the book in relation to the nature/nurture controversy and Steven Pinker’s 2002 book on the subject. The section on sign stimuli for incubation behavior was replaced with sign stimuli in human defensive behavior and in human social attractiveness. New examples of sensitization involving sexual arousal and fear potentiated startle.
  • Chapter 3, The section on conditioned fear was updated, with greater emphasis on freezing as a measure of fear. Sexual conditioning was used rather than conditioning with food to illustrate sign tracking. The section on taste aversion learning was changed to characterize more generally the learning of taste preferences and aversions, with an emphasis on human examples. Human examples of conditioned inhibition were added.
  • Chapter 4, The paragraph on "biological strength" was omitted and moved directly into describing high-order conditioning, counterconditioning, and sensory preconditioning. Updated the section on latent inhibition, US preexposure (with recent work by G. Hall), and selective associations in fear conditioning (with new human examples).The sections on high-order conditioning and sensory preconditioning were updated start with concrete human examples rather than abstract experimental procedures.
  • Chapter 5, New human examples of operant responses were provided and distinguished them from instrumental responses. The discussion of shaping behavior shifted from laboratory studies to a discussion of human examples. A new box on DRO provided as therapy for self-injurious behavior. New data relating contrast effects was introduced to hedonic shifts that occur with drug addiction.
  • Chapter 6, The discussion between ratio and interval schedules was updated and discussed the implications of these effects for pay scales and employee management.
  • Chapter 7, The discussion of S-R mechanisms were updated to include habit learning in drug addiction and the new Wood & Neal (2007) theory of habitual behavior in people. A new neurobox was included on the role of dopamine in addiction/reward and on addiction/hedonic hot spots. Balleine and Dickinson’s concept of incentive learning in discussing reinforcer devaluation effects was updated.
  • Chapter 8, A new example of generalization of training effects, involving peer training of gun-safety behaviors in children. Added a discussion of how discrimination-training techniques can be used to determine whether horses and bears can see color. More recent examples of stimulus discrimination training were added. The extensive discussion (and Fig 8.10) of the Honig et al (1963) pigeon study was replaced with a new experiment on cocaine self administration (Kearns et al., 2005).
  • Chapter 9, Figure 9.2 was replaced with one that more clearly demonstrated features of spontaneous recovery. Omitted figure 9.3, and associated text, for sake of simplicity. A new section on procedures for enhancing extinction was added, with special emphasis on translational research and implications for behavior therapy.
  • Chapter 10, The Kamin et al. (1963) study (and attendant figure) was replaced with recent study by Lovibond et al., (2008). Simplified the treatment of SSDR theory and focused more on its successor, the predatory imminence continuum. The discussion of Premack’s approach to the negative law of effect was reduced and replaced that with recent studies of the effects of punishment on concurrent schedule performance in college students.
  • Chapter 11, The phrase "animal cognition" changed to the more contemporary phrase "comparative cognition" in the title of the chapter and elsewhere. A new section on the dangers of projecting human cognitive traits on animals was added. A section on the Morris water maze was added, because that procedure has become very popular in the neuroscience of spatial memory.
  • Chapter 12, The extensive discussion of an "internal clock" was cut, since that heuristic is no longer used much in research. The section on scalar expectancy theory was simplified but added reference. A new section on tool use by nonhuman species was included, focusing on recent research with New Caledonian crows.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: The Principles of Learning and Behavior: Active Learning Edition, 6th + Sniffy the Virtual Rat Lite, Version 2.0 (with CD-ROM)

ISBN-10: 0495784877  | ISBN-13: 9780495784876

Bundle: The Principles of Learning and Behavior: Active Learning Edition, 6th + Sensation and Perception (with Virtual Lab Manual CD-ROM), 8th + Virtual Lab Manual

ISBN-10:  111199384X | ISBN-13:  9781111993849


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 0495804649 | ISBN-13: 9780495804642)

ExamView® (Windows/Macintosh)  (ISBN-10: 0495804657 | ISBN-13: 9780495804659)

eBank Transparencies  (ISBN-10: 0495804673 | ISBN-13: 9780495804673)

Student Supplements

Bundle: The Principles of Learning and Behavior: Active Learning Edition, 6th + Sniffy the Virtual Rat Pro, Version 2.0 (with CD-ROM)  (ISBN-10: 0495784869 | ISBN-13: 9780495784869)

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Michael Domjan

Michael Domjan is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Domjan specializes in various areas of learning including animal learning, biological constraints on learning, learning mechanisms in reproductive behavior, and comparative psychology. He has been recognized with the MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1993, the G. Stanley Hall Award from the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1995, and election as President of the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology of the APA (1999-2000). He is the recipient of numerous grants for research from the National Science Foundation, NIMH, and other agencies and has published more than 100 papers and presented in his area of specialization at more than 115 conventions. He served as editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes for six years and continues to serve on editorial boards of various journals in the United States and other countries. He is a past president of the Pavlovian Society and also served as president of the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology of the American Psychological Association.