Syllabus – Psychology 4690
Introduction to Learning and Memory
Spring 2003 – University of North Texas
Professor: Martin Bink
Office: TH 358
Office Hours: M W F 1100 – 1200
Any day by appointment.
Lecture: MWF 1000 - 1050
Text: Learning and Memory. Second Edition. 2001. Purdy, Markham, Schwartz, &
Course description and goals: The goal of this class is to better understand the basic mechanism by
which our experiences form our behaviors and thoughts. The course will explore the
acquisition of, the retention of, and the use of knowledge. The course will be taught from
the perspective of cognitive psychology. As such, basic learning theories and theories of
memory will be presented as basic mechanisms of cognition.
Final course grades will be assigned based on the class mean and variance. The class mean of total
points will set the criterion for a grade of ‘B.’ The criteria for all other letter grades are set three (3)
standard errors above or below the mean. The criterion for an ‘A’ grade is three standard errors
above the mean, the criterion for a ‘C’ grade is three standard errors below the mean, and the
criterion for ‘D’ grade is three standard errors below the criterion for a ‘C.’ In the event that the class
mean is higher than 75% of the total points, a standard academic scale will apply.
The total points will be calculated by summing the points earned on individual assignments and multiplying
them by the following weights. You must take the final in order to pass the class (grade of ‘D’ or better).
Final exam -- 10%
Quizzes -- 50%
Theory papers – 30%
In-class Assignments 10%
Requirements: There is one prerequisite for this course. All students in this course must have completed
PSYC 3650. This is a firm requirement of this course. Students will use the knowledge and
skills learned in PSYC 3650 to complete assignments.
Attendance: Attendance is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged. In most cases, students will not
perform well in my classes unless they attend lectures. I cover a good deal of material that
is not in the text. Also, I feel that it is to the students' benefit to hear how I present material
and be able to ask questions as I cover the material originally.
Assignments: Unless otherwise stated, all assignments must be submitted by 5:00p.m. the day they are
due. All late work will be docked 10% (one letter grade) each day it is late. Any remedial
assignment or test/quiz must be arranged in advance. Remedial tests/quizzes will be given
only under extreme circumstances. Please be aware of the University policies for
Academic honesty: By attending the lectures and submitting assignments, you, the student, give implied
consent to adhere to the academic honesty policies of the University. Misrepresentation of
the origin of assignment submissions will be dealt with according to the policies of the
University. If you have questions about where the line between collaboration and plagiarism
should be drawn, consult the instructor.
Disability accommodation: The Department of Psychology cooperates with the Office of Disability
Accommodation (ODA) to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with
disabilities (cf. Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504, Rehabilitation Act). If you
have not registered with ODA, we encourage you to do so. Please present your written
Accommodation Request to your instructor on or before the 12 class day. If you
experience any problems in getting reasonable accommodations, please contact the
Psychology Department Liaison or the ODA. Also, the Department complies with the
University’s policies concerning discrimination and sexual harassment. If you have any
complaints, please contact the department chairperson or UNT’s Equal Opportunity Office.
Grade of “Incomplete”: If you take an “I” (Incomplete) in any course, you must complete the work and have
the “I” removed within one year or you must re-enroll in the course again.
Teaching philosophy: My view of education, in general, is that the process of academic learning changes the way
one understands the world. The goal for the educator (me) is to provide a framework in which the student (you) discovers
new information that provides a lasting change in one's understanding of the world. This is accomplished in two very
efficient ways. One is through collaboration. The students interaction among each other helps broaden the scope of
issues as well as define one's own thinking. The students should also collaborate/interact with the instructor. This allows
the instructor to provide structure as well as content to the student. The second way in which the student discovers
information is through direct experience. This is commonly known as "hands-on" experience or practice. I feel that in
order to understand a concept, the student must apply information in a useful context.
In class I use a casual, conversational lecture style to facilitate interaction with the students. I encourage class
participation and direct questions to particular students. I assume that when students are in the classroom they are ready
to participate. In addition, I seldom have a rigid schedule of material to cover during a given lecture. This allows the
flexibility required to engage in class discussions.
Tentative Schedule: The following represents a general outline of the schedule of the course. This is
intended to present the structure of the topics covered and assignments that are likely. The dates are
general and may vary.
WEEK TOPIC Readings
1 Intro./ Stimulus learning / Chapters 1 & 2
2 Classical Conditioning Chapters 2 & 3
3 Classical Conditioning Chapter 3
4 Instrumental learning Chapter 4
5 Instrumental learning Chapter 5
6 Interaction of Classical and Chapters 6 & 7
7 Generalization and Chapter 7
8 Verbal Learning Chapter 8
9 Forgetting Chapter 8
Span/ Working Memory
10 SPRING BREAK
11 Implicit Memory Chapter 11
**Paper 1 assigned
12 Long-term phenomenon Chapter 9
**Paper 1 DUE
13 Memory Retrieval Chapter 10
**Paper 2 assigned
14/15 Memory phenomenon /
Individual Differences In class
**Paper 2 DUE (14)
Final May 5 @ 8:00a.m. –