Of half a mind Thoughts on learning and uncertainty

Psychology of Learning (and Memory) (PSYC 3111) - Spring 2019

Quick facts

Class meetings MWF 11:15am–12:05pm or 1:25pm–2:15pm
Location Colvard 4123
Instructor: Dr. Doug Markant
Office: Colvard 4022
Office hours: TBD

Last updated: November 1, 2018

Course description

Learning and memory underlie who we are as individuals, how we have been shaped by our experience, and what we are capable of achieving in the future. This course will provide an introduction to the main theories and subfields of the psychological science of learning and memory, as well as the methods used by psychologists to understand learning and memory processes. A few of the questions we will consider in the class include:

  • When do people learn from their mistakes?
  • Why do you forget some information immediately, but other things you seem to remember forever?
  • How do you adapt to new and unfamiliar situations?
  • What strategies are most effective for studying?

The course will involve a mix of lectures, hands-on activities, and group discussions. Major assessments will include a midterm exam and final exam based on lecture material and textbook readings.


  • (GMM): Gluck, M. A., Mercado, E., and Myers, C. E. Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior (3rd edition). Worth Publishers. New York. - link to publisher
  • Other assigned readings will be posted on the course Canvas page.


Please note: This schedule, including the assigned supplemental readings, is tentative and subject to change (all changes will be posted online and announced in class). It is your responsibility to keep track of changes/additions through regular class attendance and use of Canvas.

Date Topic GMM
Week 1 (Jan. 9-11) Introduction to the course 1
Week 2 (Jan. 14-16) Neuroscience of Learning and Memory 2
Week 3 (Jan. 21-25) Habituation, Sensitization and Familiarity 3
Week 4 (Jan. 28 - Feb. 1) Conditioning 4, 5
Week 5 (Feb. 4 - 8) Concept Learning 6
Week 6 (Feb. 11 - 15) Memory Systems; Episodic and Semantic Memory 7
Week 7 (Feb. 18 - 22) Skill Memory 8
Week 8 (Feb. 25 - Mar. 1) Working Memory and Cognitive Control 9
Week 9 (Mar. 11 - 15) Statistical Learning  
Week 10 (Mar. 18 - 22) Expertise  
Week 11 (Mar. 25 - 29) Social Learning 11
Week 12 (April 1 - 5) Emotional Influences 10
Week 13 (April 8 - 12) Development and Aging 12
Week 14 (April 15 - 17) Clinical Perspectives  
Week 15 (April 22 - 26) Cultural Perspectives: Learning and Memory in Context  
Week 16 (April 29) Review session  


Late policy

Assignments turned in after 11:59pm on the due date (unless otherwise specified) will be considered late. Late assignments will automatically be marked off by 25%.


Plagiarism is a violation of academic integrity policy. As a condition of taking this course, all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to VeriCite for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the VeriCite reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. No student papers will be submitted to VeriCite without a student’s written consent and permission. If a student does not provide such written consent and permission, the instructor may: (i) require a short reflection paper on research methodology; (ii) require a draft bibliography prior to submission of the final paper; or (iii) require the cover page and first cited page of each reference source to be photocopied and submitted with the final paper.


  • Religious: This course will make accommodations for students whose religious affiliations require them to be absent on a class day. Proper written notification of such absences is necessary for excusal. The forms for excuse may be found at http://legal.uncc.edu/sites/legal.uncc.edu/files/media/UP409-ReligiousAccommodationForStudents.pdf. They will be labeled Request for Religious Accommodation, and they must be presented to the instructor by the third class period.

  • Disabilities: UNC Charlotte is committed to access to education. If you have a disability and need academic accommodations, please provide a letter of accommodation from Disability Services early in the semester. For more information on accommodations, contact the Office of Disability Services at 704-687-0040 or visit their office in Fretwell 230.

  • Emergency/Extreme Cases: Should a scenario arise that impedes your ability to attend class or complete coursework (i.e., death in family, illness, etc.), all documentation must be immediately and formally submitted to the Dean of Students. They can counsel you on whether a medical withdrawal from all of your courses might be your best option, and if you decide not to withdraw, they can work with your instructors in order to arrange for make-up work. I cannot approve excused absences/late work without formal documentation.


Students are expected to complete all courses for which they are registered at the close of the add/drop period. If you are concerned about your ability to succeed in this course, it is important to make an appointment to speak with me as soon as possible. The University policy on withdrawal allows students only a limited number of opportunities available to withdraw from courses. It is important for you to understand the financial and academic consequences that may result from course withdrawal (http://provost.uncc.edu/policies/academic/withdrawals).

Academic integrity policy

The UNC Charlotte Code of Student Academic Integrity governs the responsibility of students to maintain integrity in academic work, defines violations of the standards, describes procedures for handling alleged violations of the standards, and lists applicable penalties. The following conduct is prohibited in that Code as violating those standards:

  • Cheating. Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information during an academic exercise.
  • Fabrication and Falsification. Intentional and unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise.
  • Multiple Submissions. The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization.
  • Plagiarism. Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgement of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge. Abuse of Academic Materials. Intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material.
  • Complicity in Academic Dishonesty. Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty. A full explanation of these definitions, and a description of procedures used in cases where student violations are alleged, is found in the complete text of The UNC Charlotte Code of Student Academic Integrity. This Code may be modified from time to time. Users are advised to contact the Office of the Dean of Students to ensure they consult the most recent edition: http://www.legal.uncc.edu/policies/ps-105.html

Classroom conduct

All students and the instructor are expected to engage with each other respectfully.   Unwelcome conduct directed toward another person based upon that person’s actual or perceived race, actual or perceived gender, color, religion, age, national origin, ethnicity, disability, or veteran status, or for any other reason, may constitute a violation of University Policy 406, The Code of Student Responsibility. Any student suspected of engaging in such conduct will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Title IX

UNC Charlotte is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone.  UNC Charlotte has staff members trained to support you in navigating campus life, accessing health and counseling services, providing academic and housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and more.

Please be aware that many UNC Charlotte employees, including all faculty members, are considered Responsible Employees who are required to relay any information or reports of sexual misconduct they receive to the Title IX Coordinator.  This means that if you tell the instructor about a situation involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, I must report the information to the Title IX Coordinator.  Although I have to report the situation, you will still have options about how your case will be handled, including whether or not you wish to pursue a formal complaint.

Our goal is to make sure you are aware of the range of options available to you and have access to the resources you need. If you wish to speak to someone confidentially, you can contact any of the following on-campus resources, who are not required to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator: (1) University Counseling Center (counselingcenter.uncc.edu, 7-0311); (2) Student Health Center (studenthealth.uncc.edu, 7-7400); or (3) Center for Wellness Promotion (wellness.uncc.edu, 7-7407).  Additional information about your options is also available at titleix.uncc.edu under the “Students” tab.

Use of technology

The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Except in emergencies, those using such devices must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.  

Students are permitted to use computers during class for note-taking and other class-related work only. Those using computers during class for work not related to that class must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.  

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains permission from the instructor. If permission is granted, any distribution of the recording is prohibited. Students with specific electronic recording accommodations authorized by the Office of Disability Services do not require instructor permission; however, the instructor must be notified of any such accommodation prior to recording. Any distribution of such recordings is prohibited.