Now in its fourth edition, Michael Domjan's classic textbook offers a concise introduction to learning and conditioning that describes the most influential research findings and theoretical perspectives.

Domjan not only summarizes basic learning and conditioning principles using both human and animal examples but also describes how the latest discoveries in the field are being applied to tackle major clinical health problems.

Thoroughly updated to reflect contemporary research, this edition contains a wealth of new material on various aspects of extinction, and contemporary research on consolidation, reconsolidation, and memory updating is explored in an expanded discussion of memory mechanisms.

Domjan also describes novel applications of Pavlovian conditioning and, in his discussion of instrumental conditioning, new findings on response allocation and behavioral economics.

Students of psychology and neuroscience will value this succinct overview of the processes and mechanisms responsible for conditioning and learning.

Table of Contents


  1. Basic Concepts and Definitions
  2. The Structure of Unconditioned Behavior
  3. Habituation and Sensitization
  4. Pavlovian Conditioning: Basic Concepts
  5. Stimulus Relations in Pavlovian Conditioning
  6. Pavlovian Conditioning Mechanisms and Theories
  7. Instrumental or Operant Conditioning
  8. Schedules of Reinforcement
  9. Theories of Reinforcement
  10. Extinction of Conditioned Behavior
  11. Punishment
  12. Avoidance Learning
  13. Stimulus Control of Behavior
  14. Memory Mechanisms




About the Author

Author Bio

Michael Domjan, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught learning to undergraduate and graduate students for four decades. He also served as department chair from 1999 to 2005 and was the founding director of the Imaging Research Center from 2005 to 2008.

Dr. Domjan is noted for his functional approach to classical conditioning, which he has pursued in studies of sexual conditioning and taste aversion learning. His research was selected for a MERIT Award by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Domjan is a past president of the Pavlovian Society and also served as president of APA Division 6 (Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology). In 2014, he received the D. O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from APA Division 6.

Dr. Domjan also enjoys playing the viola and is the director of the Tertis / Pavlov Project, which consists of a series of minilectures (available on YouTube) that describe how learning is involved in musical experience and performance.

Reviews & Awards

This excellent book walks readers through behavioral psychology, both classical and operant conditioning. The basic concepts are fully explained, making the book appropriate for beginning and advanced classes in behavioral psychology.
Doody's Review Service

Highly engaging and accessible, this concise text reviews the most essential discoveries in the study of the psychology of animal learning. The issues are examined from a variety of perspectives — ethological, associative, behavior analytic, and behavioral economic. Psychology students and investigators in related disciplines looking to acquaint themselves with the key concepts and phenomena driving our understanding of basic learning processes will benefit greatly from this book.
—Andrew R. Delamater, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Brooklyn College, and Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York

In this thoughtfully revised edition, Domjan's writing is carefully constructed to avoid as much jargon as possible in a jargon-prone and jargon-rich field. The learning and conditioning processes are contextualized so that readers without particular expertise can appreciate the role of such processes in everyday life, as well as the importance of research in the area to solve significant health problems faced by society.
—Rick Bevins, PhD
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Domjan expertly delivers on what the book's title promises. Each chapter integrates the fundamentals of learning with evolutionary processes through conversational text and clear diagrams and figures — a well-balanced text for undergraduate courses on learning and behavior.
—Christopher A. Podlesnik, PhD, BCBA-D
Associate Professor, Schools of Psychology and Behavior Analysis, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne