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PSYC328 Behaviour Analysis in Everyday Life

Application of behaviour analysis principles across everyday situations.

This paper takes a closer look at how basic principles of behaviour analysis (e.g. operant conditioning) can be used across a range of situations to modify behaviour. Situations include consumer behaviour, physical activity and exercise, and education in the treatment of issues such as substance abuse and skills training for people with autism spectrum disorders.

Paper title Behaviour Analysis in Everyday Life
Paper code PSYC328
Subject Psychology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PSYC 210, PSYC 211, PSYC 212
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

With departmental approval, a student who has achieved a grade of at least B+ in each of PSYC 210 and 212 may take no more than one of PSYC 313-328 concurrently with PSYC 211.

With departmental approval, a student who has achieved a grade of at least B+ in PSYC 211 may take no more than one of PSYC 313-328 concurrently with PSYC 210 and 212.


Teaching staff

Lecturer: Dr Celia Lie
Teaching Assistant: To be confirmed

Paper Structure

PSYC 328 consists of both lectures and lab classes, as well as group project work. In the first five weeks of lectures, you will be introduced to the main principles of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). In weeks 6-13, we will explore how ABA can be applied across a range of everyday situations (see course outline for details). The final week's lecture will include some revision and a question-and-answer session.

For each lecture, there will be an assigned reading(s) that you should read prior to coming to the lecture. Lecture slides will be made available on Blackboard prior to each lecture.

A large component of the lab programme is the planning, design, and implementation of your group projects, which form the basis for your second written assignment (25%) and group presentation (5%).

The final mark consists of 50% internal assessment (20% research proposal, 25% group project report, and 5% group project presentation) and 50% external assessment (one final exam).


As the paper covers topics from a diverse range of areas, there is no textbook for this paper. Instead, a selection of journal articles and readings will be made available on eReserve (link on Blackboard).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper should learn:

  • The key components and considerations for how applied behaviour analysis (ABA) research is conducted
  • How the basic principles of ABA can be used across a range of everyday situations to modify human behaviour
  • How to identify a community problem, conduct a literature search for previously identified solutions to the problem, choose a possible solution, design an experiment that would test whether or not your proposed solution is viable, and write a proposal that would allow others to carry out your experiment
  • How to carry out an experiment to test a social intervention, analyse data, and write up a report of the results

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A2 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-40
A3 Thursday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A4 Thursday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-40
A5 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40