To complete the assignment, read the instructions in Shaping and Chaining, Reinforcement Schedules, and One-Trial Learning and choose one of the following options.


Option 1: Presentation on Environmental and Evolutionary Psychology

Option 2: Review of Environmental and Evolutionary Psychology Literature

Option 3: Proposal for Forensic Psychology

Option 4: Review of Forensic Psychology Literature

Option 5: Proposal for Health and Sports Psychology

Option 6: Review of Health and Sports Psychology Literature

Option 7: Proposal for IndustrialOrganizational Psychology

Option 8: Review of IndustrialOrganizational Psychology Literature



Psychology of the Environment and Evolution

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that explains beneficial psychological and mental traits such as perception, language, and memory. Its primary goal is to introduce a practical way of thinking about biological mechanisms, such as the immune system, into the field of psychology (Tooby, 2018). Evolutionary psychology aims to assess how evolution has influenced and shaped human behaviour and thought.

A development psychologist studies and analyses how people grow and develop over time or throughout their lives. Physical, intellectual, social, and cognitive development are all part of it. The field of psychology is critical in the educational process. It is significant because it benefits people who have developmental delays. A psychologist can use evolutionary psychology to analyse and evaluate children with learning disabilities and use learning methods such as reinforcement or shaping to assist children in their learning endeavours (DAngelo, 2018). A developmentally delayed child, for example, may have difficulty grasping the alphabet or performing any other daily activity. As a result, the psychologist can use the shaping learning technique to break down each step of completing a specific activity to assist the child in completing the activity independently. Children learn new tasks gradually with the help of such a learning technique, and they also learn to do the task independently without any assistance.

It has been discovered that teaching a new task to a developmentally delayed child is a complicated process. They need help to grasp or comprehend the concept. As a result, psychologists must devote significant time to assisting such children in learning a new task. Psychologists employ various methods or techniques to teach such children new tasks. Some practical techniques include shaping the new task, one-trail learning, and reinforcement. Each technique for teaching new tasks to developmentally delayed children has advantages depending on the task and what is being taught.

According to Froján-Parga et al., 2018, shaping and chaining are related and help the psychologist break down a task into different steps to teach the new task or change the childs behaviour. A change in an individuals behaviour can be brought about with the help of shaping and chaining by bringing about a slight change in the individuals behaviour or response. Individual behaviour changes gradually over time with the help of shaping techniques by rewarding each segment of the behaviour. Individual behaviour is changed through trials that guide or direct the response towards a desired behaviour. Each behaviour segment is rewarded in shape until it reaches the individuals desired behaviour. For example, if a person wants a rat to press a button, every movement of the rat that leads to the button should be rewarded until the rat finally presses the button. Rewarding the rat for each movement will train the rat to press the button. Each step of the rat is small, but the rat directly reaches the button and turns it on.

According to Schunk (2012), a reinforcement schedule is a method of learning new behaviour in which rewards are given in a structured manner. The psychologist can effectively provide rewards to the individual learning new behaviour with the help of this technique because the structure helps identify when a reward should be given to an individual who is learning a new task or whose behaviour is being changed. Structure levels include intermittent, interval, variable interval, fixed interval, continuous, ratio, fixed ratio, and variable ratio. The reward given to a rat while training it to press a button, for example, is an example of continuous reward because the reward is given with each step or response. Only correct responses are rewarded in the interval reward, whereas some are rewarded in the intermittent reward. When a reward is given at a specific response rate, this is referred to as the reward ratio level. Depending on the situation or what best elicits the desired behaviour or response, the reward structure can also vary within the main reward structure. For example, while training the rat to press the button, the trainer may change the reward structure to produce the desired response if the rat does not respond correctly after some time. As a result, a reinforcement schedule is a highly effective method of learning a new behaviour or task.

Lewis et al., 2017 state that The psychologist will also use one trial learning to teach new behaviour or tasks. One trial learning, as the name implies, occurs in a single pairing of a response and a stimulus. However, repeated exposures to a new stimulus are not used to strengthen it. According to Edwin Guthrie, people learn from cues that guide them to a new task or behaviour rather than being conditioned to follow the behaviour to get the reward. Because of one-trial learning, several conditioned responses occur—for example, a taste aversion to a specific food. Using the rat as an example, Edwin Guthrie believes that the rat can activate the button even if the reward is not provided. If the rat is shown how to turn on the button, it will learn the behaviour. The rat should be able to perform the behaviour learning after only one trial.


S. DAngelo (2018). Charles Brainerd, a developmental psychologist, will be honoured by the American Psychological Association. 7–7 in Human Ecology, 46(2).

M. X. Froján-Parga, A. Calero-Elvira, R. Pardo-Cebrián, and M. N. de Prado-Gordillo (2018). Verbal Change and Cognitive Change: A Conceptual and Methodological Analysis of Cognitive Restructuring Using Socratic Dialogue. 11(2), 200-221. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy.

D. M. Lewis, L. Al-Shawaf, D. Conroy-Beam, K. Asao, & D. M. Buss (2017). A primer on evolutionary psychology. 353 in American Psychologist, 72(4).

D. A. Schunk & Co. (2012). Learning Theories from an Educational Standpoint (6th ed.). Allyn & BaconPearson Education, Inc., Boston, MA.

J. Tooby (2018). Evolutionary psychologys emergence. Emerging Science Syntheses (pp. 67–76). The CRC Press.

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