John C. Moore

Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., University of California - San Diego, 1975

Research Interests:

I am an experimental psychologist with training in behavior analysis. My laboratory research interests are in the areas of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement. The students I supervise typically carry out projects with pigeons and operant conditioning chambers in my laboratory for their master's theses and doctoral dissertations, although recently a student investigated the operant choice behavior of humans at a computer-controlled console for a dissertation.

Many of the research projects in my laboratory concern the molar vs. molecular question: Are the independent variables that control behavior better formulated in terms of large-scale/molar or small-scale/molecular relations? To investigate these questions we often use a two-alternative choice procedure. One alternative is better than the other according to a molar measure, but the other alternative is better according to a molecular measure. The alternative that the subject prefers then guides our conclusions about which relations are more effective.

Another of my interests is the historical, theoretical, and philosophical development of psychology. In this regard, I have published a variety of papers on the nature and history of behaviorism, as well as the relation between behaviorism and various other movements in philosophy, such as cognitive psychology. Many of these papers deal with traditional issues in the philosophy of science, but from the unique perspective of behavior analysis.

Teaching Interests:

As do the other members of the department, I teach courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. At the undergraduate level, I teach Introductory Psychology as well as upper division courses in conditioning and learning. At the graduate level, I teach basic and advanced courses in the history of psychology, behavior analysis, and conditioning and learning.

Courses Taught:

Psych 101: Introduction to Psychology
Psych 514: Conditioning and Learning Seminar I
Psych 551: Learning and Motivation Theories
Psych 724: Proseminar in Behavior Analysis
Psych 914: Seminar in Learning--Stimulus Control
Psych 919: Seminar in Learning Theory--Classical Conditioning

Selected Publications

Moore, John C.Methodological behaviorism and private behavioral events as a radical behaviorist views them.
Moore, John C.Conceptual foundations of radical behaviorismCornwall-oh-Hudson, NY: Sloan Press. 2008: 440