RCPsych Expects

For MRCPSych Paper A

  1. Learning theory: classical, operant, observational, and cognitive models. 
  2. The concepts of extinction and reinforcement. 
  3. Learning processes and an etiological formulation of clinical problems, including the concepts of generalization, secondary reinforcement, incubation, and stimulus preparedness. 
  4. Escape and avoidance-learning. 
  5. Clinical applications in behavioral treatments: reciprocal inhibition, habituation, chaining, shaping, cueing. 
  6. The impact of various reinforcement schedules. 
  7. The psychology of punishment. 
  8. Optimal conditions for observational learning.  

Brief Answer Questions

Level-1 Test Your Memory

  1. What is classical conditioning and who described it?
  2. What are the schedules of reinforcement?

Level-2 Test Your Comprehension

After an incident of violence in the city, a TV channel contacted you to record your views on psychological causes of aggression. She asked about the effect of watching aggression on the viewer's behavior. 

How would you respond?

Level-3 Clinical Application 

What reinforcers can you use in clinical settings?

A mother of a 7-year-old boy came to your outpatient department. Her family physician sent her to you, to whom she reported that her boy shouts at the top of his voice whenever she does not meet his demand. Gradually his demands are increasing. She said that yesterday he woke up at 5 AM and started shouting and demanded that he want to eat pizza. To pacify him, she had to take him to a pizza outlet at the airport, as no outlet was open in the vicinity. The child on clinical examination was of above-average intelligence and was not suffering from any physical or mental disorder.

  1. How would you explain the worsening of his behavior?
  2. What measures will you suggest to her mother?

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Learning Objectives

    • Introduction

    • Welcome

    • Reinforcement

    • The Psychology of Punishment

    • Shaping

    • Primary and Secondary Reinforcers

  • 2

    Learning Theories

    • Classical learning

    • Operant Conditioning

    • Observational learning

  • 3

    Clinical Applications

    • Behavior Modification in Children

    • The Impact of Reinforcement Schedules

    • Gambling and the Brain

    • Cognition and Latent Learning

    • Practical Application

    • Drug Use and Advertising

  • 4

    Review Questions

    • Critical review questions