Eric S. Murphy

Associate Professor
Office: SSB 219A      
Phone: (907) 786-1626


Ph.D., Washington State University, 2003; 
M.S., Washington State University, 2000; 
B.A., University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • PSY A355: Learning and Cognition
  • PSY A355L: Learning and Cognition Lab
  • PSY A370: Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSY A478: Applications of Behavior Analysis
  • BIOM A615: Medical Information for Decision Making

Professional and Departmental Service

  • Director, Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship
  • Treasurer, Alaska Association for Behavior Analysis
  • Program Co-Coordinator, Experimental Analysis of Behavior Area, Association for Behavior Analysis International
  • Member, Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

Research Interests

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Neuroscience



McSweeney, F. K., & Murphy, E. S. (Eds.).(2014). The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of operant and classical conditioning. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. 

Mock, K., & Murphy, E. S., & Donovan, S.(Eds.). (2012). Mentoring undergraduates in research and scholarship (2nd ed.). Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage.  

Selected Articles & Book Chapters   

Murphy, E. S., & Lupfer. G. J. (2014). Basic principles of operant conditioning. In F. K. McSweeney & E. S. Murphy (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of operant and classical conditioning (pp. 167-194). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. 

Murphy, E. S., Murphy, K. L., Harding, J. W., & Wright, J. W. (2013). A mathematical description of habituation and recovery of the head-shake response in rats. In A. Buskirk (Ed.), Habituation: Theories, characteristics and biological mechanisms (pp. 123-144). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.   

Murphy, E. S., & Mock, K. (2012). Value of undergraduate research and scholarship. In K. Mock, E. S. Murphy, & S. Donovan(Eds.), Mentoring undergraduates in research and scholarship (2nd ed.) (pp. 9-13). Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage.  

Murphy, E. S., & Madigan, R. J. (2011). Teaching classical and operant conditioning in a laboratory-based course: Eight effective experiments. Journal of Behavioral and Neuroscience Research, 9, 120-137. 

Lupfer-Johnson, G., Murphy, E. S., Blackwell, L. C., LaCasse, J. L., & Drummond, S. (2010). Effects of rate of reinforcement and reinforcer flavor variety on within-session changes in operant responding in dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli). Behavioural Processes, 84, 573-580. 

McSweeney, F. K., & Murphy, E. S. (2009). Sensitization and habituation regulate reinforcer effectiveness. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 189-198. 

Holtfreter, K. L., Murphy, E. S., Harding, J. W., & Wright, J. W. (2008).Effects of suprachiasmatic nucleus lesions on habituation of the head-shake response. Neuroscience Letters, 439, 203-207. 

Murphy, E. S., McSweeney, F. K., & Kowal, B. P. (2007). Motivation to consume alcohol in rats: The role of habituation. In P.W. O’Neal (Ed.), Motivation of Health Behavior (pp. 111-126). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science. 

Murphy, E. S., McSweeney, F. K., Kowal, B. P., McDonald, J., & Wiediger, R. V. (2006). Spontaneous recovery and dishabituation of ethanol-reinforced responding in alcohol-preferring rats. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 14, 471-482. 

Murphy, E. S., Harding, J. W., Muhunthan, K., Holtfreter, K., & Wright, J. W. (2005). Role of mitogen-activated protein kinases during recovery from head-shake response habituation in rats. Brain Research, 1050, 170-179. 

Wright, J. W., Murphy, E. S., Elijah, I. E., Holtfreter, K. L., Davis, C. J., Olson, M. L., Muhunthan, K., & Harding, J. W. (2004).Influence of hippocampectomy on habituation, exploratory behavior, and spatial memory in rats. Brain Research, 1023, 1-14. 

Murphy, E. S., McSweeney, F. K., Smith, R. G., & McComas, J. J. (2003). Dynamic changes in reinforcer effectiveness: Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications for applied research. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 421-438. 

McSweeney, F. K., Murphy, E. S., & Kowal, B. P. (2001). Within-session changes in responding during concurrent variable interval variable ratio schedules. Behavioural Processes, 55, 163-179. 

McSweeney, F. K., & Murphy, E. S. (2000). Criticisms of the satiety hypothesis as an explanation for within-session decreases in responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 74, 347-361.