Eric S. Murphy

Eric S. Murphy teaching a Psychology of Learning Class
Professor, Director of Psychology
Department of Psychology
SSB 222

(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 & Department 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
  • Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Cogniceutic Solutions, LLC (a division of Seawolf Holdings)
  • 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   

LaCasse, J., Murphy, E. S., Lupfer, G. (in press). Effects of flavor variety and group housing on weight gain in juvenile dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli). Journal of Behavioral and Neuroscience Research.

Lupfer, G., Murphy, E. S., Merculieff, Z., Radcliffe, K., & Duddleston, K. N. (2015). Adapting to alcohol: Dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli) ethanol consumption, sensitivity, and hoard fermentation. Behavioural Processes, 115, 19-24.

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 (2nded.) (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.