Psychology 3226B-001

Hormones and Behaviour

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


An in-depth review of current research problems in the field and the biological mechanisms by which hormones can affect behaviour. Topics may include hormones and brain development, sexual differentiation, sexual and courtship behaviour, parental behaviour, aggressive behaviour, stress, food intake; and endocrine disorders in humans.


Antirequisite: Psychology 3215F/G


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E, or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2220A/B, 2221A/B or Neuroscience 2000.

3 lecture/discussion hours, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


       Instructor:                                                     Scott MacDougall-Shackleton

       Office and Phone Number:                            SSC 7412       x84629

       Office Hours:                                               TBA (posted on OWL)



       Teaching Assistant:                                      Tanya Shoot

       Office:                                                         TBA

       Office Hours:                                               TBA (posted on OWL)



       Time and Location of Classes:   Fridays, 11:30-2:30,  SSC 2024

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.



An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology, 5th edition

Nelson and Kriegsfeld (2017) Sinauer  ISBN 9781605353203

available from Campus Bookstore and other retailers


This course will examine how hormones modify behaviour.  Students completing this course will acquire a strong foundation in behavioural endocrinology and will understand current research topics in the field on a variety of species.  There will be a strong emphasis on biological processes that regulate behaviour, both physiological and ecological.


Students who successfully complete this course should be able to


  1. identify and describe key concepts in behavioural endocrinology
  2. identify major hormone systems and how they affect brain and behaviour
  3. describe how hormones are similar and different to other chemical messengers
  4. critique news articles covering hormones and behaviour
  5. interpret evidence used to determine the effects of hormones on behaviour


Evaluation in this course will be based on the following:


Weekly Online Quizzes (Best 8 of 10)                                 8% total (1% each)

Short Written Assignments (Best 2 of 3)                            16% total (8% each)

Midterm Exam (multiple choice & short answer)                36%

       Final Exam (multiple choice)                                             40%


Weekly quizzes will consist of about 5 questions (multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc) that are based strictly off the readings in advance of the lecture for that week. Deadlines for quizzes will be posted on the OWL site. There are no make-ups for missed quizzes. Only the best 8 of 10 will count towards your final grade. Quizzes are open-book and are submitted through OWL. The quizzes are designed to be completed in 10 minutes, but you will be allowed 30 minutes to complete them.


Assignments will include short written responses (usually 500 words maximum) to assigned readings and may also involve peer evaluation of other students’ written work. Information about the assignments will be posted on OWL and you will submit assignments through OWL. There is a strict policy that late assignments will not be accepted and late assignments will be given a grade of zero. There are no make-ups for a missed assignment. Only the best 2 of 3 assignments will count towards your final grade.


The midterm and final exam will be based on both lecture material and assigned readings from the textbook. The midterm will include multiple choice and short-answer questions.  The final exam will include multiple choice questions only.  The final exam will focus primarily on the second half of the course, but approximately one quarter of the questions will be on broad topics and themes that run throughout the entire course.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


Weekly quizzes                                             deadlines posted on OWL each week

Assignments (submitted online)                    

     Assignment 1                                          4 Feb 2018

     Assignment 2                                          4 Mar 2018

     Assignment 3                                          25 Mar 2018

Midterm examination                                     27 Feb 2018 (evening)

Final examination                                          TBD (scheduled by registrar April 14-30, 2018)


Tentative Schedule: Refer to OWL for updates




Text Readings


12 Jan


ch 1


19 Jan

Endocrine System, Hormones

ch 2


26 Jan

Sexual Differentiation

ch 3


2 Feb

Sex Differences in Brain and Behaviour

ch 4


9 Feb

Sexual and Reproductive Behaviour

ch. 5, 6


16 Feb

Parental Behaviour

ch 7


27 Feb




2 Mar

Affiliation and Aggression

ch 8


9 Mar

Eating and Drinking

ch 9


16 Mar

Biological Rhythms

ch 10


23 Mar


ch 11


30 Mar

University holiday – no class



6 Apr

Learning and Memory

ch 12


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.