Timothy A. Shahan

Professor - Brain & Cognition and Behavior Analysis Specializations

Timothy A. Shahan

Contact Information

Office Location: EDUC 499
Phone: 435-770-7619
Email: tim.shahan@usu.edu
Additional Information:


Operant conditioning, choice, behavioral momentum, resurgence, conditioned reinforcement, information theory


I received my PhD in psychology from West Virginia University in 1998. I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Vermont, and then a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire until 2003. I was the 2006 recipient of the B.F. Skinner Young Researcher Award from Division 25 of APA. I am presently a Professor in the Psychology Department at Utah State. Dr. Shahan's research focuses on resurgence, behavioral momentum, choice, conditioned reinforcement, and drug self-administration. Since 2000, my research has been funded by a variety of NIH Institutes including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Insitute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. I am a Fellow of ABAI and has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, president of the Society of the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, and chair of the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology study section at NIH. My lab is always accepting applications from prospective doctoral students. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a doctoral student in my lab, please email me directly at tim.shahan@usu.edu.


  • Shahan, T.A. (2022). A theory of the extinction burst. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 45, 495-519. 
  • Shahan, T.A., Browning, K.O, Nall, R.W. (2020). Resurgence as Choice in Context: Treatment duration and on/off alternative reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 113, 57-76.
  • Cunningham, P.J., & Shahan, T.A. (2018). Suboptimal choice, reward-predictive signals, and temporal information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 44, 1-22.
  • Gallistel, C.R., Craig, A. R, & Shahan, T.A. (2019). Contingency, contiguity, and causality in conditioning: Applying information theory and Weber's Law to the assignment of credit problem. Psychological Review, 126, 761-773.
  • Shahan, T.A. (2017). Moving beyond reinforcement and response strength. The Behavior Analyst, 40, 107-121.
  • Shahan, T. A., & Cunningham, P. (2015). Conditioned reinforcement and information theory reconsidered. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 103, 405-418.