Francisco Silva

Professor, Psychology

Stock Profile Photo


Larsen Hall
P: 909.748.8673

Areas of Expertise

  • Animal learning

  • Behavior analysis

  • Philosophy of science

Description of Research

It has been said that people's understanding of tools is different from other animals' understanding of how these objects work. And yet, in some circumstances, people's behavior on tool-use tasks is similar to chimpanzees', monkeys', and crows' behavior. Dr. Silva's current research involves identifying the conditions under which adult humans' tool selections are similar to and differ from those of other animals. Differences in thinking are one reason why people and other animals might differ on a tool-use task. What are some other reasons, and what do these reasons tell us about comparative cognition?


Courses Taught

PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology

PSYC 250 Statistical Methods

PSYC 300 Research Methods

PSYC 439 History and Systems of Psychology

PSYC 441 Psychology of Learning


Silva, K. M., Silva, F. J., & Machado, A. (2019).  The evolution of the behavior systems framework and its connection to interbehavioral psychology.  Behavioural Processes, 158, 117-125.

Silva, F. J.  (2018). The puzzling persistence of “neutral” conditioned stimuli.  Behavioural Processes, 157, 80-90.

Silva, F. J., ten Hope, M. I., & Tucker, A. L. (2014). Adult humans' understanding of support relations: An up-linkage replication. Learning and Behavior, 42, 337-347.