Operant Learning Illustrated by Examples

A great blog by Eileen Andeson


Many thanks to Ruth Byrn, Marge Rogers, and Susan Friedman for their generous assistance with the movie.

 In the terminology of learning theory, positive does not always mean good. Actually it never means good. Likewise, negative does not mean bad. Also, reinforcement is not always about giving the dog something she wants. And punishment is not always about hurting, intimidating or confining her.

Got that straight?

If your head already hurts, skip ahead and watch the movie.  That’s why I made it. The purpose of this post is to introduce a movie that illustrates the four processes of operant learning with multiple examples, in hopes of clarifying the bigger concepts with those examples.  (Don’t worry; Feisty the stuffed dog stands in when bigtime aversives are used.)

Anybody still reading? Good.

To continue: Most of us have heard the term “positive reinforcement” and have a notion of what…

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About BFTG

The Pet Professional Guild is a membership business league for individuals and professional pet industry businesses having the common business interest and goal of furthering the public’s education and awareness of force-free dog training and pet care methods, techniques and state of research in dog training and pet care and to promote the common interest of spreading ‘force-free’ dog training and pet care methods to the pet industry. The PPG provides professional registry, representation and education to ‘force-free’ pet care providers and the public with an emphasis on building collaboration among ‘force-free’ pet trainers and professional pet care providers to improve the business conditions and promote the common interests of force-free.
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