Category Archives: Behavior Science

I explore behavior science like a kid in a candy store. I hope I can convey how fascinating it is, whether it’s about dogs or even humans!

If My Criticism of Someone’s Comment on Facebook Is Punishment, Why Won’t She Shut Up?

What behavioral processes may be happening when we argue? They may not be what we think.* Let’s dive straight into an example. Sadie has just commented online in a dog training group, expressing an opinion I find to be dangerous and … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

When Is Citing a Research Study Not Enough?

Answer: Almost always. One study is usually flimsy evidence. What we need to consider is the bulk of the research. I’ll explain. Most of the online requests for studies I see are from people who want to support their points … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Critical Thinking, Research | 16 Comments

Socially Mediated Negative Reinforcement

I’ve updated one of my earlier posts to reflect better terminology and rewritten it quite a bit. Check it out, and feel free to share! Automatic vs. Socially Mediated Negative Reinforcement   Copyright 2017 Eileen Anderson

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Posted in Behavior Science, Negative Reinforcement | 9 Comments

Higher-Order Conditioning: Did it Happen To My Dog?

The other day I was sitting in my bedroom with Clara and Zani and the doorbell rang. And there was dead silence.

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

What’s a Functional Assessment in Dog Training? (And Why You Should Care)

A lot of dog training advice you get on the Internet won’t help. Pretty strange comment coming from a dog blogger who frequently writes about training, right? But even if people recommend a humane, positive reinforcement-based approach, something is missing … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science | 15 Comments

So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want: 9 Ways Preference Testing Can Go Wrong

What’s your favorite color? Do you prefer pie or ice cream? Which shirt do you like better: the striped one or the solid green one? Most of us have been asked our preferences since we were children. Sometimes we are being asked … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Choice, Research | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Do You Dogs REALLY Want To Come In?

(In answer to a couple of comments: The title of the post is correct. I am addressing my dogs and asking if they want to come in. Sorry if it comes off as clunky,) What do my dogs understand when … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Cues | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Latent Learning: The Original Definition

Latent learning has a precise definition in learning theory and it’s not what many people think. It’s not magic learning that happens during downtime–at least not in the way people assume. It is not a sudden better performance after a … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Leave It: Not Just for Dead Men Anymore

The other day I was pondering the trend of talking about teaching “self-control” and “impulse control” in our dogs. I got to thinking about “leave it,” both the term and the behavior. I realized a couple things. First, the term “leave it” … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Terminology, Zen/Leave it | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Local Enhancement and Socially Facilitated Behaviors in Dogs

This post started out as one thing and transformed into another as I went along, as many of mine do. I have been familiar for a while with the term local enhancement for a type of social learning in dogs. … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments