Category Archives: Choice

The Opposite of Force

I think I’ve figured something out. I continue to see the concept of choice bandied about the positive reinforcement-based training world. It can be a code word for a setup that includes negative reinforcement. “I’m going to do something physically unfamiliar … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Enrichment, Training philosophy, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged | 14 Comments

I Failed to Falsify—Twice! (Falsifiability Part 2)

I want to share just how tricky this falsification stuff can be. In the last few weeks I’ve received two comments from readers that pushed me to rethink some things I’ve written. They were both presented very constructively, offering some ideas in the spirit of good … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Critical Thinking, Research, Terminology | Tagged , , | 6 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

If You’re Loving It, Why Leave?

Is “choice” a code word for negative reinforcement? It can be. Seems like that’s the context where I see it pop up the most.  I’ve written a lot about choice. Two of my major points are: Many people are confused … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 9 Comments

The “Choice” Challenge

Thanks to Debbie Jacobs and Randi Rossman for their input on this topic. Any weird conclusions are mine alone. I have come to believe that most of us who thought we were using “choice” as a reinforcer were mistaken. Wait! Before you come running … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Choice, Reinforcement | Tagged | 26 Comments

The Dog’s Choice (Choice: Part 2)

This is a followup to my previous post, “Not All ‘Choices’ Are Equal.” “Choice” has become such a warm fuzzy buzzword that I hesitate to use it anymore. Yet it stands to reason that animals in our care benefit from … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Not All “Choices” Are Equal (Choice: Part 1)

Shout-outs to Companion Animal Psychology for the post, The Right to Walk Away” which covers the effects of offering that particular choice in animal experiments, and encourages us to apply the concept to our animals’ lives. Also to Yvette Van Veen for her … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Choice, Operant conditioning, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Let Rats Decide

Wait a minute! I thought this was Eileenanddogs! Well, just for today, it is Eileenandrats. I write a lot about dog body language in this blog.  I discuss letting animals have a say in how and when they are handled and … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Handling and Husbandry | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments