Category Archives: Behavior analysis

1:1 Pairings: The Science Behind Clicking and Treating

A guest post by Eduardo Fernandez,  first published in 2001 in the now out-of-print American Animal Trainer Magazine as “Click or Treat: A Trick or Two in the Zoo.” A recent discussion on an Association of Zoos and Aquariums listserv, … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Clicker, Guest post | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Doesn’t Intermittent Reinforcement Create a Stronger Behavior?

This article was first published by Clean Run – The Magazine for Dog Agility Enthusiasts, in August 2017. I changed the title after publication in this version. Please see the note about that at the end of the article.   … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Matching law, Reinforcement | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

A Quadrant by Any Other Name is Still a Cornerstone of Operant Learning

There is a science that deals directly with how organisms learn and how to use that information to change the environment in order to change behavior. It’s called applied behavior analysis (ABA). It is the applied version of behavior analysis, … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Extinction, Operant conditioning, Terminology | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Herrnstein’s Matching Law and Reinforcement Schedules

  Have you heard trainers talking about the matching law? This post covers a bit of its history and the nuts and bolts of what it is about. I am providing this rather technical article because I want something to link to … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Reinforcement, Research | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Speeding Tickets: Negative or Positive Punishment?

Speeding tickets are commonly used as an example in learning theory textbooks. But I’m going to disagree with the typical classification because of my own experience. Here’s a true story. When I was about 20, I was driving in my … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Punishment | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Actually, I **Can** Get My Dogs’ Attention

I was thinking the other day about how and why I have a dream relationship with my dogs. They are cooperative. They are sweet. They are responsive and easy to live with. You know how I got there? Training and … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Dog training hints, Operant conditioning, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Positive Punishment: 3 Ways You Might Use It By Accident

Positive reinforcement-based trainers never use positive punishment, right? At least we certainly try not to. But it can sneak into our training all the same. Punishment, in learning theory, means that a behavior decreases after the addition or removal of … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Punishment | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

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 analysis, 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 analysis, 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 analysis, Negative Reinforcement | 9 Comments