Lecture 9 - Jan 26th

Lecture 9 - Jan 26th - What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy...

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1 What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy Marriage” Using Reinforcement Principles in Our Everyday Life 332: January 26th potential in class exam Feb. 7th Thursday, February 10, 2011
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2 Overview of Lecture Questions: Can we change another person’s personality with operant conditioning? Shamu is a killer whale trained to do amazing stunts in front of large audiences (there are about 50 different Shamu’s). They have been trained using operant conditioning. Animal trainers focus almost exclusively on using positive reinforcement. This is the ideal that BF Skinner had for children. What can the training of exotic animals teach us about operant conditioning? Thursday, February 10, 2011
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3 The most e-mailed article of 2006 Modern Love: What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy Marriage” by Amy Sutherland (6/25/06); one article was the most e-mailed article in NA in 2006. Lady was a married for 12 years journalist. She was happily married but over the course of 12 years, certain of her husbands behaviors started to annoy her and she would nag him and he didn’t change and she would get upset about it (ex. he was sloppy and forgetful). She encouraged him to go with her to marriage counseling. The person told them they were a solid pair and they communicated very well and that was that. so she decided this was not something to get divorced about so she sort of accepted it. She received a contract to write a big magazine piece about the training of exotic animals and she was invited to go to California where they have the top school for this. She said this was eye- opening and amazing how learning about these training tactics affected her, she realized she can influence people in her lives by reinforcing them for things she likes and not reinforcing when she doesn’t like. Thursday, February 10, 2011
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4 The central lesson: Eventually it hit me that the same techniques might work on that stubborn but lovable species, the American husband. - in the wild killer whales would rip you to pieces and devour you and can come up to the beach and get you. Question is, how can you train these naturally killer animals to be conformable with humans and respond to affection? Primarily through the effective use of positive reinforcement. you may think you are ignoring the behavior from another person that is bothering you, you are most likely indicating non-verbally The central lesson I learned from exotic animal trainers is that I should reward behavior I like and ignore behavior I don't. After all, you don't get a sea lion to balance a ball on the end of its nose by nagging. The same goes for the American husband. Thursday, February 10, 2011
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5 Shaping: I was using what trainers call "approximations," rewarding the small steps toward learning a whole new behavior. You can't expect a baboon to learn to flip on command in one session, just as you can't expect an American husband to begin regularly picking up his dirty socks by praising him once for picking up a single sock. With the baboon you first
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2012 for the course PSYCH 332 taught by Professor Koestner during the Winter '11 term at McGill.

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Lecture 9 - Jan 26th - What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy...

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