You’re standing behind a curtain, holding a violin on stage at Carnegie Hall. The curtain rises and you took out at a huge crowd chanting, “Play, play, play.” The audience thinks you’re the virtuoso du jour. “Wait,” you shout, hands raised to hush the crowd. “I don’t know how to play the violin.” Continue reading
Q: What do the words “bee”, “moo” and “yo” have in common?
A: Say them once and they have a particular meaning, say them twice and they mean something completely different. Continue reading
In the late 1930’s, Burrhus Frederick (B.F.) Skinner wrote his magnum opus, The Behavior of Organisms. Today, his perspective on behavior is the foundation for almost all behavioral fields that deal with non-verbal animals. Skinner is the creator of the term operant conditioning, or “learning by consequences.” Skinner’s primary desire was to create a science of behavior. He promoted the idea that scientific behavioral control would make the world a better place. The essence of his ideology was a non-punitive society that would control behavior through “reinforcement” – the strengthening of behavior through rewarding good behavior. (See: http://clickandtreat.com/wordpress/?p=44 for more about the “non-coercive society of B.F. Skinner) If you have noticed that scientists with an agenda often stray from the essence of science, you’d be correct. B.F. Skinner failed to create a science of behavior. Instead, he created an ideology that fails even cursory tests of scientific validity. You can skip any reference to veritas – truth for truth’s sake.
One of the big bugaboos of the modern, ‘positive’ training ideology is the generally promoted concept that if you punish aggression you will trigger “rebound aggression.” Most of the people who say this pretend to be “scientific” in their perspective and claim scientific validation of their opinion. Bunk. Their fascination with rebound aggression simply displays their ignorance of a full reading of the literature and their unwillingness to look at the world around them. For starters, here’s a quote from The Effects of Punishment on Human Behavior by Axelrod and Apsche. They are referring to a foundational study that is never cited by ‘positive’ ideologues. In the study, monkeys were shocked into attacking other monkeys. (Ulrich, Wolfe & Dulaney, JEAB, 1969, Punishment of Shock Induced Aggression) This was called ‘elicited attacks.’ They caused the monkey to attack with electric shock – and then stopped that aggression with electric shock. They used electric shock because of the ability to tightly control the conditions of the experiment.
Clicker training is “all positive”. Lose weight without exercise or dieting. Our phone psychics are “certified”. Painless Dentistry. The check is in the mail. I never, ever, had sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski. “