I will use instrumental conditioning procedures to ensure that Pacificus Animalus Lupus (PAL) displays appropriate behavior. Instrumental conditioning involves learning the relationship that exists between a response and consequences that emanate from the response. I will use instrumental conditioning procedures to ensure that PAL reduces its spitting of saliva any time it feels excited. I will also use instrumental conditioning procedures to ensure that PAL becomes less independent and more dependent so that it stays with research assistants as they work with it outside the cage (Domjan, 2015).
Negative contingency is appropriate in minimizing a certain type of behavior. Negative contingency will be used in ensuring that PAL reduces its spitting of saliva any time it feels excited. Negative reinforcement is a response that prevents or terminates an aversive stimulus. An aversive stimulus is an unpleasant outcome. Food can act as a very appropriate stimulus for changing animal behavior. It is important in animal training to make the animal to want to do what a trainer wants him to do. In my case, it will be important to ensure that that PAL wants to do what I want it to do. In animal training, it is important for make an animal believe that it is the one that is training us. In my case, I will make PAL believe that it is the one that is training me, not the other way round. I will motivate PAL to want to do what I want it to do. It is important to ensure that PAL understands its behavior of spitting saliva is detestable. The moment PAL is made to understand that its behavior of spitting saliva is detestable; it will learn to refrain from the behavior (Dunbar, 2007). I will deny PAL food any time it spits saliva when it feels excited. I will also instill little pain in PAL any time it spits saliva when it feels excited. Denying food to PAL as well as instilling little pain will play a major role in eliminating PALs behavior of spitting saliva any time it feels excited. Denying food to PAL as well as instilling pain are examples of punishment; punishment is necessary when it comes to changing the behavior of an animal. Any time PAL does not spit saliva when it feels excited, it will not receive any punishment. Punishment is very important when it comes to decreasing unwanted behavior. Omission training will be used to ensure that any time PAL does not spit excessive saliva when it is excited; a reward would be accorded to it. PAL should be given a reason for changing its behavior so that it can successful change its behavior into more appropriate behavior. As a result, PAL will stop spitting excessive saliva, and the laboratory will no longer be messy.
Positive reinforcement will be used in training PAL to be more dependent on the research assistants. Positive reinforcement is also called reward training, and it is used to produce an appetitive outcome that is not likely to occur unless the reward is used. As a result, positive reinforcement increases the desired behavior. I will use food as a positive reinforcement to ensure that PAL becomes dependent on the research assistants. Any time PAL shows dependency on the research assistants, his behavior will be rewarded by food. As a result, PAL will stop behaving like a cat; it will become more dependent on research assistants when working with it outside the cage (Domjan, 2015).
Domjan, M.P. (2015). The principles of learning and behavior (7th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1-2850-8856-3.
Dunbar, I. (2007). Dog-friendly training. TED. Retrieved on April 17, 2017 from https://www.ted.com/talks/ian_dunbar_on_dog_friendly_dog_training
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