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 YOU ARE HERE:
 ARTICLES > Clicker Training > What Is Positive Reinforcement? And Operant Conditioning?
  Clicker Training  Article:
  WHAT IS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT? AND OPERANT CONDITIONING?
Article By: Eugenie Chopin       

I mentioned Classical and Operant Conditioning, but we wont be discussing that here as its a days lecture on its own! However, it is important to understand a bit about Positive Reinforcement if you are interested in Clicker Training.

So positive reinforcement is only one quadrant of the 4 quadrants of Operant conditioning. The others are Positive punishment, negative punishment, and negative reinforcement.

What constitutes positive reinforcement?

Reinforcement means that you are increasing the Behaviour
Punishment means that you are decreasing the Behaviour

Think of Positive and Negative as being part of a Mathematical equation!

Positive means that you are adding to the equation
Negative means that you are taking something away.
Postive Reinforcement: The animal receiving something good for the correct behaviour in order to get the animal to increase the BH.
And what is good? Only the dog knows!

Positive reinforcement: Were playing. I Ask my dog, Shanti to sit, she sits and I give her a piece of biltong (we add biltong, a good thing to increase the likely hood of sitting)
Positive Punishment: Were playing, I ask Shanti to sit, she jumps up on me, and I give her a klap and yell at her and she sits. (We add Yelling and, a Bad thing in order to decrease the behaviour of jumping up or not sitting)
Negative Punishment: Were playing, I ask Shanti to sit, she runs away. I go get her and put her in a room with no toys. (We take away the good thing, which is the freedom and play to decrease the behaviour of running away)
Negative Reinforcement: Were playing, I ask Shanti to sit, she remembers the yelling and the klap, so she sits! To avoid the Punishment. (We take away the bad thing of yelling to increase the behaviour of sitting)

If I want to look at the emotional well-being of the dog, then I have to ask myself, would I rather have Shanti sitting because shes excited to receive Biltong or because shes afraid to get a klap?

In clicker Training we use about 85 % Positive Reinforcement and in the Shelter Environment, I would recommend that for Shelter work that the use of positive reinforcement could be especially valuable.

© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.
 

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