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Discussion Starter #1
Those of you who are OC savvy through dog training, did it carry over to parenting?

I mean, a lot of parents complain about their kids "not listening" or whatever, but we have the same problem with dogs "not listening" and with some knowledge of OC techniques, it's a solvable problem in the dog world. My view with dogs is that I can't make them to do stuff they can't or haven't learned to do, so "not listening" is irrelevant to me.
 

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Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" isn't a dog training book. . .

But of course humans are capable of making the choice to do something that's not in their best interests, just to be ornery. So it's not 100%. But helpful.
 

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Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" isn't a dog training book. . .

But of course humans are capable of making the choice to do something that's not in their best interests, just to be ornery. So it's not 100%. But helpful.
Tag training is frequently used with children. Also with athletes, when pinpointing a moment of muscle memory can be crucial.
 

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I don't have kids, but my view of humans in general has changed. I see people reinforcing other people and kids for the wrong thing, and then they complain that others don't behave the way they want.

So I like to think I will apply some of that I've learnt from dog training when/if I have kids...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" isn't a dog training book. . .

But of course humans are capable of making the choice to do something that's not in their best interests, just to be ornery. So it's not 100%. But helpful.
If a kid decides to start doing drugs, then maybe the kid hasn't been CC'ed enough as to what drugs can do, or they find that the reward of hanging out with a certain social group beats the unforeseen negative impacts on the body. Old school people will say the kid is rebelling or is out of control or is a horrible kid, and they will use force to make it go away. From a trainer's perspective, it's just behavior that can be modified if the environment is different - costly behavior, but behavior nonetheless.




I don't have kids, but my view of humans in general has changed. I see people reinforcing other people and kids for the wrong thing, and then they complain that others don't behave the way they want.

So I like to think I will apply some of that I've learnt from dog training when/if I have kids...
Yeah, my whole perspective is different. I no longer see things as a power struggle. If someone is ego-tripping, then maybe it's because the rewards of appearing to stay in control are worth the ego-trip, not because the person is inherently an ego-tripper.
 

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If a kid decides to start doing drugs, then maybe the kid hasn't been CC'ed enough as to what drugs can do, or they find that the reward of hanging out with a certain social group beats the unforeseen negative impacts on the body. Old school people will say the kid is rebelling or is out of control or is a horrible kid, and they will use force to make it go away. From a trainer's perspective, it's just behavior that can be modified if the environment is different - costly behavior, but behavior nonetheless.
ipper.
Out of curiosity, how. exactly would you "classically condition a kid as to what drugs can do." I can say that I did drugs (in my youth, which is more than 40 years in the past - I was one of the original flower children) not so much because of the social group or out of rebellion, but because LSD was interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Out of curiosity, how. exactly would you "classically condition a kid as to what drugs can do." I can say that I did drugs (in my youth, which is more than 40 years in the past - I was one of the original flower children) not so much because of the social group or out of rebellion, but because LSD was interesting.

Show them pictures of brains on drugs or whatever, or like those commercials on TV where people can't talk because of smoking. Association; cigarette smoke is to busted lungs as clicker is to treat
 

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Show them pictures of brains on drugs or whatever, or like those commercials on TV where people can't talk because of smoking. Association; cigarette smoke is to busted lungs as clicker is to treat
That doesn't sound like any "classical condition" I've ever seen done.
 

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Show them pictures of brains on drugs or whatever, or like those commercials on TV where people can't talk because of smoking. Association; cigarette smoke is to busted lungs as clicker is to treat
Having watched my sister go through years of agony and helping her, at times, pull my nephew out of drug houses I have to say your view is naive and simplified. Some kids, as PawzK9 suggests, are inherently wired to experiment. My nephew was hooked on meth at 13 and he had no intention of trying meth. He DID have intent to smoke a marihuana joint as he was experimenting with that . . . it was laced. No amount of scare-mongering (conditioning) could/would have prevented his marihuana experimentation. He was just one of those kids. At 32 his life is now on track - just over the last 5 years though.

Addiction (alcohol mostly) goes back generation after generation in my family. So does ADHD and OCD and all sorts of other anxiety disorders. Not an excuse for bad behaviour, I know, but I believe you have to look at how those traits influence a personality and decisions as well. For some people and personalites association has very little affect. My mom, who would now be 78, had one extreme case of ADHD. SHE experimented with marihuana in the 50s. She was a risk taker her full life as that was how her ADHD manifested. She loved to live on the edge, had tremendous difficulty thinking things through to consequences and I would suggest passed that onto my nephew.

As an educator who worked for years with kids that could not fit in normal classroom situations I would suggest that some techniques which help solve problems like 'not listening' in the dog world ARE useful tools. Unfortunately with children and young adults, though, there is an element of control which you can retain over a pet that you absolutely cannot have with a young person. Its that darn free will and choice stuff we have to allow them :)(so they can eventually mature) that makes a huge difference.

I would suggest the best parenting skill does match the best dog training skill - and that has everything to do with the effort put into having a relationship with the child or dog that you want to train. I don't believe that is covered under operant conditioning.

SOB
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Having watched my sister go through years of agony and helping her, at times, pull my nephew out of drug houses I have to say your view is naive and simplified.
It seems simplified only because I am giving simplified examples to demonstrate a concept. I'd agree that real situations can be complex, but I have yet to encounter human behavior that couldn't be broken down into OC or CC. Controlling it through OC may be complex, but at least we can understand why the behavior occurs.




As an educator who worked for years with kids that could not fit in normal classroom situations I would suggest that some techniques which help solve problems like 'not listening' in the dog world ARE useful tools. Unfortunately with children and young adults, though, there is an element of control which you can retain over a pet that you absolutely cannot have with a young person. Its that darn free will and choice stuff we have to allow them :)(so they can eventually mature) that makes a huge difference.

I would suggest the best parenting skill does match the best dog training skill - and that has everything to do with the effort put into having a relationship with the child or dog that you want to train. I don't believe that is covered under operant conditioning.

SOB
I agree that it's all about the relationship, and I think that it IS covered under OC and CC. I want people to be honest with me, so how I do do that? I thank them for telling me something honest, no matter how painful it may be to hear. I reward them for being honest with me. If I freak out at my hypothetical 10 year old for telling me they tried a cigarette, what am I really teaching them? Most likely that it is dangerous to tell me stuff and that they shouldn't tell me stuff in the future.

I think that the idea isn't to have full control over your child/dog, it's to figure out what's important to you and then to try to find ways of manipulating your subject's environment to best set them up for success. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's easy, just suggesting the possibilities for effective parenting with minimal aversive punishment are there, just as they are with dog training.
 

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I don't have kids, but my parents are child psychologists and I see a ton of OC in the way they raised me and help other people raise their kids. Telling kids very clearly what you want them to do and providing some kind of reward for it is a powerful thing that parents can overlook (I've seen a simple behavior chart with sticker rewards really turn around a kid's behavior). Consequences need to be just as clear - if you're going to use timeouts successfully, you need to be clear about them and your timing needs to be right. Clarity and timing are some of the most important aspects to training dogs and they absolutely apply to kids as well.

I think people fall into traps with raising kids because they assume kids understand everything since they speak English, while dogs don't. Just because they can understand more than a dog doesn't make the general techniques of training not applicable. I see people tell their kids to stop whining while simultaneously reinforcing the whining. Yes, kid can objectively understand "stop whining", but that doesn't mean the reinforcement you gave wasn't very powerful.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think people fall into traps with raising kids because they assume kids understand everything since they speak English, while dogs don't. Just because they can understand more than a dog doesn't make the general techniques of training not applicable. I see people tell their kids to stop whining while simultaneously reinforcing the whining. Yes, kid can objectively understand "stop whining", but that doesn't mean the reinforcement you gave wasn't very powerful.
Well put, much better than I can explain it. Hudson valley? I used to live in Goshen.




Take this recent video of bullying for example. As nasty as it is, I can't help but see the natural behavioral implications involved, and seeing the OC side takes away the shock aspect. Since I was once a middle schooler, I can relate from my own experiences as well as observing others, that middle schoolers value social acceptance. The rewards involved are the opportunity to appear strong among your pears and the opportunity to engage in a team activity with the ones you value acceptance from. Most people will see this as a function of parents not instilling right/wrong in their kid. OC perspective breaks it down into tangible rewards, and thus gives you a better chance at doing something about it.
 

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It seems simplified only because I am giving simplified examples to demonstrate a concept. I'd agree that real situations can be complex, but I have yet to encounter human behavior that couldn't be broken down into OC or CC. Controlling it through OC may be complex, but at least we can understand why the behavior occurs.





I agree that it's all about the relationship, and I think that it IS covered under OC and CC. I want people to be honest with me, so how I do do that? I thank them for telling me something honest, no matter how painful it may be to hear. I reward them for being honest with me. .
Your thanks may only be operant conditioning if that person has enough of a relationship with you to be reinforced by it. As to classical conditioning - it is an unconscious and unplanned response to a certrain stimulus. The dog doesn't think about salivating when the bell rings - it's a physical response. I'd postulate that you'd have to do a lot better than a poster of "this is your brain on drugs" to get that kind of automatic response. Maybe shock aversion therapy. However you may be able to give that teenage enough knowledge that they'll say no. But that's neither operant nor classical conditioning.
 

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Your thanks may only be operant conditioning if that person has enough of a relationship with you to be reinforced by it. As to classical conditioning - it is an unconscious and unplanned response to a certrain stimulus. The dog doesn't think about salivating when the bell rings - it's a physical response. I'd postulate that you'd have to do a lot better than a poster of "this is your brain on drugs" to get that kind of automatic response. Maybe shock aversion therapy.
Again, the point is not to argue the specifics of a hypothetical situation. It's like if we're having discussion over whether a bear or tiger would win in a fight, and I said, "bear because they have angry Russians backing them". It's not about the details of achieving the conditioning, it's about the idea that it's possible to condition it.




However you may be able to give that teenage enough knowledge that they'll say no. But that's neither operant nor classical conditioning.
What is knowledge? To me it's simply a bunch of layers of OC and CC.
 

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To expand on why I think even knowledge is OC, I'll give some examples.

For a while, I was pretty good at calculus. At the time, one might say that I knew how to do derivatives. Since I haven't done calculus problems in so long a time now, I don't really remember derivatives. Do I know or not know derivatives? Neither, I'm just not very good at it right now. It's the same as a dog who can maybe sit in the kitchen for 2 seconds, but can't sit at all outside on a walk.

How do I learn math? Just as in dog training, I practice problems and I get a reward if I get it right, the reward comes in the form of either grades or self-fulfillment at finishing a homework set. The more problems I do and the more I get them right, the better I get at it. If I don't practice it, like how I haven't practiced calculus in a good 8 years or so, the worse I get at it. My ability to do calculus is either strong, weak, or non-existent.

How does someone learn right from wrong? If they steal, they are typically punished. If they steal and don't get caught, people will say that "god won't forgive you" and that's also punishment. Stories like the "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" tell us that liars are not rewarded. There's always some form of punishment or reward in these stories of morality.
 

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How does someone learn right from wrong? If they steal, they are typically punished. If they steal and don't get caught, people will say that "god won't forgive you" and that's also punishment. Stories like the "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" tell us that liars are not rewarded. There's always some form of punishment or reward in these stories of morality.
But I don't think little morals stories count as direct conditioning. It may tell us liars are not rewarded (though from personal experience we may know that sometimes they are). It's sort of like telling a child not to touch the hot stove. It only becomes operant conditioning if they don't understand it and learn by touching it.
 

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. . . How does someone learn right from wrong? . . .
The majority of learning, with regard to moral values, are exemplified. People learn through imitation a lot - I would suggest mainly with regard to values. I don't believe that all falls into operant conditioning although some does.

My OH is a person who is steadfast and calm and doesn't raise his voice. If things annoy him he walks away as often as possible. My kids have (for the most part) picked up on that. Is that operant conditioning?

Neither of us drink, nor do our young adult children. They've not been taught drinking is wrong, just simply that we don't choose to. Do we chalk that up to operant conditioning?

When I was a child I was physically punished for stealing stuff (my sibliing's toys etc). My dad was a rule breaker, however, and always suggested rules were made to be broken and we often saw him breaking them, so I learned to avoid punishment . . . but continued to take what I want and do as I wanted and ignore rules unless "I" could figure the sense behind them. I also learned to weigh how much the punishment would 'hurt' and if it was worth it . . . sometimes it was. How did operant conditioning work there?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that operant conditioning only covers so many things. It definately is used in training humans but in my opinion, with regard to human behaviour, there is much that is NOT about operant conditioning.

SOB
 

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I have been able to take some of my reward based dog training skills into my old management roles. If I gave a staff member a job to do I made sure they knew how well I appreciated any progress they made and if any fell behind in a task I would just go back to basics and start again. I did not show any negative emotions at all and my team developed into the top production team in the office.

I see the same "skill" being used by experienced dog instructors who use them to teach their human students how to use those same skills to train their dogs. A skilled instructor does not train the dog, they train the owner, and an owner who receives recognition for his efforts will try harder and go further than one who is sidelined and forgotten or given cursory attention.
 
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