• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15


Extracts from this document...


The Importance of Positive Reinforcement in Animal Training Extended Essay Psychology HL May 2009 Erika P�rn Candidate code: 1292019 Tikkurilan Lukio Word Count: 4009 ? Abstract The research question of this essay is that to what extent is positive reinforcement effective in animal training? Animal training has for a long time been known for its simple concepts on conditioning animal responses through the use of reinforcement and punishment. However with the recent fascination and exploration of animal intelligence we may be able to adapt better means of reaching cooperation with animals. Concentration of this essay is specifically the use of positive reinforcement as an enhancement in the relationship between the trainee and trainer. The idea being explored in this essay is the notion of positive reinforcement and its impact. In attempt to understand positive reinforcement and its effects on the trainee. Positive reinforcement can be seen as the most effective of reinforcements. It can be defined as immediate consequence after a given behavior that increases the likelihood of being repeated when the similar situation is encountered. The notion of animal intelligence has continued to marvel mans imagination for centuries. The innovation of higher cognitive capabilities in non-human animals has proved to be a very successful field of study in recent times. Novel ideas on behalf of insight and intelligence in association with animals has raised many ethical and moral questions about the utilization of animals within human societies. It has been only recently since man has been able to let go of the anathema concerning animal intelligence within the scientific world. Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Difference Between Positive and Negative Reinforcement and Punishment 1.2 The Goals of Animal Training 1.2 Ethics of Animal use in Training 2.0 The Power of Positive Reinforcement in Successful Training 2.0.1 Additional Tools for Successful Training 2.1 Communication and Concrete Rewards in Training 2.2 Learning Through Reinforcement Requires Information Processing 2.2.1Reinforcement and Species Specific Behavior 2.2.2 Animal Intelligence in Relation to Reinforcement 2.2.3. ...read more.


Generally it could be stated that if the environment ignores a behavior that particular behavior will extinct. Extinction is used in decreasing certain unwanted behavior. This is used when modifying behavior for the wanted responses to emerge during animal training. As an example when training horses they are rewarded with food given to them from the hand. This may later result in the horse biting hands as it has acquired enough knowledge to comprehend that food is consumed from the hand. If the trainer, in order to get rid of the horse biting, takes the hands away from horses reach i.e. in the pockets, and not give reward (food) to the horse then the horse will be less likely to try bite the hands further again. To make extinction even further effective positive reinforcement should be combined with it. Thus after the horse has stopped trying to bite the trainers hands the horse may receive praise such as a pat on the neck. 2.1 Communication and concrete rewards in training In every community of species animals maintain contact with its members. As human beings we communicate through verbalization and are apt to expect similar type of communication between animals. (Scott,1958 :189) Animal language research is the modeling of human language in animals. There have been successful attempts to teach language or language-like behavior to some non-primate species. Teaching sign language to a chimpanzee proved to be successful in the case of Washoe by Gardner & Gardner (1969). This wild female chimpanzee as a participant showed increasing frequencies in new acquired signs during 16 months of observations. There are ethical implications behind this research. Since chimpanzees were able to talk then in this case should not human rights also be applied to apes? (Herman et al 1984:pp). The implication of intelligence from acquiring language like behavior is still controversial. It can be seen as increase of skill of operant conditioning responses in order to gain a reward. ...read more.


Leading to the search for comparable human mental processes in other species. Research results showed various promising results on behalf of non-human animals and their higher cognitive abilities. Creating an even more prominent scene over ethical rights of animals. Thus making it all the more critical for conventional animal training methods to be under new evaluation. Such a shift in the world of science challenged all conventional norms of the way society looked at humans and other species. As it comes to animal training so far we have established that the most powerful use of reinforcement is positive reinforcement. When training with animals it is important to induce as little harm and discomfort as possible. Minimizing pain not only shows successful results in training it also offers the safety of not violating ethical standards. Positive reinforcement allows for the animal to be more comfortable with the trainee. In addition when using positive reinforcement with other tools in animal training such as extinction learning occurs all the more faster. With new aquired knowledge on behalf of animal intelligence, and commonalities between human and other species brains should we not eliminate most forms of aversive stimuli used in training. Animals are capable of performing higher form of processing. The method used by Tolman could be put to use in animal training as well. Could learning not be inhibited through this type of formation of appropriate behavior by the animal. What if the trainer is associated as positive reinforcement. Not in any sense reducing the role of the trainer to a requested reward. On the contrary highlighting the key role of the trainer. The trainer accumulates positive feeling in the trainee. From playing, nurturing to rewarding. So that whenever dealing with the animal the trainers presence is enough reinforcement to a certain extent. This would further enhance similar results of insight. The trainee will try to formulate new behavior and learn through insight in order to please the trainer. Bringing about animal intelligence. Modern animal training need not be about whistles and rewards. It can come down to the integral relationship between the trainer and trainee. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. Testing the effect of different types of music on memory.

    had 4,287,348 views, Spring (strings) had 4,903,255 views, Back in Black (rock) had 5,745,711 views and the Pink panther theme song had by far the highest number of views with 11,214,683 views. Although using the number of views on Youtube is not a very accurate way to determine how popular

  2. Psychology Internal Assessment

    We will be taking you out individually to complete a short survey and we ask that you not discuss the survey after returning to the classroom.

  1. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour.

    It has been shown that individuals high on authoritarianism, for example, are more likely to obey in Milgram's experiment than those low on this personality dimension. It has even been argued that all the situational explanations used to account for Milgram's findings can easily be turned into dispositional explanations.

  2. Revision notes on the Development of Moral Behaviour

    changed Can be changed Guilt takes into account Consequences Intention Conclusion Children go through a stage after which they start deciding on whether a behaviour is morally correct or wrong taking into account different things. Evaluation 1. The children were an opportunity sample and so isn't particularly representative of all children.

  1. IA stroop effect

    However, in laboratory experimentation, control over all the variables is impossible; and the artificial conditions may produce unnatural behaviour that lacks ecological validity, Hill (1998). The research methodology was simple as each participant repeated the two reading trials twice. The nationality of the individual participants did not lead to any bias, as it was not considered.

  2. The Basic Mechanisms of Homeostasis Overview of homeostasis The term homeostasis was ...

    Adorno and Horkheimer (1969) developed Marx's view that the dominant class in society not only owns the means of material production, but also controls the production of the society's dominant ideas and values, its culture. Therefore, Adorno and Horkheimer examined the industrialisation of mass-produced culture and examined the economic imperatives behind the 'culture industries'.

  1. Psychology IB Abnormal Notes and Essay Plans

    e.g. the patient is now schizophrenic 2. The DSM IV now calls it "individual with schizophrenia" after Szasz criticized the action of giving people labels such as mentally ill, criminal, foreigner to socially exclude people 3. Label for life 4. Even if they donât have any symptoms, the label "disorder in remission" remains Scheff 1966: effects of labels: self fulfilling prophecy 1.

  2. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah--A Psychological Analysis ...

    We can see from this self-proclamation that Ishmael had an idea of what he was and how he was viewed. Ishmael?s parents were divorced and lived in separate villages. Ishmael and his brother Junior lived with their father, and their father was constantly in between wives.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work