Week Six- Behavior (out with mono)
In class when we learned about classical conditioning, my interest in its relation to animal training was immediately sparked. Before lecture, I had always been curious how people were able to teach their animals to do certain tricks, like ring a bell when they wanted to go outside, or do a flip. After the lecture on classical conditioning, I couldn't wait to learn more about this teaching style. An article published in Dog Star Daily states that "Simply
put, classical conditioning helps your dog form positive associations with all sorts of stimuli." Before attending psychology I operated under the assumption that dogs were able to learn because of repetition, like when I am trying to memorize a list of vocabulary terms for a test. Now I realize that the learning process has more to do with the association that the individual makes with a certain stimuli. When I get a dog when I am older, it is not through repeated actions that the dog will learn, but rather the reinforcement that it receives because of it's actions. It does not take long for an animal to learn that a given action will result in a specific response, especially if it is a reward. In comparisons between the way that a conditioned response is created, researchers have come to realize that it is best to do the reward spontaneously, rather than at intervals, if you want the conditioned response to last longer, because then the individual or animal that is learning will never know when the reward is coming.