Let's take a stroll down memory lane shall we? Everyone remembers the good old days, when the hardest part of the day was going to be deciding on which picture to color after dinner, or which cartoon to watch the next morning. As odd as it sounds, I never realized this until this year, but psychology has played a huge role in my younger life than I ever thought imaginable.
Everyone I hope has seen the movie "Air Bud." If so, then you know that the main character, a golden retriever named Buddy, was trained to play basketball in the movie. This goes along with the animal training we've recently learned about in class. The dog's real name is Zack, and he was trained by trainers who taught this dog to play basketball by using a clicker, basketball, and doggie treat. At first the trainers gave Zack a treat after every time they used the clicker. Eventually they introduced a basketball whenever they used the clicker, and whenever Zack nudged the ball with his nose, they would give him a treat and use the clicker. Eventually the trainers dropped the ball on Zack's nose until he finally figured out how to get it to the hoop to receive the treat (this step is painfully difficult and may take hours upon hours because the dog will not know what to do at first).
This example of Zack being trained to play basketball is basically a prime example of Operant Conditioning. The trainers only reinforced the good behavior of Zack every once in a while when he would make a basket. This also falls under B.F. Skinner's principle of partial reinforcement. So as it turns out, child-hood movies had a stronger connection to psychology principles than any of us ever thought, especially one about training a dog to play basketball.