It has been reported that in the city of Kalamazoo,Michigan that a student taught her cat to sit, sit-up, and high-five using the principles of behavior... extraordinary phenomena? Mulder, this is not an X-file…. Sometimes looking for extreme possibilities makes you blind to the probable explanation right in front of you
The pairing of the signal marker “yes!”with the presentation of the reinforcerof the cat treatThe value-altering principleconverted a neutral stimulus (“yes!”)into a learned reinforcer. “Yes!” Cat Treat No “Yes!” No Cat Treat
The pairing procedure:the pairing of a neutral stimulus with a reinforcer or aversive stimulus “Yes!” Cat Treat No “Yes!” No Cat Treat
a learned reinforcer is astimulus, event, or condition thatis a reinforcer because it has beenpaired with another reinforcer.
Reinforcement Contingencythe response-contingent presentation of a reinforcer resulting in an increased frequency of that response Before: Behavior: After: Kitty has Kitty Kitty has no treat treat Sits
• Initial training began with the use of the cat treat to lure Kitty into the sitting position.• Once sitting was acquired by guiding the response with the treat, I would then fade out using luring and train the behavior by using hand signals as the prompt
A prompt is asupplemental stimulus that raises theprobability of a correct response
• reinforcing or punishing a response • in the presence of one stimulus • and extinguishing it • or allowing it to recover • in the presence of another stimulus.During the training of sitting up, I used the hand signalof an upward movement with my pointer finger as the • a stimulus in the presence of which • a particular response will be reinforced or punished
the differential reinforcement of only the behavior that more and more closely resembles the terminal behavior
The procedure started by reinforcing the initial behavior of Kitty sitting › Behavior that resembles the terminal behavior along some meaningful dimension and occurs at least with a minimal frequency the intermediate behavior of Kitty sitting up while looking up and reinforcing correct responses. › Behavior that more closely approximates the terminal behavior After several repetitions of this behavior I was able to begin shaping the final chain of Kitty fully sitting up on her back legs, the terminal behavior: › behavior not in the repertoire or not occurring at the desired frequency; the goal of the intervention.
Reinforcement Initial: After: Kitty sits Intermediate: Kitty sits up Kitty has while looking treat up Before: Terminal: Kitty sits up on her back legsKitty has no treat Initial: After: N/A Intermediate: Kitty only sits Kitty has no Terminal: treat Kitty only sits up and looks up Extinction
The next behavior I began training was teaching Kitty how to give a “High-Five” ◦ I started out by using the physical prompt (the trainer physically moves the trainee’s body in approximation of the desired response) by moving her paw in approximation towards my hand. Before: Behavior: After: Kitty has Kitty Kitty has no treat High-Five’s treat
SD: “Right” After: Treat +Before: Behavior: “YES!” No KittyTreat High –Five’s After: No Treat + SΔ: No “YES!” “Left”
Behavior: After: Kitty High Five’s with Left TreatBefore: PawNo Treat Behavior: After: Kitty High Five’s with No Treat Right Paw