Thursday, February 6, 2014

Clicker Expo 2014: Irith Bloom: The Power of Choice Part II

I had missed Part I of this talk.

more choices = more feeling of control
giving up control = stressful
humans generally provide choice to animals only when there's no alternative for us: big dog (can't force) vs small dog (just pick it up and force it to do something); exotic vs domesticated animals

when to use choice: whenever possible! esp with fearful, aggressive, or anxiour behaviors

a few choice-based techniques: clicker training (cooperative rather than coercive, animal can choose to end session any time), BAT, LAT
Irith is very opposed to NRMs

LAT could be called "notice that" - may be "smell that," "listen to that," etc (I once worked with a noise sensitive dog and C/T perking his ears up, since it was hard for me to identify which noises were problematic)
Irith's version: no verbal cue (offered freely); c/t either looking, or looking and checking in, or looking at handler

training animals to participate voluntarily in medical procedures - most common in zoological settings, should be done more with domesticated animals

successful choice-based training: set things up properly (antecedent management, management, setting the scene), choose a probably behavior when possible, follow the behavior with the right consequences

always strive to provide as much choice as possible: give several "good" choices; use habit to your advantage; use Premack's Principle; use set up that helps you get good choices; animals come programmed to make choices

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