The inertia that results from so-called conventional wisdom about how behavior works is a big obstacle to the widespread adoption of positive reinforcement-based training. Discussions quickly devolve into rancorous debates based on little more than personal opinions and political affiliations. One example is the intrinsic vs. extrinsic reinforcement debate. Resulting from the many myths and misunderstandings, learners fail to benefit from the wellspring of information that is the result of decades of application of the technology of behavior change known as applied behavior analysis (ABA). At the center of this problem is the deeply rooted belief that behavior exists inside individuals, independent of the conditions in which they behave. In this presentation, common myths and misunderstandings will be discussed so that participants are better able to address them.
Ideas that Should Die: Training Myths & Misconceptions
12:00 pm PT
Dr. Susan Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 22 different countries have participated in Susan’s online courses, Living and Learning with Animals for Professionals and Living and Learning with Parrots for Caregivers. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts (Behavior of Exotic Pets, Clinical Avian Medicine, and Manual of Parrot Behavior), and is a frequent contributor to popular magazines. Her articles appear around the world and in eleven languages. Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management.