Donald Redux wrote:
Writing in strict behavioral terms, Romy, "punishment," isn't pressure release based (The Parelli Method). It is, when properly examined, very subject to unpleasantness from the horse's perspective. Thus it could be seen as punishment for NOT doing something one wants the horse to do.
Sorry Donald, I am a bit unscientific in my expressions at times, especially when I am in a hurry like yesterday.
I knew that you knew. My concern was that those new to Operant Conditioning might, in reading, confuse one with the other, and not have it clear in their minds as they work and play with their companion. When I discuss this with students unfamiliar with behavioral work I simply use the terms "ask," and conversely, "demand," or "give an order." This seems to help keep it sorted out for them. At least a little bit.
I'm lucky enough to have one devoted student that is a child behavioral specialist working in the schools. She keeps it straighter in her mind, I think, than I do in mine.
And as a side note I'm rather proud of: she began instruction with me very ambitious to learn jumping to compete. Recently she's asking me to give her, and feels she needs, instruction in riding ... that is riding on the flat. I think she's really thinking hard about her relationship with her beloved mare. And may be looking in the AND direction by her own choice. So cool, just had to add this.
Yes, most forms of R- based training, especially when there are phases involved (increase of pressure) you could interpret as punishment for not doing something - but still punishment, isnÂ´t it? Because as far as I am informed, the terms reinforcement and punishment refer to the consequence, not the behaviour itself, so that when you are adding or increasing negative consequences for not performing in a certain way, thatÂ´s still adding or increasing negative consequences... and not behaving in a certain way actually IS a behaviour I think. So maybe it depends a bit on the question if the pressure stimulus has already been there before the behaviour so that it can be taken away as soon as the horse is performing (negative reinforcement) or if it is added in response to the behaviour of not performing (positive punishment) - which of course depends on what you interpret as the behaviour, the non-reaction or only the reaction. But now I am getting even more unclear in my expressions I am afraid.
No no, it's perfectly clear to me from what you are saying. I think your explanation is elegantly put. It's just that the concepts appear to overlap and there is a complexity to them because of how humans operate.
I will bet though that "positive punishment," will give anyone new to OC pause for thought. It's a critical concept to understand in terms of training and horse handling. In fact it is in therapeutic work with humans where behavioral methods are being utilized.
What I actually wanted to say is yes, I agree with what you said about the terms, I have expressed myself poorly, but I also think that the boundaries between the concepts can be rather blurry and very much dependent on interpretation.
Absolutely agree with you. I can only add that continuing to define terms and clarify, as you are doing, and I attempted, are critical to understanding by those that aspire to AND methods, or that do not for that matter, and want to understand their chosen method better.
By the way, I have changed the title of this thread so that other people who have similar problems can find it more easily later.
Good luck with your beautiful boy, Lauren!
An apt title change.
How can one define non-action as a behavior? That's a rhetorical question of course.
The fact is it can't be described accurate as not-behavior, because it most certainly is behavior.
And it can be so significant in decision making about both what the horse is up to (Dx) and what to do next about it, if anything (Tx). And bringing it up, as you have, reminds me that I must remember to honor and respect the horse's right and more importantly, NEED, to do nothing if it so chooses.
The fact is the entire organism, even when to my eye it is quiet, is very busy doing a great deal, even including resting and recovering so it, the horse, may then be ready to be active with me.
Which is the answer to the question and the request of students, all of us, "why be patient?"