Food Deprivation Experiment

I have always liked to know about the world. As a child I was quite interested in animals and nature. You may have read in a previous post that in third and fourth grade I was experimenting with taking regular corn and making it into Indian corn. I bet with the genetically engineered corn that’s popular in America today children no longer have that opportunity. Making Indian Corn is the first big experiment I can remember doing.

I used to do a lot of testing of dog training techniques. One day I got to thinking about B.F. Skinner’s research with positive reinforcement. This was before positive reinforcement training was popular. The scientific dog training so many all positive reinforcement trainers talk about is based on the work of B.F. Skinner. Skinner would keep his animals at a certain level of deprivation to get the maximum benefit from the training cycles. I wanted to know how hungry and individual is at that body weight.

The experiment was to lose a certain percentage of body weight and see what effects it had. I believe Skinner said it isn’t truly a state of sufficient deprivation if the individual can control it. My desire for knowledge outweighed my desire for food. I have to admit, if I didn’t know I could get food anytime it probably would have affected my behavior.

The experiment did serve its purpose. I wanted to feel what it was like to be hungry, it was not to condition any particular behavior. After many days it was harder and harder not to eat. As I remember the food deprivation part of the experiment lasted several weeks. The whole experiment lasted much longer. I can see that a very hungry individual could be quite motivated to get food.

It did give me a different perspective than if I hadn’t done the experiment.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

2 thoughts on “Food Deprivation Experiment”

  1. Well, I’m going to have to give that a try with the dog. We recently stopped leaving the food bowl out for him, only letting him eat 3 times a day. Maybe this will help improve our training efforts.

    1. Yes it should. I usually put the food down for 10 minutes. Some dogs won’t eat much for up to three days.

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