Tag Archives: positive reinforcement

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

Some Goals Of An Intentional Community

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I want to establish an intentional community, possibly in South East Asia. Its purpose would be multidimensional. First it would support research in breeding and training dogs.

We can learn a lot about societies by observing animals. In this respect it is particularly productive to observe wild, feral, and pet dogs. Here we have a pack of feral dogs sleeping
We can learn a lot about societies by observing animals. In this respect it’s particularly productive to observe wild, feral, and pet dogs. Here we have a pack of feral dogs sleeping

These communities would also have the dual purpose of introducing how to use positive reinforcement as a social strategy. While the training research would be to evaluate the effectiveness of training methods, the community dog training would teach positive reinforcement techniques. Dog training is the perfect vehicle for teaching positive reinforcement as a social strategy. I suspect it will take one or two generations before positive reinforcement can become a social strategy.

What happens when a pack of feral dogs chases the photographer
What happens when a pack of feral dogs chases the photographer

While developing positive reinforcement as a sustainable social strategy is a worthy cause, we’ll also need to develop sustainable economic models. If we look at the historical record and the scientific evidence, it appears competition will become an ever increasing threat to humanity. The threat of hyper competition is the reason we should explore developing cooperative economic models. Then the theory and successes learned about community economic development could be used in developed countries as well.

There may be some theological (political) problems with the research into dog training protocols and developing a positive reinforcement social strategy. I believe this will only be a problem for the casual observer. But then again, most observers are casual. Both of these systems are looking for the truth. We need to know what happens in both types of environments.

In less developed countries less developed technology would be used, but the social rules that make it work should be adaptable to the developed world. There needs to be universal or nearly universal rules if it’s to be useful for the further advancement of humanity. In the beginning these intentional community will need to be imbedded into cultures of tolerance for the proper incubation.

We need to remember that tolerance and the rules governing tolerance are also social strategies. Social rules are made of many intermingled rules and strategies. Some work together better than others. When they complement each other there is a synergy that seems magical. I have to warn everyone, don’t get too wide-eyed with the magic.

I think as a global community we’ll eventually need to develop a culture where being good is valued as much as being wealthy. I could be wrong, it may be that cultures of competition, greed, and hurting other is the only system humans are capable of. Changing our social rules about success will require us to redefine what being successful means.

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