ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND TRAINING

| May 20, 2015

1.     Briefly describe an example of both types of conditioning (classical and operant):
(a) As used in the Sniffy training session;
(b) As used by animal trainers (for the training of, for example, livestock, zoo animals, companion animals);
(c) As experienced by animals in the wild (not wild animals in captivity!).
In each of your examples, identify key factors such as unconditioned and conditioned stimuli and responses, positive and/or negative reinforcement or punishment etc. Note: Your answer to this question should contain 6 examples!
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The Operant Associations Mind window is a helpful tool when training a virtual animal, but in real life a researcher or trainer is not able to see in the ‘mind’ of the animal. He or she will only have behavioural observations available. Use your own cumulative records, visual observations and the behaviour repertoire data collected during the Sniffy session to answer the following questions. Include accurate terminology where relevant.

2. Use the cumulative record and your visual observations to explain the shaping process of Sniffy (experiment 2). Explain what your cumulative record is showing and how it reflects the shaping process. How does the cumulative record change during the course of the experiment and what does that signify? Tip: Look at the slopes of the cumulative record!
[Remove this text and paste your screenshot of the cumulative record of the shaping experiment here. Make sure your figure is properly labeled as per the guidelines in the First Year Survival Guide.]
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3. Compare the behaviour repertoire of the shaped Sniffy (experiment 2) with that of an untrained Sniffy and a magazine-trained Sniffy (experiment 1).
•    Selected a behaviour that increased in frequency, one that decreased in frequency and one that stayed the same, and depict the values of these three behaviours in the three conditions in bar graphs. You can either make one bar graph like Figure 6 in the Sniffy manual, or three separate bar graphs, one for each selected behaviour.
•    Explain the differences you observed. (Why did the one behaviour increase in frequency? Why did the one behaviour decrease in frequency? Why didn’t the one behaviour change?)
[Remove this text and paste your graph(s) here. Make sure your graphs are properly labeled as per the guidelines in the First Year Survival Guide.]
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4. Use the cumulative records and your visual observations to describe what happened in experiments 3 to 6 (extinction, removal of the primary reinforcer, second extinction session, punishment). Explain what each of your four cumulative records is showing and how they reflect the respective processes. How do the four experiments compare? Tip: The questions in your Sniffy manual give you clues as to what to include in your answer here.
[Remove this text and paste your 4 screenshots of the cumulative records of experiments 3-6 here. Make sure your figures are properly labeled as per the guidelines in the First Year Survival Guide.]
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5. How do the behaviour repertoires recorded for these four experiments (3-6) compare with the behaviour repertoire of an untrained Sniffy? Explain.

 

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