Glossary Of Behavior Technology and Behavior Change

Dog Training Terms

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There are currently 53 names in this directory
ABCs of Behavior.
One of the most important parts of behavior is learning. Learning is modification of behavior and activities through experience and training. The three determining aspects of behavior popularly known as the ABC of behavior are: A- Antecedents, B- Behavior and C- Consequences. They are the tiniest units of analysis in behavior and are the basic components in understanding learning and the resulting transformation in behavior. They are used to determine and understand behavioral patterns and problems not only in dogs, other pets but also in humans. Minute observation especially by trained professionals is required to get a good idea of ABC in humans or animals. ABC Blog!

Aggression.
Attempt to do harm. Aggression is defined as threatening or harmful behavior directed toward another individual, including dog on dog aggression, aggression toward people, and aggression toward other animals.

Antecedent Stimulus.
The conditions or incidents that take place immediately before a particular behavior are called antecedents. These are the events which work to make the animal display a particular behavior. They are sort of triggers which if occur, will fortify that particular behavior which follows the events. If we want to change a particular behavior, we have to successfully identify and change the antecedent. ABC Blog!

Appeasement Gestures.
Observable behaviors a dog uses to ask for space or to present himself as nonthreatening (I come in peace). Appeasement gestures may include scratching, yawning, licking lips, play bows, turning head (averted gaze) or body away, sniffing the ground (also see displacement behaviors), lifting up a paw, slowing down movement, freezing or a submissive grin. These signals are a normal part of dog interaction, but in some situations, they may be signs of stress. Dogs use appeasement gestures when they are feeling stressed, uncomfortable, or fearful. Dogs may also use appeasement gestures, or calming signals, to buy themselves some time.

Applied Behavior Analysis.
The process of solving practical behavior problems by changing the environment.

Arousal.
Activation of the nervous system generally. Stimulates action, or even inaction. Blog on Arousal!

Attention Span.
In animal training, the length of time the learner works for what you have to offer.

Aversive.
Any circumstance or event that causes pain, fear, or emotional discomfort. Tending to avoid or causing avoidance of a noxious or punishing stimulus.

Back-Chaining.
The transfer of control of a learned response from one cue to another cue that consistently occurs prior to the first cue.

Baiting.
Increasing the probability of getting the target behavior by showing the learning the reinforcer before the behavior. Also known as luring.

Behavior Analysis.
The study of the functional relations between behavior and environmental events.

Behavior Chain.
A series of behaviors linked together in a continuous sequence by cues, and maintained by a reinforcer at the end of the chain. Each cue serves as the marker and the reinforcer for the previous behavior, and the cue for the next behavior.

Behavior.
Anything an individual does, given certain conditions, which can be observed or measured. Our FB Note on What Behavior Is!

Bite Threshold.
Level of stress or stimulation at which a dog resorts to biting.

Bridge.
A bridge is a stimulus that closes the gap in time between the release and presentation of the reinforcer.

Bridging stimulus.
A secondary reinforcer that can be delivered with extremely precise contiguity, hypothesized to bridge the gap between the instant the target behavior is emitted and the delivery of a primary reinforcer.

Calming Signals.
Subtle behavior used by dogs to avoid or diffuse confrontation and aggression. It is said that a dog uses signals to either calm themselves down or used to calm another. Signals can be offered and returned. Calming signals are a set of body language skills which dogs use to maintain healthy relationships and resolve conflict without having to resort to aggressive behaviors.

Captured Behavior.
Reinforcing an animal in the act of performing the complete behavior. Capturing is good for adding a cue to a behavior your dog already offers naturally.

Chaining.
A series of individual behaviors in which an animal is trained to perform in sequence. Each behavior provides the cue for the next behavior, and only the last behavior in the chain results in delivery of a primary reinforcer.

Classical Conditioning.
Also known as Respondent Conditioning. The process of associating a neutral stimulus with an involuntary response until the stimulus elicits the response.

Clicker Training.
Use of a clicker that uses positive reinforcement in combination with an event marker.

Clicker.
Animal trainers use a clicker as an event marker to mark a desired response. The sound of the clicker is an excellent marker because it is unique, quick, and consistent.

Coercion.
The practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

Conditioned Emotional Response. CER
Form of a learned response whereby emotional reactions such as fear, anger or joy are elicited. Phobias that are established through classical/Respondent conditioning - thunderstorms to rain. CER's are learned emotional reactions like anxiety or happiness that occur as a response to predictive cues.

Conditioned Reinforcer.
A reinforcer effective because it has been previously paired with an unconditioned reinforcer or an already established conditioned reinforcer. Also called a secondary reinforcer.

Conditioned Response (cr).
In classical conditioning, the conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus.

Conditioned Stimulus (cs).
In classical conditioning, the conditioned stimulus is a previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response.

Conditioning.
A biological process by which behavior is changed as a result of experience. Learning!

Consequence.
The experiences, developments or stimuli which occur right after the behavior are consequences. They are like feedback for the behavior performed and act as catalyst for repeating/strengthening the same behavior in the future. Edward Lee Thorndike, the first important animal researcher observed through his research what is now known as the ‘law of effect’. It states that ‘any behavior which is accompanied by satisfying and agreeable consequences maybe repeated and those which are followed by undesirable consequences will most probably be terminated.’

Construct.
BEHAVIOR WHAT It's NOT Hypothetical constructs - constructs are a particular kind of label that goes beyond simple description of observable behaviors into the realm of hypothetical (one would say pseudo - science) explanations for why an animal behaves as it does. The cause of behavior is found in CONTEXTS, not in animals. There are always conditions on which behavior depends. Therefore changing conditions changes behavior. A concept "construct/label" cannot cause behavior because it has no tangible form. Cannot be measured.

Contiguity.
Contiguity which states that things that occur near each other in time or space are readily associated. Time between a behavior and consequence. For learning to take place, the response must occur in the presence of or very soon after a stimulus is presented, or an association will not occur. In reality, this is a behaviorist view based on the idea that learning will occur only if events occur relatively close together in time.

Contingency.
The if/then relationship between a behavior and its controlling environmental variables (consequences).

Continuous Reinforcement. CRF
When a target behavior is reinforced each and every time it is exhibited.

Counter-Conditioning.
Describes the process and/or procedure of countering previous respondent conditioning with new respondent conditioning. Means to teach dog to have a pleasant feeling or reaction to something they once feared or disliked. To “condition” means to teach, and to “counter” means to change.

Covert Behavior.
Behavior that cannot be observed by anyone other than the person performing the behavior (i.e. thinking, dreaming, etc.).

Cue.
Antecedent stimulus that signals the availability of reinforcement, contingent on the appropriate behavior. Cues may be verbal, physical , or environmental.

Desensitization
The process of increasing an animal’s tolerance to a particular stimulus by gradually increasing the presence of the stimulus. In psychology, desensitization is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated (gradually) exposure to it.

Differential Reinforcement (DR)
Combines extinction and reinforcement to decrease the probability of an undesirable behavior while increasing the frequency of a desirable behavior. a. DRA – differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. b. DRI – differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior. c. DRO – differential reinforcement of other (or zero rates) of behavior. d. DRH – differential reinforcement of high rates of behavior. e. DRL – differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior.

Discriminative Stimulus
An antecedent stimulus that indicates the availability of reinforcement, contingent on a behavior. The discriminative stimulus indicates to the dog that if they do the behavior reinforcement is available.

Environment
Everything internal and external surroundings has relevance to behaving organism. Surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.

Establishing Operation (eo)
Temporally altering a reinforcer for overall effectiveness of that reinforcer. Usually by taking away it's availability temporally to make it more effective. Giving less attention can increase the effectiveness of attention.

Extinction
The process of decreasing behavior by permanently removing the maintaining reinforcer. When operant behavior that has been previously reinforced no longer produces reinforcing consequences the behavior gradually stops occurring.

Extinction Burst
A burst of activity (behavior). When a previous behavior has been reinforced and now stopped being reinforced an animal will keep trying that behavior faster, harder, again and again.

Fading
To slowly remove all prompts so that the cue (SD) alone leads to the behavior.

Fear
An emotional response, including both operants and respondents, defined by signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal, stress, and escape or avoidance behaviors. A distressing emotion aroused by imminent danger, unpleasant, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Fixed Duration (fd)
A schedule of reinforcement, which sets the rule that the target behavior must be exhibited continuously for a specified period of time, at which point reinforcement is delivered.

Fixed Interval (fi)
A schedule of reinforcement, which sets the rule that reinforcement is delivered immediately following the first response exhibited after a specific interval of time has passed.

Fixed Ratio (fr)
A schedule of reinforcement, which sets the rule that reinforcement is delivered following the final response after a fixed number of responses have occurred.

Flooding
A form of behavior therapy, based on the principles of respondent extinction, in which a subject is exposed, usually at full intensity, to an aversive stimulus, where escape behavior is prevented, until escape responding ceases. Also called “exposure and response prevention.” It is sometimes referred to as exposure therapy or prolonged exposure therapy

Free Shaping
Shaping, or as it's regularly known, “shaping by successive approximations,” this simply means breaking down a behavior into tiny increments, and reinforcing the dog at each incremental step until you've achieved the full behavior (end goal). That is, the trainer does not prompt any responses, but rather waits patiently for the approximation and provides reinforcement whenever it occurs.

Frustration
Emotional behavior resulting from being prevented from fulfilling one's goals. Frustration can trigger aggressive responses. A feeling of dismay, often followed by anxiety or depression, resulting from unsatisfied needs or unresolved problems.

Functional Assessment
Is a way of looking at the OPERANT "causes or reasons of learned behaviors". VARIABLES that are related to behavior and environmental events. Knowing the function of a problem behavior can help determine an appropriate solution. "Is a procedure that determines under which conditions a behavior problem occurs". Functional analysis is the process of systematically testing the ABC hypothesis. Antecedent, behavior, Consequence.

Generalization
A behavior is said to have generalized if the trained behavior occurs at other times or in other places without having to be retrained completely in those particular times or places, or if functionally related behaviors occur that were not trained directly.

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