Parameters of Premack
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To use clicker training effectively, we must thoroughly understand what reinforcement means. Too often, we equate positive reinforcement with a piece of food. This works in many cases, but is useless when an animal is too full, frightened, or aroused to eat.
Many trainers talk about “life rewards,” those everyday goodies (e.g., the opportunity to go outside, sniff a tree or greet an approaching person) that can be used to reinforce desired behaviors. This approach is similar to the Premack Principle, named after researcher David Premack, but doesn’t fully take advantage of this important and under-utilized concept.
Kathy Sdao explains how this laboratory-derived theory can help you expand your motivational menu for training new behaviors and for managing behavioral problems. Discover novel techniques you can use to tap into the full power of clicker training, while being careful to avoid situations when the Premack Principle might create problems.