Behavior Technology 103: Setting and Shifting Criteria:
Time & Location
About The Event
Prerequisites: BehavTech 101 and 102
Criteria: the never-ending process of changing what you are asking an animal to do. Setting and shifting criteria is a concept, an idea of what you have and where you’re going. It requires the teacher to process many things at one time so he or she can make a split second decision and react practically instantaneously—and that decision/reaction cannot be too early or too late, but just on time whether delivering a primary or a conditioned reinforcer! Whew! It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
This Behavior Technology Course is all about this elusive, but indispensable, friend, criteria. Then again, you can’t talk about criteria without talking about that other essential pal, rate of reinforcement. But criteria and rate of reinforcement don’t mean a thing without the rock: good timing. Is it becoming clear why Behavior Technology course are not a day, a weekend, or even 3 days long, and why they must be taking in a particular order?
The students come to Behavior Technology 103 with at least 10 full days of knowledge and hand-on skills. BehavTech 103 pushes these skills to the limit with its new challenges. The training requirements are deceptively simple tasks and a few training parameters. However, to reach criteria for evaluation, the trainers will need to push themselves beyond where they are comfortable.
This course focuses on how to set criteria and shift criteria to shape behavior effectively and efficiently, from tiny responses to long persistent behavior; how to stick with the criteria set; and how to know when to change it. The students must be able to evaluate themselves accurately: Did they actually do what they said they were going to do? If not, why, and how do they make sure they do what they “meant to” do next time? If yes, what do they do next? And how long does it take the trainer to recognize that what they are doing is not improving their situation and that they need to change what they are doing (in other words change criteria).
Adding to the challenge of setting and changing criteria are the challenging mechanical skills required: Timing must be very precise, and the delivery of the primary reinforcer is tricky when you want an animal to move fast. The animal might be quite a distance from the trainer when the trainer wishes to reinforce. (This never happens with the animals you work with, right!?) How will you maximize the use of conditioned and primary reinforcement? How do you strengthen ALL the behavior you want equally so the bird moves smoothly even though you can’t provide reinforcement everywhere you would like to?
BehavTech 103 provides direct instruction and works with students to help them learn to respond quickly and accurately to these challenges.