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Episode 149 Dr Claire St Peter Pt 2 Requirements and Schedules of Reinforcement

This is part 2 of a five part series with Dr. Claire St Peter. Claire is the chair of the department of Behavior Analysis at West Virginia University. And she is also a horse owner so I always enjoy our conversations. We’re able to go deep into the weeds of both behavior analysis and horse training.

In this episode we begin by exploring the difference between requirements and schedules. When we ask a horse for three steps of backing before we click, is three steps the unit of behavior and that’s the criterion that must be met? Or is the unit one step which is repeated three times to meet the requirement of the schedule? What are the implications in terms of real world training? That took us to a discussion of concurrent schedules and to an important question you want to be asking yourself as you set up your training environment. Learners of all kinds are gonna allocate their behavior to the richest source of reinforcement in their environment at the moment. So are you a rich source of reinforcement for your horses?

We end this episode with a discussion of degrees of freedom, but this time we’re looking at degrees of freedom in terms of how many options are available to the handler.


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