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Episode 177: Dr Claire St Peter Part 3: Inconsistency, Superstitious Behavior, and Solutions

In part 3 of our conversation with Dr. Claire St Peter we cover a lot of ground, including what fills the space between the larger steps we typically focus on. Claire shares some research studies beginning with Skinner that look at how superstitious behaviors develop and what you can do to change those patterns. What happens when new people begin positive reinforcement training and there are many inconsistencies in their training? What does inconsistency do to training outcomes? And how do you set up ethical studies when you think the effect may be negative.

When you use reinforcement inconsistently, Claire shares some studies that indicate that you do indeed get behavior going, but in ways you might not expect. The superstitious patterns that emerged were very hard to change. It shows the importance of training in clean loops. Claire shows us how these patterns emerge - and also how to change them.


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