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Episode 285 Dr. Susan Friedman and Rick Hester Pt 2 Building Bridges

This week we’re continuing our conversation with Dr Susan Friedman and Rick Hester. Dr Friedman has been a frequent guest on this podcast. She is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She is pioneer in the use of Applied Behavior Analysis in the handling of captive and companion animals.

Her interest in developing scientifically sound, ethical standards for animal care and training prompted our this current conversation.

We are also joined by Rick Hester. Rick is the curator of behavioral Husbandry for the Cheyenne Mountain zoo. Rick overseas the zoo’s training program for husbandry, medical and public show behaviors.

In this episode we consider many important questions, including what does it mean to be a positive reinforcement trainer? How do we operationalize that?

How do we evaluate new ideas? We don’t want to move too quickly but nor do we want to get stuck in old ideas. Why does novelty have such a draw for us?

We also consider why Susan has chosen to keep punishment in the hierarchy of behavior change strategies. This opens the door to a discussion of negative reinforcement as well as punishment. Do we need new words to describe the procedures we use?


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