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Consequences and feelings

A huge amount of training relies upon learners responding to consequences. Some consequences strengthen behaviours (we call these reinforcers). Some consequences weaken behaviours ( we call these punishers).

On the surface:

A consequence that the animal 'likes/ wants again' will strengthen behaviour.

A consequence that they 'dislike/ don't want again' will weaken behaviour.

Let's go deeper.

WHY do they like/ dislike/ want/ don't want, these consequences?

Because of 3 ways of feeling.

*Sensory (feelings via the senses - hearing, taste, touch, sight, smell, vestibular, proprioception)

*Internal states (feelings via temperature/ hunger/ thirst etc)

*Emotions (effects on their physiology e.g. racing heart/ butterflies/ muscle tension etc.)

The consequence makes our learner FEEL something/s that they either want to feel again, or not.

If the consequence was entirely neutral it wouldn't change behaviour.


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