Coercion and Its Fallout by Murray SidmanMurray Sidman is undoubtedly one of the most influencial of the applied behavior analysts. In Coercion and its Fallout, he provides the most in-depth discussion yet regarding the unanticipated and unfortunate side effects of the use of aversive stimuli (punishers). While I might have a bit of a disagreement with him regarding the way punishers are defined (Sidman does not define punishment in terms of the stimulis reducing effect on target behavior), the arguments are persuasive. This is a must read for anyone designing behavior change procedures.
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Coercion Its Fallout
One of the foremost philosophers of our time, Robert Nozick continues the Socratic tradition of investigation. This volume, which illustrates the originality, force, and scope of his work, also displays Nozick's trademark blending of extraordinary analytical rigor with intellectual playfulness. As such, Socratic Puzzles testifies to the great pleasure that both doing and reading philosophy can be. Comprising essays and philosophical fictions, classics and new work, the book ranges from Socrates to W. Quine, from the implications of an Israeli kibbutz to the flawed arguments of Ayn Rand. Nozick considers the figure of Socrates himself as well as the Socratic method why is it a "method" of getting at the truth?
On occasions like this, invited speakers are often asked to submit titles and abstracts of talks they have not yet prepared. My strategy in such instances is to make up something so general that it will cover anything I eventually decide to say. That is what I did on this occasion. What could I say about Fred Keller in one phrase that would be appropriate for anything I might say about him in my presentation? I think most of you would agree that I succeeded. Generalized conditioned reinforcers are good; we love them, as we loved Fred Keller. Most of us here, and many others who could not be here today, are his extended family.
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Trends in animal training are shifting. The focus is no longer on only achieving a desired behavior goal, but on the process used to attain this goal. Unfortunately practices that rely on aversive strategies such as negative reinforcement, positive punishment, misuse of deprivation, and reducing choice still persist in the zoological community. This is likely because of a perceived efficiency, despite the adverse effect this can have on animal welfare. Trainers can align with the least intrusive training strategies by eliminating the use of chase, capture, and unwelcome restraint. This paper will demonstrate the benefits and importance of fully embracing a positive reinforcement approach to the highest level possible in animal training and handling. Quickly the animal is deemed a problem and unsuitable for programs, when in truth in many cases the methods are what created the problem situation.