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What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Feb. 8th, 2008

12:47 pm - What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

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What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

I followed the students to SeaWorld San Diego, where a dolphin trainer introduced me to least reinforcing syndrome (L. R. S.). When a dolphin does something wrong, the trainer doesn’t respond in any way. He stands still for a few beats, careful not to look at the dolphin, and then returns to work. The idea is that any response, positive or negative, fuels a behavior. If a behavior provokes no response, it typically dies away.

In the margins of my notes I wrote, “Try on Scott!”

Original: craschworks - comments


[User Picture]
Date:February 8th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
I dislike this article. It tries to be funny, but only succeeds at being demeaning and infantilizing to men.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
And if it were a man trying to train his wife it wouldn't be allowed.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 8th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
That article is a couple of years old, and resurfaces every few months. I think the author makes some really good points, but I have yet to make the animal husbandry approach work! Maybe I need some more pointers from Shamu.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 8th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
A lot of parents try this approach with their bratty toddlers, without truly understanding the work that goes into training the animal to *want* to please the trainer. That's the first step, but somehow parents just don't get it. So they take their kids out in public and when the child acts up, the parents just ignore it, thinking the bad behavior will somehow go away on its own.

Whales are trained with clickers, actually. This is where clicker training originated. You click when the animal has done something right (even a little bit in the right direction, at least at first), but you ignore any "wrong" behavior. Of course, first you have to train the animal to the clicker! And you have to understand how to wean the animal from needing the click (and the treat) after every single behavior.

I suppose all of these same ideas would work with a husband (or a wife), since we are just animals. :-)

[Note: I haven't yet taken the time to read the article, only your post.]
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