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Playing with Chains — Part 5 of 5. The Fluid Nature of Language We began this discussion of negative reinforcement by eavesdropping on a late night gathering of the Clicker Expo faculty. We have shed Kay and several of the others. I had promised myself that I would leave at Another ten minutes and then I really will leave. Eva has asked another question. I am loving the twists and turns the conversation is taking, but really I do have presentations to give.
I find an opening in the conversation and stand up, bringing the discussion to a natural close. The others all stand up, as well. I want to stay, but I know if I do, I will be good for nothing tomorrow.
I leave, but the following day, I hear from Ken that he and Susan remained locked in linda tellington jones correction bit discussion over terminology until 1: Language is not fixed. We think we understand the intended meaning when we hear words used in context, but do we?
In behavior analysis precision matters, and the use of language is very structured and controlled. Lying down keeps the number of things that are moving to a minimum. Scientists attempt linda tellington jones correction bit constrain the language to make themselves clearer.
Terms such as positive punishment and negative reinforcement have very precise meanings. Unfortunately, when you bring that language back into the realm of common usage, confusion is often the result. As I thought about our wonderful late night conversation, I found myself straddling both sides of the fence. I agree that we need to understand the technical definitions of the linda tellington jones correction bit we use.
But along with that understanding is the consideration of how the terms have been used, interpreted, and misinterpreted over the years. Are the definitions are still valid in light of additional research and development?
Archaic language can keep us stuck in archaic belief systems. How Words Are Used Are there some terms that we need to snatch back from the scientists? I think chains may well fall into this category. A chain of behaviors is such a descriptive term. The scientists have their technical chains: The next behavior is triggered by an linda tellington jones correction bit cue.
You push over the first block and all the rest follow. A sequence is something very different. But are they really all that different. And both link behaviors together. The kind of chain that you wear around your neck is made up of links. You can open up one of the links to take a section of the chain out or to add in more links. It provides such a clear visual image of one behavior connected to another. You begin with one link.
You make that consistent, then you add the next link in the chain. Link by link you can imagine growing your chain into longer and longer sections. You can also imagine how links can be opened and a section of a longer chain taken out to be worked on separately or used in a different context. We can certainly refer to technical chains, but I am also going to use the term chain to mean any series of behaviors which are deliberately linked together by cues.
With Poco I was using these links to build a two way conversation. Touch could be highly aversive for him. He could let down his guard and let me in. The Power of Play Play brought us step by step to this point. It kept me laughing. It kept me from treating him like something broken that needed to be fixed. It let me take familiar lessons and combine them in novel ways.
Linda tellington jones correction bit kept me listening to Poco and letting him lead me through the process. It kept the training fun. You would certainly recognize as play the linda tellington jones correction bit and tumble of two young horses rearing up together in a field, or two dogs playing keep away with a stick.
You would see play when a handler clicks and throws a tennis ball to her dog or engages with him in a game of tug. But this subtle exchange with Poco probably would not look like anything you would call play behavior. With dogs you can use natural play behaviors very effectively to build bonds between you.
So Poco and I developed our own form of play. It evolved out of my approach to the session more than the specific behaviors I used. If I am full of play, the horses respond by doing what Poco did — letting down their guard and inviting me in. Remember, linda tellington jones correction bit you are new to the JOY Full Horse blog, click on the JOY Full Horses tab at the top of this page to find the full table of contents and links to each of the articles I have published so far. I hope you linda tellington jones correction bit want to share these articles by sending links to this blog to your friends.
But please remember this is copyrighted material. All rights are reserved. If you are new to clicker training and you are looking for how-to instructions, you will find what you need at my web sites: Part 11 of The previous section began my description of a series of Play sessions I had with an ear-shy horse named Poco.
Step One was teaching Poco to target his nose to my hand. After two sessions, I could cradle his nose in my hands. I could lean into his space, something that would previously have worried him. And because I could lean in, I could steal a kiss. Training is all about moving on. With Poco I moved on by adding yet another dimension to the body part targeting. I stood in front of him and asked him to place his nose into my hands. I drew linda tellington jones correction bit hands forward, inviting him to follow me with a give through his poll.
He lifted his nose out of my hands. Again, I invited him into my hands. I could feel the tension in his poll, the habitual holding. Linda tellington jones correction bit hands offered him a suggestion, an invitation.
He found the answer. I could feel the release as he let go of the tension. He lengthened into my waiting hands. What Could You Find? What Linda tellington jones correction bit You Release?
Years ago I had a client who was an Alexander practitioner. She had also studied Feledenkrais work and a number of other, related types of body work. I worked on her horse and his balance issues, and she worked on mine. Marge never gave you answers. Instead she presented you with questions. I remember one day she was linda tellington jones correction bit my arm through a series of rotations, exploring the range and ease of motion that was available to me.
Linda tellington jones correction bit let her circle my arm. It was an oddly pleasing sensation. I could just let go of all expectations and let her take my arm through a series of rotations.
Abruptly she released my arm, but instead of dropping down to my side, it remained suspended in mid air. I remember Marge chanting: She posed the question. I had to find my own answers.
This was what I was doing for Poco. I was presenting him with a puzzle. Through my hands I was asking the same linda tellington jones correction bit Marge had all those years ago: Adding the Click The click turned over responsibility for the process to Poco. I was not simply a body worker doing something TO him.
Poco and I were involved in a conversation.