The Dogenius Institute
Inspiration & Ethical Education for Animal Advocates

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The Fallout Of Punishment & Negative Reinforcement

Punishment is known to achieve quick results but what are the long term implications and why is it not the best solution?

What's included?

  • 3 Hour Long Webinars
  • 1 Certification
  • 3 Videos

In this series of three webinars, you will explore three aspects of aversive control: negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. Negative reinforcement, sometimes known more colloquially as escape and avoidance training is discussed, exploring both laboratory and applied studies, the implications of results and the implications for animal trainers and behaviour consultants. Positive punishment is explored at length, including technical and ethical tensions as well as unintended or accidental side-effects of positive punishment contingencies. Sometimes known as Time Out from Positive Reinforcement, the practical issues around negative punishment are also explored. 

While many trainers who work without coercion or force may not think this course is relevant for their practice, it is essential that as behaviour technicians we understand the implications of methods that are widely used, not just by companion animal guardians but also by other professionals. Without a rounded understanding of operant behaviour, we cannot hope to clearly communicate the risks to clients. As we move towards informed consent with clients, we will need to be able to explain the consequences of specific training methods as well as being able to explain the technical and emotional fallout when offering behaviour modification protocols. Aversive control has many well-documented drawbacks and it's important that trainers can clearly articulate these so that caregivers fully understand the ramifications of their choices. 

Meet the instructor

Emma-Jane Lee

Patrick Jones - Course author