Sir Marty: More than a Comfort Dog

Last week, Mrs. Lark’s A.P. Psychology students hosted a very special guest as they explored effective principles of Operant Conditioning as part of their Learning chapter. Sir Marty, our 4-month old campus comfort dog, graciously stopped in to demonstrate his training regimen to the class, providing students with a fascinating real-world application of Operant Conditioning principles as well as some much-appreciated love and cuddles.

Specifically, Marty demonstrated the importance of behavior-consequence contingencies, the use of various primary and positive reinforcements to increase desired behaviors such as sitting, laying down, staying, and touching specific objects, the difference between continuous versus partial schedules of reinforcement, and the process of shaping complex behavior.

The students were able to see in action the very principles of Operant Conditioning they’d learned about, and it was a treat for everyone to get some Marty cuddles-a wonderful form of positive reinforcement provided right in the middle of the school day! Thanks, Marty!

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