The Five-day Criteria Workshop is one of the second-level of the five (5) Bailey-Farhoody Operant Conditioning (chicken training) Workshops. The Criteria Workshop and the Cueing Workshops must both be taken (in any order) before taking the Chaining and the Teaching Workshops. (It is recommended to take Cueing before Criteria.)
The Bailey-Farhoody OC Workshops are unique and challenging workshops with a 70-year history as the premier hands-on program for animal trainers, and anyone wishing to learn applied behavior analysis procedures for changing behavior.
Objectives: Teach behavior analytic procedures; plan and institute simple training tasks, establish reinforcement criteria for simple and moderately complex behaviors especially those involving shaping (differential reinforcement/shaping as a mechanical skill not as a theory), teach training as a dynamic not a static process, evaluating behavior, allocating of training resources, (including time) and introduction to data collection and analysis. Behavior Economics and its value in training (Matching Law and Behavioral Momentum) is also discussed. This Workshop demands intense focus of the trainer on reinforcement as a process and on changing trainer behavior.
Prerequisite: Successful Completion of the Discrimination Workshop.
Content: Most real-world training requires quick decisions based on constantly changing behavioral criteria. Planning and implementing rapidly changing reinforcement contingencies, commonly called shaping, is the core of this Workshop. The use of rapid rate of reinforcement is introduced as one means to extend behavior over time and distance. Students develop rapid decision-making skills by teaching chickens to maneuver or progress from point A to point B, (or to pull on rubber bands and weighted objects, and to retrieve objects). We call these kinds of complex responses non-discrete, as opposed to discrete, which are very clear-cut response such as a simple peck. To reinforce a non-discrete response, the trainer is required to set definitions and criteria and judge very quickly, in real-time, when criteria for reinforcement are met. A trainer must not only determine whether to reinforce, but also deliver the reinforcement on time and in the right place; to click for action and feed for position. The student learns firsthand the value of intense focus on the nuances of an animal’s behavior – even their own! Serving as a coach, the student learns to observe and constructively criticize trainer behavior. Trainer must concentrate on body awareness and become conscious of their own limitations, such as unintentional cueing and prompting. These factors make this Workshop particular demanding emotionally because trainers must change their own behavior to get desired behavior effectively and efficiently. Fluency, latency, accuracy, and not being satisfied with “Good Enough,” and other practical training concepts are presented in the lectures and discussions, and demonstrated in the training room. Behavior Economics as a view of animal behavior is presented in detail.
One evening (dinner is provided) is devoted to presentations and discussions on various topics of interest to trainers. Students are invited to participate by bringing video and entering into discussions.