The OC Pop Quiz - Answers

Stacy Braslau-Schneck

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1.A trainer pulls up on a dog's collar and commands the dog to "sit". The dog sits, and the trainer releases the tension on the collar.

R- for the dog for sitting (the aversive tension on the dog's collar goes away when the dog performs the action);
it is also R+ for the trainer (the trainer's action of pulling on the collar is rewarded by getting the dog to do what the trainer wanted)


2. A puppy jumps on her returning, beloved person. The person says nothing, folds his arms over his chest, and faces the door. The puppy stops jumping and begins barking instead.

P- for the puppy for jumping up, R+ for the owner for turning away.
(Too bad the pup started barking instead - maybe it's time to reinforce the desired behavior!)


3. A puppy jumps on his returning, beloved person. The person yells, "No!" and pushes the puppy away with her hands. The puppy jumps up again.

R+ for the puppy for jumping up, mild (ineffective) P+ for the owner for yelling and pushing (this behavior of yelling and pushing does not seem to be reducing)


4. A dog jumps up on the table and steals a steak. She runs off and eats it. The cook comes back from another room, sees the steak gone, yells, "No" and throws a rolled-up towelat the dog. The dog "counter-surfs" from then on and avoids towels.

R+ for the dog "counter-surfing", no effect on the cook's behavior


5. While the family is out, the dog jumps up on the table and eats an entire box of fine chocolate truffles that the owner’s uncle had brought. A few hours later, the dog is violently ill all over the owner’s bed. The dog sniffs at food on the table after that doesn’t take any of it. (This happened to me and Shayna!)

P+ for Shayna's table-surfing, P+ for me for leaving chocolate out around an unsuperivsed dog.


6. A dolphin jumps up in response to a known cue and instead of touching her trainer’s hands with her fins, she bites the trainer’s hand. The trainer immediately gives an established conditioned P- signal ("Delta") and removes herself and the bucket of fish. The trainer warns all the other trainers, but the dolphin bites two more people in similar circumstances, though the first trainer avoids any behaviors that involve her hands over the water and escapes further bites. (This happened to me and Elele!).

The dolphin's trick is R+ (it continues), then P- (it is eventually reduced); P+ for trainer for putting hands out


7. The first day at a dog beach, an owner calls her dog when she’s ready to leave. The dog runs up and the owner puts on the leash and pulls the dog home. The owner complains that the dog doesn’t really "come" when "he doesn’t want to".

P for the dog for responding to "come" (You can consider the leash something added to the dog's environment, as a P+, or the beach-freedom being taken away, as a P-)


8. A "troll" sends a post that reads "I love dolphins - they taste delicious!" to the newsgroup "alt.animals.dolphins". Numerous readers of the group send messages to the list decrying this horrible attitude. The "troll" does not post again to that group but moves on to post "You are all sinners" to the pagan, homosexual, and newsgroups. He also posts "how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?" questions to the Internet Oracle. (A "troll" is someone who intentionally starts up "flamewars" by posting controversial messages to newsgroups or listservers).

R+ for the troll


9. Every day, a dog pulls at the end of his leash while on a walk. The owner says "Don’t pull!" and holds the leash tight. The dog makes all sorts of gasping and choking sounds the whole way to the park.

R+ for the dog's pulling behavior, neutral for the owner


10. A student experiences a large earthquake as she studies physics on the floor of her boyfriend’s apartment. She declines all further invitations to study at his house thereafter (this happened to me!).

P+ for studying at boyfriend's house


11. A fire alarm goes off and the houseowner runs to cover the forgotten, burning brownies. The alarm turns off when enough of the smoke has cleared.

R- for the owner for covering up the fire.


12. Every Sunday morning, a mother calls to find out if her daughter has yet found a "real" job that uses the skills the daughter spent years at grad school acquiring. The daughter stays with her old job but starts leaving the house early on Sunday morning, before the phone call.

P+ for the daughter for answering the phone on Sunday mornings - the behavior of answering is reduced due to verbal harrassment.

R- for the daughter for going out - she avoids the harassment

P- for the mother, if her behavior of calling is reduced (assuming that allowing her daughter to hear her was a reinforcement for the nagging behavior)


13. A non-profit organization sends free address labels with their solicitation to a non-sympathetic postal costumer. The recipient keeps and uses the labels but doesn’t donate any money to cause. He checks further solicitations for more labels.

R+ for opening mail


14. A non-profit organization promises to send a free gift for every high-level donation. The recipient donates enough money to the cause. The recipient gets the gift and renews every year.

R+ for donating


15. A non-profit organization does a telephone solicitation and incessantly demands consideration of their cause. The recipient of the phone call agrees to donate and gives them his credit card number.

R- for the recipient - the annoying demand is ended when he complies. R+ for the non-profit - their demands are rewarded with a donation


16. A man eats a high-cholesterol diet all his life, and has a painful, debilitating bypass surgery. He does not significantly change his diet and requires more heart surgeries over the next fifteen years.

(No effect)

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