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Establishing Strong Secondary Reinforcers

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Establishing Strong Secondary Reinforcers

Postby Michael » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:55 pm

Do you have suggestions for setting up strong secondary reinforcers for trick training parrots? What are the best ways for making these secondary reinforcers reliable and preserving them that way. Certainly the secondary reinforcers must have a primary reinforcement that goes in conjunction with them so what frequency of reinforcement do you maintain for receiving primary reinforcement to keep the secondary reinforcer from going extinct?
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Michael
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Re: Establishing Strong Secondary Reinforcers

Postby Mona » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:32 pm

Hi Michael:

As far as secondary reinforcers go....I know that you use a clicker but I also use verbal secondary reinforcers.

The advantage to using a verbal is that it can be varied. For example, you can have a secondary reinforcer of "do better". The bird knows to go back and redo the behavior.....

Or you can have a secondary reinforcer of "keep going". The bird knows to go to a second step in the training sequence rather than stop the sequence.

I think the biggest factors for establishing strong secondary reinforcers are 1) the integrity of the reinforcer needs to be solid and 2) Consistency.

In training, there is a point where a secondary reinforcer does become a primary reinforcer. The animal will perform a behavior for what we think of as a "secondary reinforcer". I think the advantage to using a verbal is that the animal learns to differentiate different verbal "secondary reinforcers"....and you are on your way to training language.

Thanks!

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