Sunday, June 5, 2011


When reading chapter 8 in the textbook Intro To Learning and Behavior, I found reading about the side effects of extinction interesting. I wanted to find a way to test the side effects in my daily life, so I decided to try something with my dogs. I have 2 dogs, a pug (Oscar,4) and a pekingese (Gizmo,4.) They love "breakfast" and "dinner" time, everyday when i wake up we go for our walk and when we get inside the look at me waiting for me to say "who wants breakfast" and they run frantically over to their bowls and stair at me while I get their food out of the big tub. The same thing happens at dinner. Three days ago I decided to test this in the morning routine. We went outside for a walk and when we came inside I said "who wants breakfast," and walked into the kitchen to make my morning coffee. They frantically started running towards their bowls. Now I don't know if any of you have a pug or have seen a pug frantically run, it is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen, he looks almost like a gremlin. Their staired at me for 30 seconds then the side effects for not getting breakfast started.

Now the pekingese is very laid back so when he got to the kitchen he just sat there and stared at me, the also did the "pekingese dance," which is he stands and balances on two feet and wobbles around while begging. The pug ran over to the closet where i keep the food and started barking and scratching at it. After my coffee was made i gave them their "breakfast." The pug who thought he had been starved for over a month couldn't wait for me to get the food into the bowl and bated the cup of food out of my hand when i bent to fill the bowl and ravenously ate the kibble off the floor. The pekingese never really acted out like the pug did, he just did the "pekingese dance." I did this for 3 days, only to see the effects, I know it must be done much longer to change the effects of extinction and to get the original behavior to stop. The other two days were similar to the first day. The effects I saw them portray were extinction burst, when the pug hit the food out of my hand, increase in variability when the pekingese did his dance, he was begging me to give him breakfast, because normally he would have already had it. Emotional behavior was also shown when the pug was scratching at the door that he knew the food was behind.

1 comment:

  1. It funny that you posted this, because i know its true for at least myself, if not most psych majors, that we try to turn our animals into test subjects like Pavlov did. And if the dog is trained correctly, all of our results are usually the same.