katiek0417 wrote: The technical term for clicking when the chicken goes to the left side, then clicking when it goes to the middle is reinforcement of successive approximations, most people know it as shaping. With this method, you are allowing the organism to figure out what to do, but you are rewarding it for each step it takes closer to the goal (desired behavior).
Again, I'm not disagreeing with you on your terms, but we're talking about something a bit different--clicking when it goes to the left, and rewarding
in the middle (for a click on the left).
When I earned my PhD in behavioral ecology, we focused less on learning theory and more on evolutionary theory, which shows when I try to remember the precise language for learning theory!
I definitely think it's a terminology thing...I have done a bit of research into evolutionary theory as it applies to learning, but my Ph.D. is in psychology with a concentration in learning theory and cognition (with a subspecialty in neuroscience), which is why I am a stickler for terminology
Now,that being said, I agree that you should mark a behavior when they are offered in successive approximations of what you are looking for...
However, I agree with what Matt is saying about using the placement of the reward to your advantage.
My dogs are trained for competition sport work. One skill that they have to know how to do is a call off. For those that don't know (you may know what it is), a call off is where you send your dog down the field for a bite, then call it back to you before it gets to bite.
When you're teaching the call off, you typically MARK the dog for not biting, but the reward doesn't come until it gets back to you. But as the dog comes back to you, it doesn't know it's getting a reward...at least with me, it doesn't (there are some people who WILL have a decoy standing right there, and as the dog comes back, they start fighting with the decoy to get the dog back). For me, the dog comes back and finishes in heel, and it either gets "released" and gets a tug (that I don't reach for until the dog finishes) or it gets "released" and sent in some direction for a bite.
So, I'm not luring it. But, instead, I'm doing exactly as you put it:
clicking when it goes to the left, and rewarding in the middle (for a click on the left).
I am marking for turning around, but rewarding when the dog gets back to me (for a mark that occurred when it turned around). But I didn't lure it towards me...
Okay, I see that you just posted and said this:
Oh right--I forgot--lures occur first. This afternoon, I'll try to think of a good behavior to shape and reward closer to the position I'm ultimately aiming for. Hardly a scientific experiment, but fun all the same.
Does Vanya do a formal retrieve? I taught Nisha how to retrieve using shaping and backwards chaining...