Please Sir, May I Have Some Food, Water... and Control?
Ask any 3-year-old child what her eyes, ears, and legs are for and you will get a fast, accurate, gleeful answer: “To see, hear, and run!” But ask any adult, even one in the training field, what behavior is for, and you will get a deer-in-the-headlights look. The cultural fog that has us ignorant of the answer to this fundamental question accounts for many of the training failures we experience. Simply put, behavior is an evolved tool to control. Control what? Outcomes. In this presentation, control as a primary reinforcer and motivating operation will be discussed. By considering control in this light, we will better, and more confidently, provide animals with the opportunity to control their reinforcers, thereby improving their behavioral health.