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Posts Tagged ‘clicker training’

How do we motivate our members (and ourselves)?

We’ve been talking about how to motivate our members and ourselves for the past two months.  It’s time to sum it up and start turning theoretical insight into practical actions. Here’s the insight.

1. The basic problem in workout motivation is that the reward comes too late.
Our daily routines are guided by “autopilot” functions that reside in the primitive parts of our brains. These systems operate on a straightforward reward-or-punishment system. If an activity gets associated with our reward systems, we like doing it, which makes us want to do it more. If it gets associated with pain, fear or loss, we develop an aversion. This principle is called conditioning. With our conscious minds, we can override what we have been conditioned to do, but it takes an effort. When our conscious minds relax, we will continue doing what we’ve been conditioned to.
The big problem in the workout context is that the conditioning (the primitive direct association in the primitive part of the brain ) only happens when the pleasantness (or unpleasantness) happens at precisely the right moment, while we’re about to do or still doing the right (or wrong) thing. Read more…

Clicker Training

In Karen Pryor’s latest book,

Reaching The Animal Mind,

she tells about her life as a trainer of animals and humans, and elaborates further on the ideas of the “clicker training” that she helped develop. The first half of the book held my attention steadily, and I ploughed through the pages at a steady pace.

It was in the the second half that I began to take notes, when I realized that she was drawing lines between operant conditioning on the one hand, and what Temple Grandin called the “Blue Ribbon Emotions” on the other. This helps explain more of what I called in an earlier post the difference between “training” and “learning”.

Read more…