Positive reinforcement is anything that a rabbit values and will work to earn. Rabbits value food, as it is necessary for their survival. To positively reinforce a behavior you like, you simply give your rabbit something she values immediately after she has performed the behavior. By positively reinforcing the behavior you are increasing the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. For example, we know that Dada, our rabbit, values lettuce. When we ask her to stand up by snapping our fingers, and then she stands up, we immediately give her a piece of lettuce. Therefore, she is more likely to stand again the next time we snap our fingers. Why> because her "standing" behavior could ear more reinforcement (lettuce) which is what she wants. This creates reliable behavior. Additionally, by using positive reinforcement, our rabbit learns to think and offer behaviors of her own accord, without us forcing her to do it. She must figure out what behavior will earn food and must offer the behavior whenever asked in order to earn the lettuce. If she doesn't do what we ask, she doesn't get what she wants.
My goal from the outset is to get Dada to perform as much behavior for the least amount of reinforcement (treat) as soon as possible. So, as she learns each behavior with more reliability, we take the lettuce away. We put the behavior under a variable schedule of reinforcement. This serves to increase the reliability of her responses because she never knows when she'll get the treat; it could happen at any response, so she keeps working in hopes that "the next one" will pay off. We fill in the gaps with petting and/or verbal praise. If you've ever spent any time in front of a slot machine or have purchased lottery tickets before, you've experienced variable reinforcement; you don't get a pay off every time. Its little pay offs every now and then that keep you going and thinking that "the next one" will be the big pay off.
In our course in Theories of Learning, I learned so many things such as the learning process, the different learning theories, and the reason why we learn or do things. The theories here really grasp my attention, especially the part of Thorndike, Pavlov, and Skinner, because all of them can be seen in real life. I can apply all those theories (if not, some of them) in my everyday life.
Whenever we finished our...