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Q&A with Temple Grandin


The moral of Dr. Pepperberg’s story, and the reason she finally succeeded where others had failed, was that she was the first person to consider that maybe it was the researchers’ fault that birds weren’t learning anything, not the birds’. She went beyond classical behaviorism and operant conditioning; she tried a different branch of behaviorism called social modeling theory. It is the way real people and real animals learn in the real world.

Just think of wolves. How could they learn to hunt if they didn’t observe it? The ultimate goal is to get food, but how to find the food? You have to first learn that it is food. They don’t know that the prey is food. Hunting is a predatory instinct, but you have to learn what you eat, and you learn that from Mother. You learn from observation.



This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 29: Winter 2004
Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com

 Photo of Temple Grandin © Joel Benjamin, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Submitted by Anonymous | December 4 2009 |

I thought the article and the inerview with Temple Grandlin was great. I expespecialy like the cheese puff and the parrot, how conditioning works.well I meet temple Grandlin the year in the barns and noble in scottsdale and I have read her there most recent books.I think she makes the most sene to me out of the dog and animal science I have read. I used to think autistic people where differn't, but now I know inside our minds we all think,reason touch feel and explor the world in simular ways if we youse what we think in our minds we can train and understand animals better. mybe somtime we make to many rules and make the world more complacated then it should be. ok I have dilexia and i'am not the best speller , but i'am always tring to do beeter. no speel check on this.
Steven DeMarlie

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