Rats and Dogs – 2

This blog series looks at the basics of learned behaviours through a series of puzzles, designed to help you to consider how understand and modify your approach in different situations.

In our last blog we talked about rats and peanuts. When we set people this puzzle they often expect that the rat will stop pressing the lever almost immediately, and certainly very quickly. In reality some may never stop pressing it and many will initially respond to the removal of the reward by pressing it MORE often.

If we think about this type of learning in another way, we can see this in action. Most people who have a dog train it to respond to the command “sit” by rewarding this behaviour. In many cases the reward will only be available for a few short weeks. After that the dog will often continue to respond in the same way for the rest of its life.

So… if it works for rats, and it works for dogs… what does that mean for us?

Through your working life you’ve likely been rewarded for a variety of things. This will have embedded the behaviours. You’ve also probably used this technique to reward members of your team for the behaviours you want.


So, this week’s puzzle… what great things have you learned by being rewarded? How were you rewarded, and by whom? How can you reward the people you work with for great behaviour?






























Blog by Isla…

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