Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
School For The Dogs Podcast - Dog Training & Animal Behavior with Annie Grossman
Did you know there is a woman running for president? Her name is Jo Jorgensen, she is the Libertarian candidate, and the only third party candidate who is going to be on the ballot in all 50 states.
Dr. Jorgensen has a PhD in organizational and industrial psychology and teaches at Clemson University. She has a Basset Hound named Gertrude, and she has trained her to not beg at the table... but that's not actually why Annie wanted to talk to her.
Annie wanted to talk to her because she has been trying to figure out if a world view and values informed by behavior-based dog training have turned her into a Libertarian.
After she became a dog trainer, Annie started thinking about something that had never taken up much brain space for her before: Government. We can govern our pets' worlds, and produce good behaviors, using environmental management and conditioning. If we can do all that without punishment or coercion, couldn't it be possible to -- at least to some extent! -- govern people that way as well? Isn't "freedom" just the ability to make choices that will be positively reinforced, rather than doing things because of coercion?
When Karen Pryor first started using a conditioned reinforcer to operantly condition dolphins to do tricks, she was using literature that had been given to her from the lab of Harvard Professor BF Skinner. He was experimenting on training animals in labs, but he was also writing about how humans could be conditioned. Last week, Annie looked at examples of people conditioning other people in some recent documentaries and biopics; this week, Annie speaks with the Libertarian presidential candidate about what it could mean to give people choice and to ease up on the use of coercion and punishment.
Featured photo Gage Skidmore CC By SA2.0
Ukulele version of America The Beautiful By Roy Sakuma
Jo Joregenson's Campaign Site
Annie's dad Robert Grossman's illustration of Ronald Reagan as Mickey Mouse
Walden Two by BF Skinner
Beyond Freedom and Dignity by BF Skinner