Resolving Behavior Problems Two Part Series


Although Dr. Friedman is not well known in the dog arena (yet!), she is very well known in the parrot and academic communities. Dr. Friedman is an Applied Behavior Analyst and what Bob Bailey has done for training, Dr. Friedman is doing for behavior assessment and analysis. This two part series will give you a serious taste of what Dr. Friedman has to offer.  In 2007 Dr. Friedman will be doing her 8-week course on behavior assessment and analysis via telecourses — if you are serious about working with problem behaviors, this course is a must!

Part 1: Assessing Predictors and Purposes

Behavior is not something an animal “has” but rather something it “does” given some conditions and not others. When we think that problem behaviors are due to something inside the animal we naturally consider it the animal’s problem.  When we think that problem behaviors are due to the conditions under which the behavior is demonstrated, we try to change the conditions, that part of behavior we can do something about.  In this presentation, a model for assessing how conditions set the occasion for and reinforce problem behaviors is discussed. This model, called functional assessment, reveals answers to the three fundamental behavior-change questions: What (identify the problem behavior in observable, unambiguous terms); when (predict the conditions under which it will occur and not occur); and, why (what purpose does it serve for the bird).

Part 2: Building Behavior Change Plans Systematically

After completing a functional assessment of a problem behavior to determine the conditions under which the behavior occurs, the next step in the process of solving behavior problems is to systematically design a behavior change plan. The most successful interventions are those that arrange conditions to make the problem behavior irrelevant (provides the same, or more, reinforcement for desirable alternative behaviors); inefficient (makes it easier to perform the right behavior than the problem behavior); and ineffective (reduces or eliminates reinforcement for the problem behavior). In this workshop, a model for designing interventions is discussed as well as the ethical standard for selecting behavior change strategies known as the “most positive, least intrusive” procedural hierarchy.



Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.

Dr. Friedman is currently a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. A Behaviorist for more than 25 years, her area of expertise is learning and behavior with a special emphasis on children’s behavior disorders. In the last several years, Susan has helped pioneer efforts to apply to animals the humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, which has been so effective with human learners. The guiding principle of this approach is a hierarchy of teaching interventions starting with the most positive, least intrusive, effective behavior solutions.

Susan is a steadfast proponent of changing behavior through facilitation rather than force. These tools of facilitation focus on animals’ extraordinary biologic capacity to learn by interacting with their environment. She teaches that by changing the environment for success, animals learn to behave successfully. Susan currently teaches Living and Learning with Parrots: The Fundamental Principles of Behavior to online and workshop students several times a year.

Susan is the first author on two recently completed chapters on learning and behavior for two new avian veterinary texts (in press), and enjoys contributing to and learning from several internet lists on parrot behavior. She is a core member of the California Condor Recovery Team and takes every opportunity to work with companion animal caregivers, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers to empower and enrich the lives of all learners. Foremost in this interdisciplinary effort is her passion for and commitment to working with companion parrots and their caregivers.



Refund Policy: The course fee will be refunded, in its entirety, so long as the enrollee requests a refund in writing no later than the 14th day after the course is purchased. Alternatively, the enrollee may request an exchange or credit toward a different course, instead of a refund.