Lessons from the zoo – applied in the bedroom

I once visited UC Berkeley in the 90s with my friend Sumit. We met up with Sumit’s friend, Bunty, who lived just off campus in a shared house with 3 other guys. Now Bunty was a nice and down-to-earth kind of guy. Even while finishing up his Phd and working on some cool eye technology at the time. What was surprising was the other three guys in the house. They were completely reclusive. Not very friendly, communicative, etc. When I asked Bunty how he could live with these guys who were so closed off/anti-social, he said that it was even worse when he first met them. Bunty said that he had to train them to change. So I was like WTF. In my younger days this was crazy thinking. That you can change somebody. But what he meant was that you can encourage people to change. Of course the change still comes from within but positive reinforcement towards the desired behavior is the key. This article below describes an animal trainer’s approach to this type of encouragement to change behaviors:

The rules are simple. Reward the behaviour you want. Ignore the behaviour you don’t want

globeandmail.com: Lessons from the zoo – applied in the bedroom

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