The Birth of Animal Behavior and Training as a Science Part 3: Along Comes B.F. Skinner

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B.F. Skinner studied many aspects of learning, including: which types of reinforcement rates lead to the fastest learning and the strongest behavior, how learning extinguishes when reinforcers are discontinued, and the effects of intermittent reinforcers on extinction. From this data, he formulated a number of principles that shed light on the behavior of rats, pigeons and ultimately, humans. This was the birth of operant conditioning.

Want a Cuddly Pet? Rats as Pets

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“She has all the personality of a dog or a cat and some advantages that dogs and cats don’t offer,” says Henderson. “For one, she’s small so you can keep her in a cage and take her traveling with you. She’s also litter box trained and she knows some tricks. The best thing about her, though, is her sweet personality.”