Customer Reviews for

What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Sutherland and The Animal Techniques of Psych 211

    Amy Sutherland hits the orca right on the blow hole in this quick satisfying read. This fun read brings a ray of light of a new way to handle day to day implications with ease instead of anxiety. Amy decides to bring the training techniques of animals into her own life. She makes you see life in a more simplistic view when comparing animal training with daily human interactions. She has a brilliant and easy way of explaining the similarities in the training of animals and the how to¿s in life with her truthful and hilarious personal stories. It makes you realize how easy it is to get the responses you want or don¿t want out of people in life by simple behaviorist methods used by animal trainers. It refers to much of the behavior applications I have recently learned in my Psychology 211. The main term used in both psychology, animal training and real life that the book referred to would be reinforcement. The use of reinforcement is needed to teach most of what the animals learn. It applies to what Amy used in her day to day life for instance as reinforcing her loving husband Scott for finally taking his pile of dirty bike clothes of the carpet and placing them in the hamper bin. There is a strong use of successive approximations which I also learned in class which Amy uses to lure her mother into getting hearing aids by starting out in booking an appointment. The book also refers to extinction where a baboon forgets how to do a back flip on the balance beam after not being reinforced. Sutherland also refers to Skinner and the variable reinforcement schedule explaining how it maintains an animals behavior or in Sutherlands case keeps her excited at the horse races each summer. The book also makes a great reference to punishment by explaining how it is not used in any up to date animal training. The animal trainers also refer to superstitious behavior when they accidently teach an animal a behavior. The animal trainers also use desensitization with the animals such as placing a lion in a crate and allowing him to get used to it. This book is good for all audiences of an adolescence age and up. I think any person can relate to and for the most part comprehend the book. And anyone can learn from the book as well and that¿s the beauty of it. Learning that you can change yourself to better your life. This book applies for all people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Brandon Pfeifle Professor Kanevsky Psych 211 13 May 2014 What S

    Brandon Pfeifle

    Professor Kanevsky
    Psych 211
    13 May 2014
    What Shamu Taught Me About Life Love and Marriage
    Super Fun and Helpful
    It is amazing how the basics of conditioning can change the life around you. The behaviors of yourself and those around you set the tone, pace and rhythm of your world. The idea of clicker training, that you directly appoint stimuli to the appropriate behavior is used within all our everyday reactions. If we like something, we will say something nice usually in response. If we don’t like something, we will either ignore it, or do, or say something to keep the behavior coming. Once we catch on to this pattern, even if we are unaware of the behavioral psychology or animal training terminology we can implement the teachings. The terminology does greatly aid in fully dissecting and then putting the techniques into effect. The idea that you should view all the things as if you cannot physically dominate them, is a great mental and emotional stimulant. It leaves you no other choice, but to try to understand the creature you are dealing with and as a result your must do some soul searching. You must be patient and thoughtful, precise and observant. We can teach what we do want, rather than just what we don’t want. Increasing the likelihood for the desired behavior. To not take personally any mistakes, or misbehavior can aid greatly in enabling oneself to better teach.
    Amy Sutherland gives us wonderful examples of how she implemented the training in her real life. She would provide a sort of negative punishment when she ignores her husbands’ fussing about losing his keys. This was in hopes that he would not misplace them or he wouldn’t make such a fuss and lose his mind when he did. Her nagging, which actually had the opposite effect, from the one hoped for, goes hand and hand with, that within the process of shaping we should ignore the behaviors we would like not to occur. It’s funny how her husband started to use her training techniques on her. This can be a hindrance to our training of new skills. But it also show’s mental development. We just have to be careful not to let our pride get in the way and allow ourselves to be taught even if we are not the teacher. It can be scary and maybe the teacher is going about things wrong, that is when we go back to kindergarten, together!
    The different kind of training terms that were used were fun and go right along with terms used in behavior psychology. B.E. or Behavior Enrichment sounds a lot like reinforcement. A-to-B’s is vaguely like shaping. The phrase, “Go back to kindergarten,” which is shorthand for when an animal has trouble learning a new behavior and thus the trainer needs to back up a few steps in the series of training. I fear this could be interpreted poorly by the trainee if the trainer doesn’t remain positive. But otherwise it is a cute saying and shortens as well as brightens up the idea of backing up and trying again.
    The basics: 1.) Pick a behavior you want to train, 2.) Come up with a few specific goals so that you know what you do and don’t want, 3.) Come up with a step by step procedure to that end quick studies. If something doesn’t work, try to think of something else. What you DO is communication. The Old Fashioned way is punishment for wrong actions, with a very unlikely reward for the correct. The New Age way is no punishment, except no treats of attention, along with rewards of treats, attention or B.E. for correct behavior. Animals and most people are such fast learning, a trainer must be careful. Any interaction is training!

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I truly recommend it to stud

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I truly recommend it to students who are psychology majors for this book contains details about animal behaviors and human behaviors. Moreover, the author wrote a book about animal training techniques she learned which she later used on her husband. She eventually told him what she was doing and he was amused. Likewise, he tried it on her but he failed. I thought it was an amusing and well-written book. In addition, it has a detailed ideas that you either feel you can use or pass judgment on. Finally, what I found interesting were the techniques that animal trainers use daily can help improve one’s love life or save one’s marriage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Great, entertaining read!

    Apart from watching Animal Planet and potty training my dogs, I knew very little about animal training. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was light, witty and surprisingly very applicable to my relationships with my pets and my humans. It's definitely worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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