Cues and the Stimulus Control Quadrant

It is common knowledge in the training community that it is best practice to first teach the behavior, then add the cue. Trainers often say that this is what they are doing. As a result, the cue and the behavior are regarded as entirely separate domains. However, is it really possible to have a behavior without a cue? Furthermore, is it possible to teach a behavior without teaching a cue? In this topic, we’ll explore different views about cues, including the practical implications for thinking about cues and behaviors in isolation versus thinking about everything in terms of cue-behavior relations. 

This topic will evolve out of the discussions on cues and behaviours evolving together

In an Equiosity webinar, Jesús Rosales-Ruiz introduced us to the "Stimulus Control Quadrant". What is important about it for trainers is the understanding that learning is facilitated if the learner can identify a change in the environment that predicts an outcome. When we change a criterion, we should also change something on the environment that tells our learner that in order to obtain reinforcement, behaviour needs adjustment. If we maintain everything constant but change criterion, the learner will become frustrated, as behaviour that was previously reinforced, no longer produces that outcome (extinction)


Got curious? The webinar recording is available on the Equiosity website (and many more)