👍How to Teach Cats High Five


cats are so human-like and I think they're a reflection of our true selves they're intelligent housebroken and just want to be loved I used to be a dog person myself before I owned cats but then I learned that they could be trained and that's exactly what we'll be doing today it's training day I'll be stealing my training technique from this guy BF Skinner he was a psychologist in the mid 1900s who studied behavior he was different from a lot of psychologists in his day because he didn't care about people's internal thoughts instead he thought that behavior and specifically the consequences of behavior shaped us so he wanted to know how animals and therefore humans learn to do things perhaps his most famous invention that he used to study this was the Skinner box in its simplest form it's a box that has a lever and a food dispenser Skinner put a rat in the box and waited the rat explored the environment and eventually hit the lever and a food pellet came out when the rat hit the lever again it again dispensed a pellet after several repetitions of this the rat learned that touching the lever equals food but the box can get more complex for example two levers one red and one blue and an electric grid on the floor the blue lever gives a food pellet and the red lever gives a mild electric shock again the rat or whatever animal was doing the experiment quickly learned to distinguish between the red and blue levers this experiment was repeatable with a wide variety of animals but you did have to be careful because sometimes the animal would get too good at it and would just gorge themselves by pressing the lever over and over again this kind of training is called operant conditioning BF Skinner said that behavior is shaped by either reinforcement or punishment and each of those categories have a positive or negative side but it's not positive and negative like good and bad but instead positive meaning adding something and negative meaning subtracting something if you put that into a chart it would look something like this now this might seem technical so far but your parents use these techniques on you to shape your behavior probably without even knowing it themselves let me break it down positive reinforcement means adding something good for a behavior by giving something good it reinforces that behavior and makes it more likely to happen again for example let's say you finish your homework before 8:00 p.m. and your parents let you play video games for half an hour before bedtime negative reinforcement means taking away something bad for a behavior removing something bad also reinforces the behavior and makes it more likely to happen again this is commonly confused with punishment but it's totally different so don't confuse it let me give you an example if you finish all the lima beans on your plate and your parents say you know what since you've finished all your veggies you don't have to do the dishes tonight now we're on to punishment now positive punishment means adding something bad for a behavior by adding something bad it diminishes the behavior makes it less likely to happen again for example if you are playing with your little brother after lights are out and your parents make you scrub the stairs leading to the scary basement and negative punishment means taking away something good for a behavior by removing something good it also diminishes the behavior and makes it less likely to happen again for example if you keep fighting with your little brother over who gets to play the n64 and your parents take it away for a week so now you're an expert in operant conditioning what's crazy is that this kind of learning can get super complex it's the basis for practically all animal in human training you can teach rats to play basketball for crying out loud but today we're gonna use this on Loki and Bill since cats are the pets of the Internet I thought it was only appropriate that you all got to choose which tricks I teach them and since I have two cats I figured I might as well teach them two tricks so for Loki I'll be teaching him how to jump into my arms and this will be hard it's by far the most complex trick on the list and Bill here is going to learn how to give me a high five for both these tricks I will be shaping their behavior I can't expect bill to give me a high five right away and Loki is definitely not going to jump into my arms willingly so instead I'm going to take baby steps and slowly get them closer and closer to the final behavior that I want for Loki that means starting down low and slowly getting him to jump higher and higher and for Bill it means getting him to reach for my hand and then training that into a high five so without further ado let's train very good good [Music] [Music] yeah yeah yeah do it again yeah you're on a roll bill yeah yeah yeah now I don't have any treats in my hand but I'm gonna get them to high five high five high five high five high five good yeah new day new low key let's see if we can get him to hop up here oh good yeah almost almost [Music] no high-five [Music] I meant yeah [Music] he isn't quite straight on the flat part of my palm and that's really where I'd want him to be he's still sort of reaching around my hand to pull it in good Loki has lost interest in the treats which is too bad because that makes training this much harder [Music] yeah yeah he seems to do better with his left paw so that's what I wanted to do consistently [Music] yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah it's still using the chair as a support I really want to avoid that let's see we can do to avoid that up yeah yeah what I'm hoping to do now is slowly increase my height this probably won't work but it's time to test the waters and see if we can push this just a level or two higher [Music] [Music] yeah work out and I need like a chairs ffs another pot use this pot high-five yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah ha ha high-five yeah yeah yeah [Music] Oh yeah [Music] boy [Music] okay all right let's pray is the power of the tree bag no you're not gonna get it that way ingenious yeah yeah so I have to admit that the whole reason that I wanted to teach bill here how to give me a high-five was for this exact situation every morning when I leave for work bill will sit here and say goodbye essentially what I would love as a goodbye is just to have him give me a high five yeah right before I leave for the day so let's do our training [Music] I'm going to work high-five yeah good kids see you later it's come to this the last day Loki has been working tirelessly to learn a trick but has he mastered it absolutely not but if I can get him to jump into my arms at least one time even using treats I will count that as a success let's get into it [Music] well it's not working well there you have it folks I'm gonna call that one a solid failure but if we had kept working if we had more time if we done more incremental steps we could get low-key there he's just not ready yet if anything low-key revealed one of the weaknesses of operant conditioning and that is that the animal always has a choice unlike classical conditioning which relies on autonomic responses operant conditioning builds off of experiences of positive and negative reinforcement and Punishment but in the end it's still their choice he just chose not to do it bill on the other hand is the tried-and-true expert he has learned his tricks so well over the past few days and I have seen him do the trick without even needing any treat the positive reinforcement that we've been using lately is just petting him and he really gets a kick out of that so let's try this out as if it's the real situation so you stay right there okay all right bill I'll see you later high-five yeah bill has learned his trick no problem as a true example of operant conditioning in action good work bill well there you have it both a success and a failure using operant conditioning what did you think of the experiment did you like it are there things that you think I could have done better to make it go smoother let me know down in the comments below thanks for watching this episode of micah psych if you like this video then please give me a thumbs up and hit subscribe if you'd like to catch videos like this in the future hit the bell icon if you want to be notified every time that we do release a new video and until next time i'm micah think about it [Music] [Music]

cats are so human-like and I think they're a reflection of our true selves they're intelligent housebroken and just want to be loved.