Testing Theory Psy211 - Perfect Score

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Date Submitted: 11/27/2011 07:59 AM

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Testing A Theory: Individual Assignment Week 1

3. Individual Assignment: Testing a Theory

* Write at least 300 words describing a time when you had to test a theory. This theory may be something you have tested at work, school, or even at home.

* Answer the following questions in your summary:

* What type of informal research method did you use?

* How was your research method similar to research methods used by psychologists?

* If given another opportunity, what would you have done differently?

I wanted to test whether I could create a behavioral response in a new puppy we got for our family. I was a cat lover by nature, but this cross between a Chihuahua and a Pekingese, named Uzumaki, stole my heart. The fact she would not pay attention to me made it a personal quest to create a special behavior for us. I chose to test the behavior and treat reward system from reading about puppies and observations of other dog owners and their pets. Uzumaki had never played with toys before, and never disobeyed my husband’s directive to move from the couch.

I bought Uzumaki one of the furry squeak toys and, after several days, got her to squeak the toy. When she did, I praised her and brought her a treat. Each time she squeaked the toy, she got a treat. It was a simple enough experiment that has been done many times before, most notable is Pavlov’s Dog. What I thought was interesting though, and showed how smart and determined Uzumaki could be, was that when I was in a completely different room, she would hop off the couch with the toy in her mouth, come to the room where I was, squeak the toy, then return to the sofa with the toy where my husband told her she had to stay. How could I not applaud this with double treats? Her determination to find me to get a treat was clever and inventive, and I got my special moment with Uzumaki, and learned something about her own intelligence. I just have to add the treats into the...