Dr. Paul Andronis
Presentation given at the 2017 Conference
Most animal trainers are familiar with operant behavior, cognition, instinctive behavior, and reflexes. Less familiar is so-called “adjunctive behavior,” first identified more than fifty years ago primarily as a laboratory oddity. The term refers to extra behaviors that appear in between the responses you are reinforcing. Adjunctive behavior was originally called “schedule-induced behavior,” but has also been referred to as “collateral behavior.”
Researchers have debated where adjunctive behavior fits into our taxonomy of behavioral processes. Some treat it as a “by-product” of tightly-controlled operant behavior (hence, the names adjunctive and collateral), others as activation of hierarchical instinctive behavior by situational constraints (displacement), and some as an entirely separate class of behavior.
This presentation will introduce the basic concept of adjunctive behavior. I will discuss several varieties of adjunctive behavior, how it differs from other types of behavior, and the necessary conditions under which it occurs. Finally, I will offer a suggestion for how adjunctive behavior should be classified, and also discuss why the concept of adjunctive behavior is relevant for animal trainers.