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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
interesting serendipity -
i'm watching the docu-film "Forks over Knives", & a nutritional researcher, Doug Lisle, PhD, just mentioned the 'motivational triad', which he said is the primary driver of all animal behavior:
- seek pleasure
- avoid pain
- conserve energy.

I'd certainly agree that they seem to sum-up the root causes of most behaviors, in humans or nonhumans; eating foods that taste good or satisfy other desires, such as crunch / other texture, salinity / acidity, umami [savor], vs foods that are actually "good for us" / nourishing, is a common problem.

A 3-scoop ice cream sundae with the works, including choc-syrup, sugared nuts, whipped cream, & red-dyed green Maraschino cherries, is more appealing to many ppl as 'dessert' than a piece of fruit, or even a bowl of diced ripe fruits.
Pleasure in that instance is more important to us than the consequences of eating high-fat, high calorie, dense foods with very little nutritional value. :(

Avoiding pain, similarly - we don't like pain; we put off, indefinitely if that's possible, anything that we think of as 'painful', whether that's emotional, physical, or mental pain.

Conserving energy - yup. :eek:
Who wants to WALK from store to store, or home to work & back again, when they can drive?
Who takes the stairs in an office building, when the elevator is right there?

Dr Lisle expanded on this, saying that the 2 primary pleasure drives are food & sex;
" a Great White shark, they basically wear a flashing neon sign on their foreheads, reading "FOOD...SEX... FOOD...SEX...", unless it's a male shark, then the sign says, "SEX... FOOD... SEX... FOOD...", but it's basically the same thing".
I had to laugh at that. :D Great image!

In short, to get desired behaviors from anyone:
- eliminate rewards for UNdesired behaviors, as far as possible
- make desired behaviors easy [conserve energy]
- make desired behaviors rewarding [pleasurable consequences]

A desired behavior that has a long history of rewards / past pleasures, becomes not only a default behavior - IOW, semi-automatic -- but is also inherently rewarding: just doing it lights-up pleasure circuits in the doer's brain. // Consequences drive behavior; "What happens AFTER the behavior" determines whether or if we do it, again.

for more-rewarding, more-effective training for us, & more-rewarding, more-effective learning for nonhumans,
- terry


556 Posts
Good post. I agree with it.
Not so sure about the conserve energy part though..... My dog barely sleeps, conserving his energy isnt in dna I dont think lol.
Really agree with the part about self rewarding!
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