The Constructional Approach:

Influences on the Modern Era of Animal Training and Welfare

We have two approaches to take during any training situation - The Pathological Approach or the Constructional Approach (Goldiamond, 1974). The pathological approach focuses on reducing or eliminating “undesirable” behavior. Alternatively, the Constructional Approach focuses on building behavior. “Undesirable” behavior is seen as a symptom of a missing repertoire or behavior. The solution is to teach the missing repertoires with the same consequence, which has maintained the “undesirable” behavior. The Constructional Approach is the underlying philosophy behind all constructional programs, such as Constructional Aggression Treatment and Constructional Affection. 

This presentation will describe the difference between pathological and constructional approaches in understanding existing contingencies maintaining the “undesirable” behavior and the use of consequence in training procedures. This presentation will function as a prerequisite program for the other three presentations at the 2nd Annual CAAWT Conference.