ID Fiction: An Instructional Analysis – Coffeebeans’ Dilemma

Coffeebeans’ Dilemma – An Instructional Analysis

Read “Coffeebeans’ Dilemma” here.


Cartoon of Coffeebeans the pup with an education who reflects upon training through the classical conditioning theory of behaviorism.

It’s clear that Coffeebeans wants Froth to understand that she likes non-vegetarian food. Assuming that Froth isn’t feeding vegetarian food to Coffeebeans, just to spite the dog; but because she doesn’t realize that CB hates it, CB should do the following:

  1. She should lap up the non-veg food whenever it comes her way, then wag her tail and lick Froth’s face as a gesture of thanks (thus, “reward” her.)
  2. When served vegetarian stuff, she should follow Anna’s example and start an indefinite hunger strike (and “punish” poor Froth, who’d then try her best to feed CB what she likes.)
  3. It’s important that she doesn’t guard the vegetarian food, because it would then send conflicting signals to Froth, thus weakening the reinforcement.

However, knowing the Coffeebeans is a pup first and an analyst of human behavior next, there’s a strong chance that CB would continue to guard that incredibly yucky vegetarian food! (A dog’s perspective differs from ours, dear vegetarian readers:))

Remember that it’s easy to understand the theories, but difficult to put them in practice!

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