Seabiscuit (2003)


Concept featured in film:Behavior, Conditioning

Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 20


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: A group goes to track at night to secretly train Seabiscuit to break at the start of the race. The trainer explains that they are using his natural predatory response and a bell to train him to bolt at the starting bell of the race.

Connection of flick to concept: This clip would be a good way to engage students on a unit on conditioning and behavior. It could also be an alternative to the "Pavlov's dog" example.

Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What is Seabiscuit being trained to do in this clip?

b. Have you ever trained a pet or other animal to do something? What? How did you do it?

c. What organisms can be conditioned in this way? Is there an evolutionary advantage to conditioned responses?

d. Can people be trained like this? What is an example?

e. Humans have had a close relationship with domesticated animals for roughly 10,000 years. How have people used animals to help us or entertain us? How have we used animal's instincts and behaviors?

2. As a possible assessment question after students have learned about conditioning, show the clip and then ask the following question: Does this clip show an example of classical or operant conditioning? Explain. Include a description of the unconditioned and conditioned stimuli or the response and the stimulus.