In reviewing and further researching the slides provided in this course, I couldn’t help but think of the men we are reading about in Endurance when I learned the definition of response deprivation theory. Contrary to Premack’s principle where a person will perform a less desirable task to obtain the desired outcome; response deprivation is where the desired outcome will reinforce the behavior IF the subject is deprived of the desired behavior. I think of part IV of Endurance. During this time, the men are forced into their boats due to cracking and depleting floes. Some see it as relief from the ice, but in their hurriedness to get into their boats, the men failed to remember ice to be melted into water. They would go days without water, which added to the misery of small food rations, treacherous weather conditions, and the fact that their course was many times rescheduled. The men were forced to chew raw seal meat just to drink the blood.
Elephant Island was in sight and the men had no option but to give all they could to reach land. Despite their lack of sleep and water, they rowed. And rowed. Hour after hour. Even while realizing they were caught in a current, they continued on. The desired outcome was land, where they could gain some rest and melt some snow into water. Would they have been so determined to continue on throughout the night if they had water onboard with them and were able to rest during the past few days? Maybe not. They were deprived of two imperative necessities of life; rest and water.