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NCJ Number: 64879 Find in a Library
Title: REGULATION OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION PROGRAMS IN PRISONS SOME PROBLEMS OF DEFINITION
Journal: JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY AND LAW  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(1978)  Pages:161-172
Author(s): G WARDLAW
Corporate Author: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10007
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CONFUSION OVER INADEQUATE DEFINITIONS OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION IN PRISON SETTINGS IS EXAMINED, A TECHNICAL DEFINITION IS GIVEN, AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF IGNORING DISTINCTIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE ESSENTIAL DEBATE OVER BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION DOES NOT CONCERN THE DESIRABILITY OF CONTROL BUT THE GOALS AND THE METHODS USED TO ACHIEVE THEM. IN ESSENCE, THE ISSUE IS SOCIAL POWER: HOW AND BY WHOM IT IS WIELDED. THE TECHNICAL TERM 'BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION,' AS OPPOSED TO THE GENERIC LABEL, ORIGINALLY REFERRED TO THE EXPLICIT AND SYSTEMATIC APPLICATION TO HUMAN BEHAVIOR OF PROCEDURES DERIVED FROM THE EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY LABORATORY. THERE ARE THREE DISTINCT BRANCHES WITH SHARPLY DIVERGENT THEORETICAL BASES AND TECHNIQUES: THE EARLIEST OR CLASSICAL CONDITIONING SCHOOL BASED ON PAVLOV'S EXPERIMENTS, THE SKINNERIAN OR OPERANT CONDITIONING SCHOOL, AND THE SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY MODEL. A DISTINCTION SHOULD ALSO BE MADE BETWEEN AVERSIVE CONDITIONING (PAVLOVIAN SCHOOL) AND AVERSIVE CONTROL (OPERANT TRADITION). FURTHER, CONFERRING A LABEL ON A PROGRAM DOES NOT IN ITSELF MAKE IT A BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION PROCEDURE. THERE HAVE BEEN SERIOUS ABUSES PERPETRATED BY QUALIFIED BEHAVIOR MODIFIERS. THERE HAVE, HOWEVER, BEEN MORE SERIOUS ABUSES PERPETRATED BY THOSE UNQUALIFIED IN BEHAVIORAL TECHNIQUES AND IN THE NAME OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION RATHER THAN ITS PRACTICE. ADMINISTRATORS SHOULD PROPERLY DISCLOSE THE SPECIFICS OF ALL THERAPEUTIC AND INSTITUTIONAL EVALUATION PROCEDURES AS WELL AS THE LACK OF THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES AND THE OUTCOMES. THE FOCUS SHOULD NOT BE ON BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION BUT ON THE END TO WHICH AND THE METHODS BY WHICH BEHAVIOR IS MODIFIED. NOTES ARE PROVIDED (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--AOP)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Behavioral science research; Coercive persuasion of offenders; Token economies
Note: PAPER DELIVERED AT THE 48TH CONGRESS OF THE AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 29 SEPTEMBER 2, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64879

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