Library of the History of Autism Research

A case for the selective reinforcement of punishment

Proceedings of the XVIth International Congress of Applied Psychology, Amsterdam, 18-22 August 1968, pp. 473-478

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Within the last five years, Risley, Kushner, Lovaas and his associates and several others have presented us with some intriguing examples of a relatively new technique for application to clinical problems of behavior. They have been able to show good results of this technique: the problems to which it was applied were remediated, and (especially in the cases of Risley and Lovaas) the side effects were almost entirely desirable ones. These investigators have been able to point to an extensive area of earlier research with animals using analogous techniques, out of which a good deal of the human application was derived. And they have shown that both the animal experiments and the recent human applications can be related to a common body of theory concerning the behavior of organisms in general.
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