BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

 

William Mikulas

 


 

Preface

 

This text is a brief overview of the whole field of behavior modification, including applications in schools, half-way houses, homes, businesses, and mental hospitals. The intent is to provide the reader with an integrated discussion of some basic principles and theories of behavior and behavior change across a wide range of settings and problem areas. I hope the book is useful as a supplementary text in courses in behavior modification, particularly those whose subject matter emphasizes a narrower domain of procedures or settings; as a supplementary text in courses in which behavior modification is one of many components; and as a brief survey for psychologists and other professionals who wish to know what has been going on in behavior modification and perhaps be directed to other readings and considerations.

 

There are currently many good texts on behavior modification, which was not so a few years ago in this relatively young discipline. Several texts deal with applications in clinical and counseling settings, operant applications in education and child rearing, or specialized topics, such as assertive training and self-control, to mention only a few topics. In addition, there are several specialized journals, thousands of relevant articles, and many edited books of original and reprinted articles. One of my purposes is to provide readers with sources of information so they may pursue areas of interest to them. I have included Suggested Readings (at the end of most chapters), Further Readings (Chap. 11), and many references.

 

Despite the texts currently available, none covers the whole field of behavior modification. Each .is restricted by topic, settings of application, and/or procedures emphasized. This is fine; but a need exists, which I hope this book fills, for an overview of the entire field so that the reader develops an understanding of the breadth of behavior modification principles, as well as of some of the interrelationships among different approaches. By keeping the book relatively brief, I hope an overview can be offered without losing the reader in too much detail. For these reasons, I intend the book to be a supplement (as well as a core text) for courses in behavior modification and related approaches. For example, a course that is basically operant in nature could use the book to review non-operant procedures—such as desensitization and aversive counterconditioning. Or instructors emphasizing applications in clinical settings may wish to briefly expose their students to how the principles being discussed apply to other settings. Finally, many of my students in behavior modification have reported that first reading a brief chapter giving an overview of a topic, such as desensitization, aided their later understanding and made ease of learning of more detailed and more comprehensive readings on the topic.

 

This book may also be a supplement to courses that cover behavior modification as one of many topics—courses such as learning, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, and counseling. Perhaps just some of the book will be read in some of these situations (one reasonable subset would be Chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10).

 

Behavior modification procedures could be organized in many ways, such as by settings of application or categories of problem behaviors. I have chosen an organization centering around general paradigms (e.g., respondent conditioning, operant conditioning, modeling). This has the advantage of providing some generality to change procedures, as well as suggesting relationships among various approaches, particularly as practitioners and theorists are generating new procedures and variations of procedures under an unwieldy mass of new terms. I think the organization I use is helpful in that it provides a conceptualization which may facilitate the reader’s ability to see interrelationships among behaviors and the practitioner’s ability to design a logical integrated change program drawing from the whole field of behavior modification. On the other hand, it is not always clear where a change procedure, such as covert sensitization (aversive counterconditioning? operant punishment?), should go. In such cases, I point out the different possibilities. And some approaches, such as assertive training, are a combination of many procedures and have to be put into a chapter where they best This book is a follow-up to an earlier book of mine, Behavior modification: an overview (1972). Since I essentially rewrote the whole book I do not see this book as a second or revised edition; but this is definitional. This book is somewhat more comprehensive than the 1972 book and reflects changes in the field of behavior modification, as well as changes in my knowledge and thinking.

 

A note to those involved in the current concern about sexist biases in our texts and language: Throughout the text I use the common grammatical convention of using male pronouns to refer to a person of either sex, intending to show no bias or preference for one sex or the other. I considered alternative ways of writing to avoid using this convention, but the alternatives seemed awkward and hindered communication of my material, which is my main concern. I tried to make sure my examples, real and fictional, did not contain a sex bias.

 

I am indebted to the many practitioners and theorists in behavior modification who are responsible for most of the material in this book, to my students and clients from whom I learned much, to the reviewers of my first draft, and to my wife-typist-best friend Benita who shares, supports, and pleases my being.

 

WLM

 

 


PREFACE
CHAPTER ONE -- ASSUMPTION AND APPRAOCH
Behavior Modification
Learning and Motivation
The Medical Model
Behaviorism
Symptom Substitution
Properties of Behavior Modfication
Summary
Thought Questions
CHAPTER TWO -- ASSESSMENT AND OBJECTIVES
Behavioral Assessment
Assessment Procedures
Specifying Terminal Behaviors
Ethics
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Reading
CHAPTER THREE -- RESPONDENT CONDITIONING AND COUNTERCONDITIONING
Applied Respondent Conditioning
Extinction
Counterconditioning
Relaxation
Counterconditioning Anxiety
Other Counterconditioning
Summary
Thought Questions
  Suggested Reading
CHAPTER FOUR -- FLOODING
Flooding
Implosive Therapy
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
CHAPTER FIVE -- DESENSITIZATION
Training in Relaxation
Construction of Hierarchies
Visualizing Scenes
Desensitization Problems
Theories of Desensitization
Variations of Desensitization
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
CHAPTER SIX -- AVERSIVE COUNTERCONDITIONING
Compared with Operant Punishment
Examples
Offset of the Aversive Stimulus
Generalization
Theories
Covert Sensitization
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
CHAPTER SEVEN -- OPERANT PROCEDURES
Operant Conditioning
Stimulus Control
Reinforcing Desirable Behaviors
Contingency Contracting
Token Economics
Extinction
Reducing Nervous Habits
Punishment
Stimuls Satiation
Combining Procedures
Non-dependent Events
Feedback
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
CHAPTER EIGHT -- MODELING
Initiating and Enhancing Behavior
Assertive Training
Overcoming Fears
Enhancing Emotional Responses and Inhibitions
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
CHAPTER NINE -- COGNITIONS

Cognitions Affecting Other Behaviors

Behaviors Affecting Cognitions
Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive Restructuring
Self-Statements
Thought Stopping
Coverant Control
Respondent Verbal Conditioning
Attribution
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Reading
CHAPTER TEN -- OVERVIEW
Practitioner Skills
Combining Procedures
Criticisms
Interrelationships with Other Approaches
Summary
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
FURTHER READING
REFERENCES