Systematic applications of learning principles and techniques are based on two
(a) behavior can be controlled
(b) it is desirable to do so to achieve certain objectives.
A BEHAVIORAL VIEW OF ETHICS
Ethics: certain standards of behavior that a culture developed to promote the survival of
that culture (from a behavioral point of view)
strengthens culture through reinforcement as well as punishment.
Ethical guidelines are important sources of behavioral control when immediate
reinforcers influence an individual to behave in a way that leads to aversive stimuli for
Counter-control. This is "the reciprocal of control; it is the influence the controllee has on
the controller by virtue of access to suitable reinforcers"
One way to ensure this is to make sure that no program is to be carried out on a client
who has not given informed consent to participate in that program
Three highly reputable organizations that have addressed the ethical issues involved in
the application of behavior modification are
1. The Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT), now called
the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT),
2. The American Psychological Association (APA)
3. The Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA), now called the Association for
Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
ETHICAL APPLICATION OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
1. Qualifications of the Behavior Modifier
must receive appropriate academic training.
also receive appropriate supervised practical training to ensure competence in
behavioral assessment, designing and implementing treatment programs, evaluating
their results, and ensuring a thorough understanding of professional ethics.
Regardless of the level of training, one should always ensure that the procedures
being used are consistent with the most up-to-date literature