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Chapter 27

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Amanda Uliaszek

Chapter 27: Current Concerns and Future Research Dilemmas in Efforts to change behaviour:  Dilemmas = 2 categories: o 1. Behv change goals o 2. Methods of intervention Are the Behaviour Change goals acceptable?  Goal acceptability –degree to which outcome or behavioural goals are appropriate and reasonable Deciding if behaviour goals are acceptable:  Two broad goal acceptability criteria: o 1. High degree of social validity o 2. Should involve a clinically significant improvement that can realistically be hoped to achieve  Evaluate acceptability criteria by answering several relevant questions  Starting phrase “would achieving the goals” :  Be likely?  Improve general adaptive functioning?  Decrease likelihood of physical or psychological harm to oneself/ others?  Decrease difficulties o/ ppl experience w/ targ person’s behv?  Bring targ behv to a normal level?  Affirmative answer at least 1 q = goals might be acceptable but a “no” answer to the 1 q limits goal acceptability Close up: Trying to make Gays straight:  Criteria for acceptability affected by current beliefs  History efforts to alt sexual orientation of gays based on belief that it was a wrong learned choice  Thought ppl b/cm gay b/c of the experiences they have  One theory: based on respondent conditioning: preference learned through conditioning o Same sex person (cs) paired with sexual arousal (Us) through seduction  Other theory: psychodynamic view: parent-child relationships determine sexual orientation o Males b/cm gay b/c fathers are detached and ineffectual & mothers dominating and overprotective  Failure of conversion or reparative therapy  attempt to change clients sexual preferences o Some use psychodynamic procedures, o/s behavioural methods involving aversive stimuli, o/s fundamentalist Christian programs of “reorientation counselling” o Aversion therapy  electric shocks paired w/ sexually arousing pics or thoughts o Gerald Davidson pioneered use of behavioural methods to change sexual orientation o Professional organizations recommend against the use of these forms of therapy o Conversion therapies do not meet goal acceptability Examples of Dilemmas in behaviour Change Goals:  Should a therapy program pursue the goal of helping obese individuals achieve normal weight levels? o 1990 anti-dieting movement formed claiming it’s genetic for some, those who do lose weight usually gain it back, ppl who aren’t obese don’t necessarily live longer etc  Should therapy program pursue the goal of decreasing children’s extremely oppositional and aggressive behaviour if doing so requires them to play alone much of the time? o Solitary play intervention  reinforced req to play quietly without interacting w/ others in any way o Cooperative play intervention  reinforcement reqs play with no rule violation  Found oppositional behv to decrease during solitary play but not cooperative play emphasizing treatments focusing on solitary behvs would be more effective o Critics feel encouraging kids w/ high levels of oppositional behv to b.cm less sociable would not be acceptable way of correcting the problem Are the Behaviour change methods acceptable?  Treatment acceptability  extent to which client & community consider methods to be fair, appropriate, reasonable o Part of social validity assessment (goal, procedures, outcomes evaluated) o Important to protect clients rights and make intervention agreeable to clients Treatments involving Aversive Stimuli:  Greatest concerns= physically aversive stimuli as punishers or as USs in aversion therapy  When aversive stimuli used as punishers, severity should be as mild as possible still allowing to reduce unwanted behv  Professional committee must review plan and give approval  Therapist must describe aversive methods to client and seek their consent  Some organizations oppose use of all painful stimuli, o/s allow it under very restricted circumstances  Consider if ends justify the means (if there is no o/ alternative aside from aversive methods) Assessing Treatment Acceptability:  Indivs fill out rating scales, evaluate methods applied  Clients rate treatment methods if we wanted to know whether they would participate fully in their own therapy  Teachers, hosp staff rate treatment if we wanted to know how motivated they would be to learn techniques to administer them  Clients behv should be very severe, few undesirable effects, methods involve reinforcement, cost in time and effort is low, and have obtained consent of client and com
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