Research Paper: Behavior Therapy

Pages: 8 (2060 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Time out from positive reinforcement involves a temporary withdrawal from a person's access to a generalized reinforce which occurs immediately after the person performs the deceleration targeted behavior (Walker, 2004). This can be seen in the form of isolation, or a time out which can be used for children when they perform something undesirable.

Overcorrection is seen as decelerating maladaptive behaviors by having individuals correct the effects of their actions and later practice an appropriate behavior (Walker, 2004). This is when the individual makes amends for the wrong behavior or any damage done. This can be done through positive practice where the individual performs the appropriate behavior in an exaggerated fashion; this is usually seen in the repetition of the behavior.

Physical aversive consequences are when stimuli result in very unpleasant physical stimuli which are to decrease or remove a certain undesirable behavior. This can include pain and is not practiced today (Walker, 2004).

Aversive Therapy

Aversive therapy is a form of treatment in psychology (Watson & Reyner, 1920). This is when an individual is exposed to certain stimuli which comes in the form of discomfort to them. This is a type of conditioning where the stimuli causes the patient or subject to associate it with unpleasant sensations; the goal of this is to generally stop certain behaviors.

Aversion therapy can come in many different forms and is designed to stop unwanted behaviors or habits (Watson & Reyner, 1920). This can be done in pairing a certain behavior with electric shocks or certain types of intensities.

Like other therapies, aversion therapy is grounded using the learning theory. Its basic principle is in being that all behaviors are learned and that undesirable behaviors can then be unlearned through presentations of the right circumstances. The goal of this type of therapy is to decrease or eliminate certain types of behaviors which are seen as undesireable. According to Watson and Reyner (1920):

"Treatment focuses on changing a specific behavior itself, unlike insight-oriented approaches that focus on uncovering unconscious motives in order to produce change. The behaviors that have been treated with aversion therapy include such addictions as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and smoking; pathological gambling; sexual deviations; and more benign habits -- including writer's cramp. Both the type of behavior to be changed and the characteristics of the aversive stimulus influence the treatment -- which may be administered in either outpatient or inpatient settings as a self-sufficient intervention or as part of a multimodal program." (qtd. Watson & Reyner, 1920)

A major use for this type of therapy is seen used in rehabilitation from addiction of alcohol or drugs (Watson & Reyner, 1920). This therapy is used using emotional associations with sight, smell and taste of alcohol and other drugs. This can also be seen used in self-help communities to treat minor behavioral issues in individuals or delinquents.


Masters, J.C., Burish, T.G., Holton, S.D., & Rimm, D.C. (1987). Behavior therapy: Techniques and empirical findings. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

Michael, J. (1975) Positive and negative reinforcement, a distinction that is no longer necessary; or a better way to talk about bad things. Behaviorism,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Behavior Therapy.  (2010, November 10).  Retrieved October 16, 2019, from

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"Behavior Therapy."  10 November 2010.  Web.  16 October 2019. <>.

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"Behavior Therapy."  November 10, 2010.  Accessed October 16, 2019.