Ethical and Legal Issues

  • Alan E. Kazdin
Part of the The Plenum Behavior Therapy Series book series (PBTS)


The application of operant techniques offers promise in achieving various treatment, rehabilitation, and educational goals. Recent applications extend the promise to social and community problems. As the technology of behavior change is extended, increasing concerns are voiced over the misuse of the techniques. Use of the techniques to redesign institutional living of patients or inmates stimulates concern for client rights and mistreatment (Begelman, 1975; Davison & Stuart, 1975; Friedman, 1975; Goldiamond, 1974; Kassirer, 1974; Kittrie, 1971; Lucero, Vail, & Scherber, 1968; Mental Health Law Project, 1973; Stolz, 1976, 1977; Wexler, 1973, 1975a, 1975b). Hypothetical extrapolations of behavioral principles to design society has led to even greater ethical concern because everyone’s freedom is potentially jeopardized (London, 1969; Wheeler, 1973).


Behavior Modification Behavioral Control Legal Issue Behavior Control Individual Freedom 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan E. Kazdin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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