Por: Camilo Hurtado
This is not the result of having settled all of the area’s major questions; instead, other aspects, primarily ethical-related, have contributed to this situation. Regarding the lack of nonhuman research, it is largely a consequence of an over-reliance on electric-shock-based procedures which, notwithstanding their role in the success of preeminent behavior analytic research programs during the past century (e.g., N. H. Azrin’s et al. program on punishment – Azring & Holz, 1966), have been increasingly criticized on ethical, practical, and ecological validity grounds (Brodie & Boren, 1959; Barker et al., 2010; McQuade, Creton, & Stanford, 1999; Davis, 1981; Pierce & Cheney, 2013).
In the case of research with humans, the influence of the ethical debates related to nonhuman research, together with controversies on the use of aversive procedures in applied settings (Feldman, 1990; Pierce & Cheney, 2013), seemed to have resulted in an overall “bad reputation” of the field. Furthermore, this situation seems to have caused a diminished interest for the basic processes of aversive control and their interaction with other behavioral phenomena of particular relevance for understanding of human functioning, such as stimulus control and verbal behavior (Catania, 2008).
In view of this situation, four studies are proposed here, which are expected to be completed over the course of 30 months. They overall aim at establishing a research program on aversive control at Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria, and ultimately contributing to the reviving the field. Consejera del Departamento del Medio Universitario, Consejería Académica