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ERIC Number: ED090484
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
The Modification of Covert Behavior: A Survey of the Literature.
Johnson, R. Gilmore; Elson, Steven E.
This review of the research literature focuses on processes that Cautela (1972a) has called covert conditioning and Mahoney, Thoresen, and Danaher (1972) have called covert behavior modification. Both of these terms refer to processes for changing behavior through imaginal responses. Two general strategies have been employed. One has been to increase or decrease the power of a particular environmental stimulus to elicit a given response by pairing that stimulus with a pleasant or an aversive word, image, or feeling in imagination. Subjects are asked to vividly imagine the stimulus and to pair it with an aversive covert response if the purpose is to reduce the positive valence of the stimulus or a pleasant covert response if a positive valence is to be established or increased. A second strategy has been to have a target behavior, a behavior to be increased or decreased, performed in the imagination and followed by an imagined reinforcement or punishment. Thinking about making a response is regarded as an approximation to it (Homme, 1965). The expectation is that if the imagined stimulus and response are similar to the actual stimulus and response there will be a transfer from imagination to the actual situation through the process of stimulus generalization (Cautela, 1972). (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (59th, Chicago, Illinois, April 1974)