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ERIC Number: ED141215
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Psychological and Physiological Alternatives in the Control of Human Communicative Behavior.
Springhorn, Ron G.
The paper considers whether precise control over the actions, thoughts, emotions, and desires of individuals is desirable. New technological methods for controlling human behavior enable systematic manipulation of people and promise an even greater degree of manipulation in the near future. Arguments for and against behavior control are presented. On the favorable side, social problems involving motivation and incentive could be solved by behavior change. On the negative side, many psychologists and other individuals fear totalitarian technocracy and dehumanization. Three divisions of behavior control are identified: (1) control by information received from a patient in psychotherapy through the use of insight or action therapy; (2) control by information through hypnosis, conditioning, and electronics; and (3) control by coercion through drugs and surgery. The two major types of conditioning are classical, which deals with control of involuntary behavior, and instrumental, which deals with systematic control of voluntary behavior. Five conditioning techniques are discussed, involving punishment, reward, reinforcement, and desensitization. The paper concludes with the prediction that the capacity for behavior control will continue to grow. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Eastern Communication Association Convention (New York, New York, March 24-26, 1977); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document