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Countercontrol in Behavior Anlysis

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GM Hidalgo

on 22 May 2014

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Transcript of Countercontrol in Behavior Anlysis

behavior analysts manipulate (control) environmental variables to determine their effect on behavior. They control their subject matter by manipulating environmental stimuli and contingencies.
Countercontrol in Behavior Analysis
An Article by Dennis J. Delprato

Countercontrol is a functional class of behavior that is part of Skinner's analysis of behavior. It refers to behavioral episodes compromised of socially mediated aversive controlling conditions and escape or avoidance responses that do NOT reinforce, and might even punish controller's responses
is a human operant behavior that occurs in response to social aversive control

The 1st refers to aggressive overt operant responses & emotional behavior
The 2nd is moving out of range of the controller or resisting passively
2 Types of Countercontrol
Countercontrolling responses do not have to be invariably effective. Not all responses maintained by negative reinforcement will result in escape or avoidance and nonreinforcement or punishment of the controller's responses. A past history if negative reinforcement contingencies will often not be available to the analyst but it can often be deduced that these responses were reinforced in the past
The concept of countercontrol derives from the fundamental behavior-analytic position that behavior is always
controlled or caused.
Skinner argued that responses occur and are followed by environmental consequences control the occurrences of similar responses in the future.
The foundation for contercontrol is that human behavior is both a function of the environment and a source of control over it
When an individual is presented with an aversive condition, he may escape or avoid and oppose controlling conditions
Humans are much more likely to have a requisite history for responding AGGRESSIVELY to social control than nonsocial control
Countercontrol is NOT a basic principle of behavior because it is always either avoidance or escape behavior.
This behavior is unique insofar as the behaver is (a) confronted with some form of aversive interpersonal or social controlling stimulation and (b) responds to oppose control rather than to reinforce it by "giving in"
Consequences are produced by behavior; thus behavior controls consequences and is in turn controlled by them
Countercontrolling behavior can result in avoidance or escape from particular short-term consequences, along with nonreinforcement or punish of the controller's responses. (E.g- when a teacher threatens a student with detention & withdraws the specific threat when the student threatens the teacher with a serious allegation)
Countercontrolling response can also be reinforced when pervasive and long -lasting coercive contingencies are removed or made less aversive (E.g- employees complain about a supervisor who subsequently reduces aversive control procedures)
Behavior analysts have refined the concept of environment and expanded the concept of stimulus with the introduction of setting factors or setting events, and establishing operations
Behavior analysts now recommended the analytic advantage of adding a term that incorporates events not clearly handled by the 3 term unit (discriminative stimulus, response, reinforcer)
Setting events and establishing operations refer to various environmental conditions, including previous stimulus-response interactions, that function to alter the momentary probability of responses and the function of stimuli and consequences
Conceptualization of countercontrol as a functional class of behavior follows from the facts that (a) all behavior is controlled & (b) in addition to being controlled, humans control.
Countercontrol is the natural result of human-produced aversive conditions & the process of negative reinforcement, which itself is an outcome of contingencies of survival.
Increased attention to countercontrol by behavior analysts might increase the likelihood that individuals will identify their involvement in exposing others to functionally aversive stimuli
The principles underlying behavioral countercontrol recommend that when interacting with others under any conditions we regularly ask :" What might be functionally aversive for this individual & what might he or she do about it?"
Humans are likely to continue imposing on others coercive behavior-environment contingencies that occasion defensive responses.
Countercontrol continues to show promise as a useful concept in the science of social behavior
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