HTP Prints

Skinner Boxes for Psychotics: Operant Conditioning at Metropolitan State Hospital

Rutherford, Dr. Alexandra (2003) Skinner Boxes for Psychotics: Operant Conditioning at Metropolitan State Hospital . The Behavior Analyst 26.

Full text available as:
HTML

Abstract

Between 1953 and 1965, Ogden Lindsley and his associates conducted free-operant research with psychiatric inpatients and normal volunteers at Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, MA. Their project, originally named “Studies in Behavior Therapy,” was renamed “Harvard Medical School Behavior Research Laboratory” in 1955. This name change and its implications were significant. The role of the Laboratory in the history of the relationship between the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and applied behavior analysis (ABA) is discussed. It is suggested that the Laboratory played a key role in the development of the experimental analysis of human behavior (EAHB) because its methodological innovations made human behavior accessible to experimental analysis for the first time. The Laboratory’s work is also contextualized with reference to the psychopharmacological revolution of the 1950s. Finally, a four-stage framework for studying the historical and conceptual development of behavior analysis is proposed.

EPrint Type:Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)
Subjects:Psychology > Behaviorism
Psychology > Psychopathology
Psychology > Asylums/Mental Institutions
ID Code:200
Deposited By:Rutherford, Dr. Alexandra
Deposited On:18 February 2004