September 1972

Behavior Modification Using Interlocking Reinforcement on a Short-Term Psychiatric Ward

Author Affiliations

Irvine, Calif
From the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Carlin also served as consultant in Behavior Modification at Fairview State Hospital for the retarded, Costa Mesa, Calif. Dr. Smith is now with the Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(3):386-389. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750270090014

An investigation of the use of a behavior modification approach in the treatment of a psychotic episode on an open, short-term treatment ward. A reinforcement regimen is examined in which points given out by the nurses on a fixed interval schedule served as an immediate reward, and more "valuable" rewards could later be purchased with these points. Particular attention is paid to the problem of staff cooperation and the staff's rewards. The ways in which this regimen provided interlocking rewards for the patient, staff, and physicians is evaluated.