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January 1964

Analysis of Aversively Motivated Behavior: A Review

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Psychology (Psychiatry) at Yale University School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(1):71-83. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720190073010

It is probably not necessary to reassert that anyone seriously interested in the analysis of behavior cannot completely ignore the findings of experimental psychology any more than laboratory psychologists or psychiatrists can ignore the knowledge gained from clinical experience. What is perhaps not quite so obvious is that at least some procedures of experimental psychology are beginning to spread into fields of medicine not directly or primarily concerned with problems of behavior. One of the most important of these procedures is that of aversive control.

Clinicians in both psychology and psychiatry have, of course, long been interested in concepts such as fear, anxiety, and conflict as possible precursors of abnormal or deviant patterns of behavior. Ultimately, these concepts entered the laboratory as can be seen in the work of Dollard and Miller (1950) and others. Techniques involving aversive stimulation were used to generate what was presumably