papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


A popular definition of behavior therapy said that it applied the principle of learning theory to abnormal behavior. This definition was not universally accepted, and there was considerable debate on what constituted an acceptable definition. It is usually agreed that behavior therapy is a scientific approach to the assessment and modification of abnormal behavior, a definition broad enough to include development of cognitive approaches.

The result was a political and perhaps scientific war with claims of “faking data” that were investigated by the Canadian government and the U.S. Congress. Perhaps the best outcome of this situation was a recognition that there may be some alcoholics who are not suitable for social drinking programs, but many are. However. such claims do elicit a very strong negative response from AA.


Bekesy therefore proved the general truth that our abilities to discriminate stimuli of the same sensory modality from each other and to localize them in space depend on neural interactions in the periphery as well as in the brain. But his Nobel Prize was awarded for his more specialized theory of how a traveling wave in the cochlea can yield discrete sensations of pitch.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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