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Year Degree Awarded
Despite the fact that applied behavior analysis is generally committed to changing behavior by the construction and expansion of response repertoires through the use of positive reinforcement (Goldiamond, 1974) there are occasions upon which it is desirable to reduce the rate of a specific response. Occasions on which response reduction is ethically justifiable are those in which a specific response (a) is dangerous to self or others; (b) is socially unacceptable; or (c) impedes the acquisition of more productive behavior. Additionally, it is recommended that rate reduction techniques only be used when (a) constructional methods have failed or are inappropriate, or (b) when an immediate reduction is necessary for one of the above listed reasons (see Sulzer-Azaroff and Mayer, 1977, for detailed guidelines on choosing and applying response reduction strategies; see Stolz, 1978; and Goldiamond, 1974, for thorough discussions of the ethical, legal and constitutional issues involved).