Electrical Aversion

Description of the Strategy

Electrical aversion uses electric shocks to modify urges or behaviors considered unacceptable by the subject treated or others. With one strategy, contingent aversive conditioning, highly painful electric shocks are administered following the carrying out of the behavior. It is used to treat subjects whose behaviors are markedly injurious to others or more commonly to themselves, such as eye gouging or finger biting. When the treatment was introduced, the shocks were commonly administered by a cattle prod directly to the subject's limb, but subsequently they were delivered by remote-control devices. The aim of the shock was to produce immediate cessation of the behavior and prevent its future occurrence.

Other strategies that employed much lower levels of shock at a level ...

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