Toward an Integration of Behaviorism and Community Psychology

Dogs Bark at Those They Do Not Recognize
  • G. Anne Bogat
  • Leonard A. Jason


The field of behavioral community psychology has emerged during the last 25 years as a subspecialty of community psychology and applied behavior analysis. It attempts to understand and change community problems through the application of behavioral theory and technology. The field has spawned several textbooks (e.g., Glenwick & Jason, 1980; Nietzel, Winett, MacDonald, & Davidson, 1977), a special issue of Journal of Community Psychology (Glenwick & Jason, 1984), and a compendium of articles originally appearing in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, entitled Behavior Analysis in the Community 1968-1986 (Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1987). In addition, several recent chapters elaborate the contributions that behavioral researchers can make to community psychology (e.g., Burgoyne & Jason, 1991; Fawcett, 1990). These different sources present compelling theoretical and empirical data to demonstrate the utility and scope of such an approach; yet most contain one of two types of caveats. The first expresses regret that behavioral community psychology has yet to tackle large societal problems. Some authors (e.g., Fawcett, Mathews, & Fletcher, 1980) even suggest that there may be insurmountable obstacles to using behavioral technologies to promote far-reaching community change. The second is that, unfortunately, a synthesis of community approaches and behavioral technology has been delayed because of difficulties delineating turf, choosing problems best suited for a collaboration between the two approaches, and agreeing upon definitions of concepts (Glenwick & Jason, 1993)


Social Problem Community Psychology Apply Behavior Analysis Behavioral Theory Behavior Modification Program 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Anne Bogat
    • 1
  • Leonard A. Jason
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDe Paul UniversityChicagoUSA

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