We have seen that the regressive outcomes of intervention are not only quite common but flow from an array of social and psychological mechanisms. Some of the ways in which these consequences are produced are quite familiar and have even gained a niche in commonsense social theory, for example, the forbidden fruit effect and the provocation of illegitimate force. Others are less well appreciated and require considerable attention by social scientists, for example, the functional shift, overload, the lulling effect, and perverse diagnosis. Still other sources are implicit in certain well known sociological concepts that need only to be elaborated in terms of reverse consequences, for example, goal displacement and exploitation.


Target System Original Goal Federal Grant Local Autonomy Conversion Mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sam D. Sieber

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