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Professional psychology and the control of human behaviour

Barrett-Lennard, G.T. (1965) Professional psychology and the control of human behaviour. Australian Journal of Psychology, 17 (1). pp. 24-34.

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This paper is a discussion of ethical and psychological issues connected with the involvement of professional psychologists in the control or modification of human behaviour‐especially in therapeutic practice. The grounds on which the psychologist assumes responsibility for influencing behaviour and personality, and establishes the objectives of his influencing function, are explored briefly. Two basic kinds of orientation to therapeutic control of behaviour are examined and contrasted: approaches based on learning theory and the Rogerian position. The comparison reveals that these orientations involve sharply differing views of what impels man's actions, of the way his personality is organized and how constructive change in behaviour occurs, and that they are directed to the attainment of different kinds of desired or valued goals. These opposing conceptions of man's nature and the different human consequences of professional practice from one or other standpoint confront us with critical problems both of scientific discrimination and of value choice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: © 1965 Australian Psychological Society
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