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Temas em Psicologia

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GONGORA, Maura Alves Nunes; MAYER, Paulo César Morales  and  MOTA, Carolina Martinez Sampaio. Terminological and conceptual construction of the aversive control: Thorndike-Skinner period and some remaining divergences. Temas psicol. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.1, pp. 209-224. ISSN 1413-389X.

This essay is an attempt to present some important historical aspects on the terminological and conceptual construction of the aversive control. Some topics of the period from Thorndike (1911) to Skinner (1953) were described showing the first attempts to formulate the behavioral laws currently known: the reinforcement and punishment principles (both positive and negative). Some current conceptual and terminological divergences about the aversive control field were also briefly reported and discussed. These divergences refer to five themes: use of the expression "negative reinforcer"; distinction between the positive and the negative reinforcement contingencies; different theoretical approaches of punishment; popular and scientific concepts of punishment and, exclusion of hedonism. The results present important current debates in the aversive control field and show partially the efforts and dedication demanded for the development of a science, be it related to its technical language, or to its theoretical-conceptual construction.

Keywords : Aversive control; Terminological construction; Conceptual construction; Thorndike; Skinner.

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