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I’m reading the first issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (Wolf, 1968) with Skinner and his followers. It contains some of the earlier applications of behavioral principles to people. I suspect that the subjects' consent was often not obtained when human applications began.
Those in this issue who probably did not consent to a course of treatment included an autistic girl whom they shook for rocking her own body, psychiatric patients “required” to sample reinforcers to make sure they cashed in their tokens. For example, Risley (1968, p. 31) said, “The experimenter shouted ‘Stop that!’ seized (the girl) by the upper arms, and shook her whenever she began rocking. He would wait until her eyes were closed or fixed on her hand before abruptly shouting and shaking her. This event invariably produced a 'startle reflex' and flushing in (the girl).” In his earlier animal experiments, Skinner didn’t ask the rats if they wanted to go hungry, be put in a box, and made to pull levers to get little pieces of grain.
Risley, T. R. (1968). The effects and side effects of punishing the autistic behaviors of a deviant child [Electronic version]. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 21-34. Retrieved April 19, 2007 from U.S. National Institutes of Health PubMed Central database Web site: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1310972&blobtype=pdf
Wolf, M. M. (Ed.). (1968) [Electronic Version]. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1. Retrieved April 19, 2007 from U.S. National Institutes of Health PubMed Central database Web site: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1310969&blobtype=pdf