Contingent Electric Skin Shock

How sloppy science has lead to abhorrent ethics

This Continuing Education Event was recorded on the 28th May @ 2pm (GMT+1) and was held to publicly support the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) call for an immediate ban on the use of contingent electric skin shock (CESS) as a purported treatment for challenging behaviour. In holding this event we aim to amplify the IASSIDD’s call for all organisations involved in the lives of people with disabilities to issue public statements condemning such practices. We call on journal editors to issue statements of concern regarding the claims made in their publications on the use of CESS.

Behaviour Analysts and other professionals supporting people experiencing challenging behaviour have a responsibility to offer evidence-based and effective treatments. Numerous studies have been published in the behaviour analytic literature which claim to demonstrate that CESS is an effective means to reduce significant challenging behaviours. The event will present a critical analysis of the literature used to promote the use of CESS. Attendees will be informed about the risks of using reductive and narrow parameters in assessing outcomes of challenging behaviour interventions and the potential negative consequences this can have for vulnerable people.

The unchallenged acceptance of these deeply flawed studies in our scientific literature represents a significant risk to the people we support and the credibility of applied behaviour analysis as a scientific discipline.

A discussion panel will be held to explore the steps that behaviour analysts and their professional organisations can take in order to promote ethical and evidence-based interventions for challenging behaviour.

Link to the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities here

Find the IASSIDD evidence and position paper here

One free CEU in ethics is available for this event. Please complete this form, after the event to receive your CEU.

This is a free event, but if you would like to make a payment to support the work of the MBAF, you can do so here.

Published by

Munster Behaviour Analyst Forum

The Munster Behaviour Analyst Forum exists to disseminate evidence-based and scientifically rigorous solutions to our shared human concerns. We promote behavioural science embedded in core principles of Applied Behavioural Analysis, including human rights, the centrality of human dignity and the abolition of coercion in the social contract.

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