Additional Comments on the Use of Contingent Electric Skin Shock

Wayne W Fisher, Brian D. Greer, Daniel R. Mitteer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Prior to the ABAI member vote to decide between two alternative position statements on contingent electric skin shock (CESS), the current authors helped draft a consensus statement supporting the abolition of CESS. In this commentary, we provide additional, supporting information for that consensus statement by (1) showing that the extant literature does not support the supposition that CESS is more efficacious than less-intrusive interventions; (2) providing data showing that implementing interventions that are less intrusive than CESS does not lead to overreliance on the use of physical or mechanical restraint to control destructive behavior; and (3) discussing the ethical and public relations issues that arise when behavior analysts use painful skin shock to reduce destructive behavior in persons with autism or intellectual disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPerspectives on Behavior Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Contingent electric skin shock
  • Destructive behavior
  • Intellectual disability
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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