Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Webinar Series

Analysis of Social Power and Types of Coercion


Sonia Goltz  (Michigan Technological University)



Date: September 18, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM Eastern


Abstract: Over time, coercion, meaning intentionally leveraging one’s power to influence someone to do something they don’t want to do primarily for the powerholder’s benefit which usually also harms the target, has become subtler, due to social trends and new technologies. This webinar paper combines the concepts of negative and positive freedom from philosophy and the three-term (A-B-C) contingency in behavior analysis to suggest extensions of definitions of coercion given this trend, resulting in a taxonomy of four coercion types. This taxonomy suggests that current coercion definitions miss identifying interference by powerholders that impacts positive freedom, particularly in the form of false paternalism and malign neglect. 


Instruction Level: Basic

1 BACB CEU available.


Terri And Ribbon Yard

Biography: Dr. Sonia Goltz earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Indianapolis and her graduate degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University. She has been a professor of management in the College of Business at Michigan Tech since 1996, where she is currently the Mickus Endowed Faculty Fellow of Business Impact. Dr. Goltz’s recent research interests have focused on the topics of organizational change, social power, and gender equity. She was a co-PI on two NSF ADVANCE grants awarded to Michigan Tech and was a Michigan Tech Diversity Award winner in 2021.




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