Psychological Self-Help

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22
self-instructions. Kanfer ( Kanfer & Karoly, 1982) and his students
have conjectured a three-stage model of behavioral self-control: self-
observation, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement. These theories
have evolved to be more and more cognitive. 
While focusing on the mind, naturally some psychologists re-
considered the old self-help concepts of volition, will-power, self-
control and so on. A few self-help books described self-behavior
modification. Several books focused on stress management and
handling fears. Other books dealt with assertiveness, gaining insight,
and other specific skills. But no book covered all the problems of the
students in a class; therefore, there is no usable, highly applied
textbook and only a few personally useful self-help classes for high
school or college students. Consequently, self-help techniques have
not been well researched in the classroom. Moreover, self-help
teaching and research is too time consuming for most publish-or-
perish academics. In addition to developing the classroom instruction,
the self-help instructor needs several trained assistants working with
small groups of five to seven students. This psycho-educational
approach is much too complex and too time consuming for most
graduate students doing theses and dissertations. As mentioned in
chapter 1, there are several barriers to progress, including a lack of
competent teacher-researchers in this area, a negative attitude
towards teaching ordinary students, a problem measuring and
describing the unobservable mental events and the outcome of self-
help efforts, and, thus far, a lack of easily researched areas of
specialization (analogous to self-efficacy or locus of control). 
In spite of this lack of self-help research, by the early 1980's,
therapists and researchers believed that 60% of the effects of therapy
were attributable to the client's efforts and only 40% to the therapist
and the therapy methods. Therefore, this group expected self-help to
grow more than any other development in the field (Koroly, 1982). It
hasn't happened, yet. We have several popularized, highly specialized
books, but not much sound self-help research and no general
introductory self-help textbooks. Hopefully, as the task of preparing
the instructional material for a self-help class is reduced (by general
textbooks, instructors' manuals, student work books, guides for group
facilitators, etc.), the systematic research of self-help methods will
increase.
Reinforcement
Psychologists have focused more attention on the power of
consequences--rewards, punishment, and removing something
unpleasant--to change behavior than any other method. Some
behavior modifiers use only this method; others don't use it at all.
However, it is not known exactly how reinforcement works: (a) do
rewards strengthen the habit (response tendencies in a specific
situation) or (b) do rewards merely give us information, letting us
know which responses result in the pay offs we want? Or, (c) do
rewards act primarily as pay offs for performing a certain action, thus,
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