From Dynamics to Function: Negative Reinforcement as an Amplifying Mechanism

Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A vast majority of psychological science focuses on snapshots of individuals. Clinical outcome studies may integrate multiple snapshots, typically with yearly intervals. However, there is much to learn about psychological processes as they unfold over real time, including minutes, days, weeks, and months. This special issue contains several articles that make significant advances in real-time assessment of psychological processes using state-of-the-art measurement. This is a brief summary of the specific innovations of this special issue. The summary includes suggestions for applying these measurement innovations to the study of functional dynamics that lead to clinically and socially significant events. Several examples provide ways in which a dynamical analysis of function may be revealing. Most important, the assessment of dynamic mechanisms underlying the amplification of psychopathology seems especially useful for tailoring clinical interventions to meet clients’ specific needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-523
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • analysis of function
  • clinical interventions
  • innovations
  • interpersonal dynamics
  • negative reinforcement
  • tailoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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