by Henry S. Pennypacker and Francisco I. Perez
“Engineering the Upswing is a timely response to the contemporary fracturing of American, indeed Western, society. Pennypacker and Perez remind us that social change depends on individual behavior. They point out that the behavior of individuals is inadequately studied by group averaging, the standard method in sociology and social psychology. The authors present a splendid account of the individual-subject method pioneered by B. F. Skinner and his students and followers. The book is nevertheless eclectic, providing a wide review of research on social dysfunction and, especially, on education. The idea is for behavioral science to design strategies that make benefit to the culture rewarding for individuals. Engineering the Upswing does a good job applying basic behavioral principles to issues ranging from parenting through immigration, politics, economic, social justice, economics and public health. Engineering the Upswing is an ambitious and welcome attempt to address our present difficulties through a survey of rigorous behavioral science.”
John Staddon, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University.