In an attempt to "make a technology out of the production of the good life," a group of area residents will establish an experimental community in September, based on Walden II by B.F. Skinner '11, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology.
The cooperative community, to be called the Association for Social Design, will have about 15 members and will probably be developed in Cambridge.
Matthew L. Israel '54, the group's director, said the A.S.D. began in 1966 as a director result of a national conference on Walden II. It now has about 40 members who meet socially once a week for cooperative dinners and discussions.
Israel said he hopes to pattern the community on Skinner's concept of "behavioral modification through positive re-inforcement"--that is, a system of rewards for desirable behavior. The group will develop its own housing, and will offer members cooperative cooking, child care and other services.
The community will develop through a graded sequence of practical steps. Members will continue to work at their jobs outside of the group until the A.S.D. develops its own enterprises. Israel said he hopes the organization will eventually become self-sufficient.
Prospective members will take a "behavior technology" course given by Israel. Among the people currently enrolled are psychologists, mechanics, cooks, and housewifes.