Ole Ivar Løvaas (8 May 1927 – 2 August 2010) was a Norwegian-American clinical psychologist and professor at the University of California. He is considered a pioneer of applied behaviour analysis due to his work on discrete trial training to reduce autistic behaviour. However, his ethics have been questioned.
Lovaas is controversial due to his use of aversion therapy to cure autistic behaviour in children. Lovaas would often beat, yell at and electrocute autistic children if they displayed autistic behaviour, in order to make them stop this, as they would associate this with pain. Lovaas would also advise their parents to use this method. Despite the inherent abusiveness of aversion therapy, it is still sometimes practised by some facit, although only one, the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, continues to use electroshock therapy.
In addition to this, Lovaas was homophobic; he supported conversion therapy, and even advocated the use of aversion therapy on homosexual and gender-variant children. Lovaas also oversaw many gay conversion camps, and used electroshock therapy on gay and gender-variant children, leading to at least one committing suicide.