Date of Award:

1972

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Glendon Casto

Abstract

A behavioral approach to teaching in the public school system is difficult because of the inherent difficulty of finding positive reinforcers and administering them simultaneously to large groups of students.

This study attempts to apply the same tangible reinforcers to two groups of students under different schedules of reinforcement. The students in the study were in special classes termed "learning adjustment" classes because of their failure to perform at grade level in regular classroom settings.

One group was on a continuous schedule of reinforcement using tokens and gold strike stamps as reinforcers. The second group was also on a continuous schedule of reinforcement but with a punishment contingency added. Reinforcers were the same for this group as the first group. The third group was a comparison group.

Performance rates were studied under the above schedules of reinforcement and were found to increase the number of arithmetic units completed for each group.

Achievement level change in mathematics as measured by the mathematics section of the California Achievement Test was a second major aspect of this study.

Although there was a very definite difference in the number of arithmetic units completed by the three groups there was not a corresponding difference in the amount of change in achievement level.

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Psychology Commons

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