Date of Award
Master of Arts
This study attempted to increase the frequency of student on-task behavior in two. third grade classrooms. using live modeling and vicarious reinforcement. In a multiple baseline-counterbalanced treatments design two classrooms of students were exposed to live, peer modeling displays of on-task behavior. In one class room the teacher praised the model, using behaviorally specific praise while the second classroom teacher used non-specific praise. Praise conditions were later reversed. It was hypothesized that after exposure to the modeling display s a) the frequency of on-task behavior would be increased over baseline levels to a pre-determined treatment outcome , b) behaviorally specific vicarious reinforcement would result in greater increases in target behavior. than non-specific vicar ious reinforcement, c) behaviorally specific vicarious reinforcement would result in greater across-setting generalization of on-task behavior change , and d) on task behavior would remain above baseline levels in both classrooms at a one week follow-up check. Results indicated that modeling was inconsistent in the direction of its effects on student on-task behavior, that behaviorally non-specific vicarious reinforcement, was associated with higher levels of on-task behavior in the treated and generalization classrooms, and although on-task behavior remained above baseline levels in one classroom it remained below baseline levels in the second classroom at a one week follow-up. Possible confounding variables, and limitations on the conclusions of this study were discussed.
Fox, James Joseph III, "The effects of live modeling and specificity of verbal reinforcement on the modification of classroom behavior" (1976). Master's Theses. 397.