Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Two tasks and four reinforcers were used to determine whether or not reinforcer effectiveness is in part dependent upon the type of task involved. An equal number (40) fifth and sixth grade children performed under each task condition

for 20 trials (arithmetic and sequential processing) and received one of four possible reinforcers (candy , "good ", grad e A, no­ reinforcer). The two dependent variables measured were time to complete either task and the number of errors mad e while performing upon one or the other task. A significant F was not obtained for either time or error scores at the .05 level of significance. Indications of a hierarchical arrangement of reinforcer effectiveness were obtained from looking at trend effects, but this should be viewed with caution. The unanticipated effectiveness with which the setting operation performed its function and the low difficulty level of the arithmetic task are discussed. Suggestions for further research are given.

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