Teacher use of stimulus discrimination and response cost as techniques for reducing socially maladaptive student behaviors in a secondary classroom
Date of Award
Master of Arts
The present study was designed to evaluate the use of two behavior modification techniques in modifying three inappropriate student behaviors in a secondary classroom. T'he two behavior modification techniques employed were 1) response cost, and 2) the teacher 's use of students' names as discriminative stimuli. The subjects were a D-section Junior English class consisting of fourteen boys and five girls of average intelligence, but who were under achieving academically. The contingencies were applied to all students, utilizing a multiple baseline design. In experimental condition I, the teacher informed the class that ten minutes of free time would be available at the end of each class period if they could abide by Rule I; "Win ten minutes free time. Don't talk to your neighbor." Each inappropriate student conversation would result in the loss of one minute of free time for the entire class. During experimental condition II, the teacher was instructed to start calling out a student's name when two or more students had simultaneously begun to answer the question, and to ignore those students who continued to respond with out recognition. In experimental condition III, the teacher introduced Rule II; "Don't interrupt. " Each student interruption would result in the loss of one minute of free Time for the entire class. During experimental conditions I and II, the teacher was instructed to ignore the inappropriate target behavior, and infractions of the rules were recorded by placing a checkmark on the board. Observations were made of both student and teacher behaviors and reliability checks were systematically made. The results demonstrated that the loss of free time for an entire class produced a marked decrease in the percentage of occurrence of both inappropriate student conversations and interruptions. The use of students' names as discriminative stimuli and ignoring the responses of unrecognized students produced a marked decrease in the percentage of occurrence of continued simultaneous talking. The use of a multiple baseline design showed that the target behaviors changed maximally only upon the introduction of the relevant experimental condition. Some unexpected changes in target behaviors were observed and suggestions for further research are given.
Doland, Thomas J., "Teacher use of stimulus discrimination and response cost as techniques for reducing socially maladaptive student behaviors in a secondary classroom" (1972). Master's Theses. 344.