Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

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.

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