Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Emphasis is currently being placed upon the use of low-cost, naturally occurring reinforcers in classroom behavior modification programs. The effectiveness of students'territorial space as a natural reinforcer for social and academic classroom behaviors was investigated. Using the multiple baseline technique, student access to territorial space was systematically manipulated in an attempt to decelerate out-of-seat behaviors and to increase the percentage of assignments completed and graded either satisfactory or excellent. Student vocalization was also monitored; it was predicted that increases in desired academic behaviors would produce reciprocal decreases in vocalization. Finally, a fading procedure was utilized to remove gross territorial markings from the classroom; the locus of territorial reinforcement was shifted to a large wall map. A decrease was noted in the frequency of occurrence of out-of-seat behaviors and the percentage of assignments which were graded satisfactory and excellent increased. Vocalization and task completion remained at near-baseline rates. It was concluded that territorial space is available to teachers as a potentially effective reinforcer for desirable student behaviors.

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Psychology Commons