Date of Award
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.
Davis, Sherwin Lynnwood, "The use of territory as a natural reinforcer in the modification of academic performance and disruptive classroom behaviors" (1976). Master's Theses. 398.