• The effects of the mystery motivator game on the organizational skills of 5th and 6th grade students.

      Phillips, Bridgett A. (2013)
      Many students fail to succeed in school because of poor organizational skills. These particular skill deficits often result in poorer academic performance, inconsistent work efforts, lack of motivation, and sometimes referral to remedial and special education programs. The present study examined the effects of an intervention package called the Mystery Motivator Game on two groups of 5th and 6th graders’ daily organizational behaviors. The game which consisted of an interdependent group contingency (i.e., class must demonstrate 90% of selected organizational behaviors to earn rewards) and mystery motivators (i.e., unknown rewarding contained in highly decorated and sealed envelopes displayed prominently in class) was use to improve three target behaviors: (a) in seat before bell, (b) all necessary class materials, and (c) successful completion on bell ringer activities (i.e., content-related tasks to be completed independently prior to formal instruction). Using an A-B-A-B withdrawal of treatment design, no noticeable improvements were associated with the use of the Mystery Motivator Game. These findings were inconsistent with prior research on group contingencies and mystery motivators and the investigator’s hypothesis. Possible explanations for a failure to replicate are offered and implications for practice are discussed.
    • Group contingencies and mystery motivators for improving classroom behavior.

      Gard, Jaime N. (31/10/2013)
      Much of the psychological foundations coursework for future and practicing teachers focuses on the psychology of individuals. Yet most teachers instruct groups of students and there are important differences between individual and group psychology. One particularly relevant topic for teachers involves the use of group-oriented contingencies. A group-oriented contingency was defined as, "A contingency in which reinforcement for all members of a group is dependent on the behavior of: (a) a person within the group, (b) a select group of members within the larger group, or ( c) each member of the group meeting a performance criterion (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007; p.696). There are three types of group-oriented contingencies, independent, dependent, and interdependent, and each has differential effects on pupils' academic and behavioral performance. This illustrative literature review examines the relative strengths and limitations of each group-oriented contingency and describes research findings associated with their use with elementary-aged school children. Implications and guidelines for the use of group-oriented contingencies to reduce disruptive classroom behavior are provided.