Comparing Independent and Interdependent Group Contingencies with Non-contingent Reinforcement on College Students’ Academic Performance
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AuthorCaron, Stacey L.
Independent Group Contingency
Interdependent Group Contingency
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AbstractEffective teaching approaches are essential to students’ learning outcomes and overall academic experiences. Low academic achievement (e.g., low homework or test scores) may lead an instructor to seek alternative approaches to strengthening students’ acquisition of academic material. Group contingencies have been identified as effective behavioral interventions for strengthening students’ academic performance within a classroom setting. The present study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of independent and interdependent group contingencies compared with non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) when used as behavioral interventions for college students’ academic performance. Using a 3 x 3 factorial design, three randomly-assigned experimental groups of participants were simultaneously presented with counterbalanced orders of an independent group contingency, an interdependent group contingency, and an NCR condition in a contrived classroom setting. Subjective evaluation assessments measured participants’ experiences with and preferences of the three types of reinforcement conditions. Post-tests and retention tests were used to measure participants’ acquisition of academic material and retention effects of each reinforcement condition, respectively. Amongst the three types of reinforcement conditions, the majority of participants reported that their most preferred requirements for winning the $5.00 cash reward (reinforcer) were those of the independent group contingency. No significant differences were found between participants’ mean post-test and retention test scores for each reinforcement condition. However, possible significant differences between reinforcement conditions were revealed with participants’ mean post-test scores in that the p-value for the analysis of variance conducted with this data approached statistical significance.
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The effects of randomized group contingencies on disruptive classroom behaviors in an urban school setting.Nowicki, Elizabeth (2014)Disruptive behaviors have been known to take away from valuable classroom instruction. Researchers have documented the positive effects of group contingencies. This study investigated the effects of group contingencies with randomized components in an urban fourth – grade classroom watching the top disruptive students. Each student was observed on five negative behaviors: inappropriate shout outs, out of seat, disruptive noises, being off task and being disrespectful to classmates. The study incorporated a behavioral intervention known as the Jars Game in which the class worked together to win a mystery motivator. The intervention was set up using a multiphase baseline design (i.e., A-B-A-B design) and results showed that when the Jars Game was in action disruptive behaviors decreased significantly for each student being observed.
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.
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