Effects of Differential Consequences on Choice Making in Students at Risk for Academic Failure
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Problem behavior can be reduced through choice making and use of preferred instructional activities. However, the opportunity to choose does not imply students are more engaged with instructional activities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of differential consequences on the on-task behavior of students within the context of teacher versus student selection of instructional activities. Students were exposed to two contingencies (i.e., escape + differential attention vs. escape + physical proximity) across two stimulus events (i.e., teacher vs. student choice of preferred instructional activities) using an alternating-treatments design within an A-B-A-B design. Choice of instructional activities increased on-task behavior during student-choice conditions compared to the teacher-choice conditions, but only when differential attention was provided. Differential attention was also more effective than physical proximity at increasing on-task behavior. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
KeywordsStudents On-task Choice Differential reinforcement Instructional activities
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
There are no conflicts of interest in the work that is reported on in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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