Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 313–326 | Cite as

Effects of reward on delayed reaction time task performance of hyperactive children

  • Virginia I. Douglas
  • Penny A. Parry


This experiment was designed to investigate the effects of continuous, partial, and noncontingent schedules of reward, as well as the withdrawal of rewards, on the performance of hyperactive and normal control children on a delayed reaction time task. Although noncontingent reward resulted in faster reaction times for control subjects, performance of hyperactives deteriorated under noncontingent reward and improved when it was withdrawn. Also, reaction times of controls during extinction remained superior to baseline, whereas performance of hyperactives returned to baseline level. It was suggested that these and other findings reviewed point to an unusual sensitivity to rewards in hyperactive children.


Reaction Time Control Subject Normal Control Baseline Level Task Performance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia I. Douglas
    • 1
  • Penny A. Parry
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityCanada

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