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Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 154–161 | Cite as

Effects of Differential Consequences on Choice Making in Students at Risk for Academic Failure

  • Michael E. MayEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Students On-task Choice Differential reinforcement Instructional activities 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest in the work that is reported on in this manuscript.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling, Quantitative Methods, and Special EducationSouthern Illinois University CarbondaleCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied Behavior AnalysisThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyDallasUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Behavior AnalysisThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyRichardsonUSA

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