The use of programmed materials in the analysis of academic contingencies

J Appl Behav Anal. 1972 Summer;5(2):177-82. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1972.5-177.


Programmed handwriting materials were used to examine the effects of different reinforcement contingencies on the academic performance of six public school kindergarten children. The children's responses to these materials provided an educationally relevant dependent variable for the analysis of factors that affected the accuracy of their responses and the attainment of criterion performances. Variations in the complexity of most academic materials, which confound the analysis of contingencies, were eliminated by the programmed sequence so that the differential effects of three reinforcement conditions were observed. The three conditions were: baseline without tokens, tokens contingent on correct writing responses, and noncontingent tokens. It was consistently observed that the children were more accurate when their correct responses produced tokens, and that noncontingent tokens reduced accuracy below baseline levels.