ERIC Number: ED032137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Acquisition of Self-Reward Patterns by Children. Final Report.
Liebert, Robert M.
An examination was begun of the development of an individual's ability to adhere to standards and to reward himself for only those performances above criterion. Also to be determined were what social variables affect this ability. Two experiments were run that placed 8- to 10-year-olds in a situation with a miniature bowling game (secretly controlled by the experimenter) and tokens with which to reward themselves for their bowling scores. The significant variables manipulated were the method of informing the subject of standards, the status of model or instructor, the incentive level, and the rule structure. The results indicated that rule structure may play a vital role in children's private adoption of standards, that increased incentive results in lowering of standards, and that direct instruction and modeling both establish standards better than no instruction but don't differ in effect from each other. Even in the performance of subjects who deviate from the established standards, the underlying principle of reward for high scores is adhered to. For lower class subjects, high status increases the influence of people giving direct instructions but decreases the influence of those acting as models. It appears that a child's adoption of self-imposed standards depends on the operation of social influence variables. (MH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN.