ERIC Number: ED038172
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of N-Length on the Development of Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Behavior in a Two-Person Game. Part of the Final Report on Head Start Evaluation and Research: 1968-69 to the Office of Economic Opportunity.
Manning, Brad A.; Pierce-Jones, John
In this study of cooperative behavior and its antecedents, the main experimental tool was a two-person, two-choice game. The subjects, 80 Negro males ranging in age from 4 1/2 to 6 years, could choose either to cooperate by giving a piece of candy or not to cooperate by refusing to give a piece of candy to the other child during an acquisition phase (the first 30 cooperative responses made) and an extinction phase of 30 trials. N-length was defined as the number of nonreinforced trials spaced between reinforced trials and intertrial reinforcement (ITR), introduced between regularly scheduled trials. The subjects were divided into four groups of 20 each. The first three groups were given 50% reinforcement with the nonreinforced trials spaced between reinforced trials and ITR in N-lengths of 1, 2, and 3. The fourth group received continuous 100% reinforcement. This last group was found to be least resistant to extinction. The group with N-length of 1 was most resistant to extinction. It was theorized that N-lengths beyond 1 inhibit cooperative responses since the subject more readily realizes that his cooperation is not being reciprocated. (MH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Child Development Evaluation and Research Center.