ERIC Number: ED097360
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Behavior Modification of Fourth-Graders' Problem Solving Ability by Use of the Premack Principle and Special Instructional Material. Final Report.
Houtz, John C.; Feldhusen, John F.
Effects of a new type of problem-solving instructional material and a reinforcement method called Premack on problem-solving skills of elementary school children is investigated. The problems provided were an extension of the materials developed for the Purdue Elementary Problem-Solving Inventory. The Premack Principle of behavior modification states that a preferred activity can be used as a reinforcer of related but less desirable activities. Phase 1 of the investigation served as validation for the training materials and reinforcement procedures. Phase 2 involved the formal training program. Three experimental groups were formed from classes selected to represent differences in social class and ethnic origins. One group received reinforcement for working on the materials; a second was given the materials as a regular part of the schoolwork with no reinforcement; and a third served as a control, and received no materials. Results demonstrated that the materials were effective in increasing problem-solving ability, but that children who used the materials without rewards outperformed children given rewards. Socioeconomic differences were observed, and it appeared that black children improved to a level equal to that of white children in the materials-plus-rewards group. (Author/SE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Purdue Research Foundation, Lafayette, IN.