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ERIC Number: ED103103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Social Reinforcement on Infant Activity: A Pilot Study.
Fouts, Gregory T.
This paper presents a pilot study designed to suggest an experiential interpretation of the development of extreme activity levels in infants (specifically, hyperactivity) and to demonstrate that general activity in infants may be influenced by the reinforcement contingencies established by mothers. Subjects were three 13-week-old infants. Operant techniques were used to modify the general activity level of the infants with the mother serving as a social reinforcer. Infant behavior was observed and recorded under four conditions: (1) Baseline (B) (no social reinforcement); (2) Noncontingent Baseline (NCB) (social reinforcement every two and a half to five seconds regardless of infant's activity); (3) Contingent Reinforcement for Activity (CRA) (social reinforcement for any increase in activity); and (4) Contingent Reinforcement for Non-Activity (CRNA) (social reinforcement contingent on the absence of activity for two seconds). Each CRA condition increased the frequency of activity bursts from the immediately preceding B or NCB condition, regardless of whether or not it contained social reinforcement. Data suggests that the target age for prevention/elimination of 'hyperactive' tendencies should be in early infancy. (CS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A