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ERIC Number: ED514923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 114
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7428-6
The Effects of the Absence of an Adult on the Emergence of Conditioned Reinforcement as a Function of Observation in Preschool Age Children
Zrinzo, Michelle L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University
I tested the effects of the absence of an adult on the observational conditioning effect (Greer & Singer-Dudek, 2008). Neutral stimuli (metal washers) did not function to reinforce performance or learning tasks for three preschool age children as determined by a counterbalanced reversal design for the pre-intervention performance tasks and pre-intervention baselines for learning tasks. The intervention consisted of the participant and peer confederate completing a performance task while seated next to one another, separated by a partition. The experimenter delivered the washer down a chute into a translucent plastic cup located on the peer confederate's desk contingent upon participant responding. The peer confederate's cup was in the participants' view; therefore, the participant could see and hear the delivery of the washers into the peer confederate's cup. The experimenter was behind a second partition and not in the participants' view. Results showed that participants emitted significantly higher levels of correct responding across performance and learning tasks. A second experiment was conducted to assess the maintenance of the conditioned reinforcement effect by assessing participant rate of learning (measured as learn units to criteria) when only washer reinforcement was in place for correct responding. Participants were not given access to the washers for their respective time periods following the initial intervention (six weeks for Participant A, eight weeks for Participant B, and ten weeks for Participant C). During the re-introduction of the washers, participant learn units to criteria remained relatively stable; showing that rate of learning was comparable when washer reinforcement was in place versus when known reinforcement was in place. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A