The relative effectiveness of monetary reinforcers and adult instructions in the control of children's choice behavior

William H. Redd, Andrew J. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

During daily sessions four first-grade boys each played a two-choice marble dropping game. When one colored light was presented a plain token was dispensed as soon as S dropped a marble, and when another light was on a token with a hole in its center was delivered. During choice trials that were interspersed among single-color trials S had to choose one of the two different colored holes. At the end of each session S traded tokens with holes for pennies and then turned in the remaining plain tokens which were not exchanged for money. After S had developed a preference for the response that earned the tokens with holes (tokens that were backed up with pennies) E instructed S to try to get as many plain tokens (unexchangeable tokens) as he could. All Ss immediately switched to the response that earned unexchangeable tokens but as soon as E left they returned to choosing the backed up response. When the adult reentered, Ss again chose to work for unexchangeable tokens. Two different Es (male and female) served and the instructions of each were effective in controlling responding as long as the adult was present, except for one S who did not respond to one E, but did respond as described for the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1973
Externally publishedYes

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