Effects of Task Difficulty and Type of Contingency on Students' Allocation of Responding to Math Worksheets
This study investigated students' allocation of responding as a function of task difficulty and type of reinforcement contingency (i.e., accuracy based or time based). Four regular education fourth-grade students were presented with two identical stacks of easy and then difficult math worksheets using a reversal design. Regardless of condition, completing problems from each stack of worksheets was reinforced according to a different contingency; one required correct completion of math problems (accuracy based) and one required on-task behavior (time based). Results suggested that 3 of the 4 students preferred the accuracy-based contingency when given easy material and the time-based contingency when given difficult material. One student allocated more responding to the accuracy-based contingency when given easy problems but did not show a clear preference for either contingency with difficult problems. The implications of these findings for designing reinforcement-based programs for tasks of varying difficulty are discussed.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Lannie, Amanda L. and Martens, Brian K, "Effects of Task Difficulty and Type of Contingency on Students' Allocation of Responding to Math Worksheets" (2004). PCOM Scholarly Papers. 1820.