Vicarious reinforcement (VSR) refers to a change in behavior as a result of observing the delivery of reinforcement to another person (Kazdin, 1973). As such, VSR procedures would appear to be a viable teaching strategy for use in group settings (e.g., preschool classrooms) as it may prove to be an efficient and effective strategy. However, some researchers have reported the emergence of problem behavior under conditions in which only the model’s behavior is reinforced and reinforcement is withheld from observers’ behavior (Gureghian, et al., 2013). The purpose of this study was to experimentally examine the extent to which a VSR positive arrangement may be aversive for young children by arranging conditions under which the observer can terminate (i.e., escape or avoid) the delivery of positive reinforcement to the model. To date, 5 typically developing preschool children have participated, and an experimental arrangement has been proposed for a follow-up study assessing the potential aversiveness of a vicarious negative reinforcement arrangement. Although results were mixed, the majority of observers displayed behavior suggesting that a VSR positive arrangement was aversive, and some participants exhibited negative side effects (e.g., problem behavior and negative vocalizations). Results are discussed in terms of implications and applied issues related to the use of VSR in the classroom and other applied settings.
|Advisor:||Neidert, Pamela L.|
|Commitee:||Dozier, Claudia L., Morris, Edward K., Travers, Jason, Watson-Thompson, Jomella|
|School:||University of Kansas|
|Department:||Applied Behavioral Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Kansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Psychology, Early childhood education, Educational evaluation, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||Aversiveness, Behavior analysis, Side effects, Typically developing children, Vicarious arrangements, Vicarious reinforcement, Preschool children|
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