Date: August 1988
Creator: Dietz, Don Anthony
Description: There are two principal definitions of response-reinforcer contingency in the current literature which Scott and Piatt (1985) have labeled the phi coefficient and Rescorla index. For both definitions, contingencies are sensitive to two conditional probabilities of reinforcement, that given the occurrence and that given the non-occurrence of the criterion response. However, phi coefficient is sensitive also to the probability of the criterion response. In order to examine the relationship between children's perceived contingencies of teacher reinforcements, as defined by the phi coefficient and Rescorla index, and the children's perceptions of competence and measures of their academic performances, 119 5th grade children (54 boys and 65 girls) were studied. Two variables derived specifically from the phi coefficient, the probability of children's responses and the probability of teacher reinforcements, were also examined in their relationship to perceived contingencies and academic performance. In general, children's perceptions of teachers as both contingently rewarding and punishing, as defined by the phi coefficient and Rescorla index, were predictive of good academic performance by the children and teachers rating them as academically competent. Childrens' perceptions of their academic competence were also predictive of their academic performances and teacher ratings. The children's perceptions of academic competence were related ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries