Children's Perceived Contingencies of Teacher Reinforcements, Perceptions of Competence, and Academic Performance

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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 ... continued below

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v, 61 leaves: ill.

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Dietz, Don Anthony August 1988.

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  • Dietz, Don Anthony

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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 to their reporting themselves as likely to produce positive achievement behavior but unlikely to produce negative achievement behavior. No significant relationship was found between the children's perceived contingencies of teacher reinforcements and their perceptions of their own academic competence. These results were discussed as supporting Bandura's self-efficacy theory. Thus, expectations of reinforcement contingency and expectations of personal competence jointly determine actual competence. The contingency findings support the utility of the Children's Perceived Contingencies of Reinforcements Questionnaire as a measure of contingency in the applied setting.

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v, 61 leaves: ill.

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  • August 1988

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • Dec. 11, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

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Dietz, Don Anthony. Children's Perceived Contingencies of Teacher Reinforcements, Perceptions of Competence, and Academic Performance, dissertation, August 1988; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331062/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .