Within classroom settings, students can choose to engage in desired behavior or a host of competing alternative behaviors. Enhancing relative rates of reinforcement can increase the probability of students choosing to engage in assigned work. In this presentation, I will review research on variables that affect choice. This presentation will also include a description and analysis of research on the discrete task completion hypothesis (when given an assignment comprised of many discrete tasks, each complete task is a reinforcer) and the additive interspersal procedure, which show how educators can arrange contingencies such that students choose assignments requiring more effort (e.g., 20% more long math problems) by adding even more work (some additional shorter problem). Those who attend will acquire an understanding of how the classroom (and life) is essentially a continuous choice paradigm and how those choices affect learning. In addition, attendees will learn a counterintuitive procedure designed to enhance the probability of students choosing to do higher effort work. Finally, Dr. Skinner hopes to expand attendees’ basic understanding of reinforcers and describe how learning histories, along with rate, quality, and immediacy of conditioned reinforcement, can interact with effort to influence choice classroom.
Review Christopher Skinner’s biographical statement.