Date of Award

8-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Christopher H. Skinner

Committee Members

William Calhoun, Sherry Bain, R. Steve McCallum

Abstract

An independent group contingency was implemented in order to investigate the effects of known and unknown criteria on journal writing performance. Students from two fourth-grade classrooms participated in the study. Each day, participants were provided a story starter and asked to write for 5 minutes. Participants were informed that they would be rewarded if they met a daily criterion for number of words written. During the known criterion condition, participants knew the reward criterion prior to the assignment. During the unknown criterion condition, participants were not allowed to know the criterion until after the journal writing activity was completed. Results showed increases in average words written when the treatment conditions were introduced. However, no consistent differences were found between the known and unknown conditions. Discussion includes limitations of the current study and directions for future researchers.

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