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The Effects of Stating Contingency-Specifying Stimuli on Compliance in Children
Analysis of Verbal Behavior
  • Stephen D. A. Hupp, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • David Reitman, Nova Southeastern University
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The present investigation examined whether distinguishing between the discriminative and function-altering properties of contingency-specifying stimuli (CSS) is of heuristic value in conceptualizing child compliance. Groups of “compliant” and “noncompliant” children were instructed to place several blocks in a box. During half of the trials the children had an immediate opportunity to respond to the instruction (IOR), and during the other trials the children's opportunity to respond was delayed by 10 min (DOR). Results showed that 5 of the 8 children were more likely to comply in the IOR condition, whereas the 3 remaining children were equally compliant in IOR and DOR conditions. In addition, the study investigated the influence of condition presentation sequence on child compliance. Thus, half of the children entered the IOR condition first, and the other half entered the DOR condition first. Results showed no differences in compliance for 3 of 4 children in the IOR-first sequence. However, in the DOR-first sequence, all children, regardless of classification, were more compliant in IOR than in DOR conditions. Presentation order appeared to strongly influence compliance and could likely have affected the results of prior investigations.
Citation Information
Stephen D. A. Hupp and David Reitman. "The Effects of Stating Contingency-Specifying Stimuli on Compliance in Children" Analysis of Verbal Behavior Vol. 16 Iss. 1 (1999) p. 17 - 27 ISSN: 0889-9401
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