Behavioral momentum in academics: Using embedded high-p sequences to increase academic productivity
Article first published online: 22 JUL 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology in the Schools
Volume 41, Issue 7, pages 789–801, September 2004
How to Cite
Lee, D. L., Belfiore, P. J., Scheeler, M. C., Hua, Y. and Smith, R. (2004), Behavioral momentum in academics: Using embedded high-p sequences to increase academic productivity. Psychol. Schs., 41: 789–801. doi: 10.1002/pits.20014
- Issue published online: 22 JUL 2004
- Article first published online: 22 JUL 2004
The use of high-probability (high-p) request sequences has enjoyed support in the applied behavioral literature as a method to increase compliance. Based on the theory of behavioral momentum, high-probability sequences increase the rate of responding, and subsequent rate of reinforcement, within a response class. This increase in density of reinforcement results in increased responding for the response class as a whole. Early research in this area had focused mainly on compliance issues for individuals with developmental disabilities. However, more recently the utility of high-p sequences has been examined within the context of academics. The purpose of these two experiments was to examine the use of high-p sequences with two academic tasks—letter-writing and mathematics problem completion. The results of these studies suggest that high-p sequences can be used to increase academic productivity. Moreover, the addition of experimenter-delivered reinforcers to existing high-p sequences enhances overall behavioral persistence. Theoretical and applied implications of persistence and behavioral momentum are discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 41: 789–801, 2004.