Relation of wait-time and rewards to the development of language, logic, and fate control: Part II-Rewards



In Part I it was shown that by varying the duration of pauses in two locations the length of student statements increased, the number of alternative explanations offered multiplied, and the overall probability of receiving a reply increased. It was noted, as well, that in natural situations where there was a high incidence of teacher sanctioning behavior, regardless of whether it was predominantly positively toned, the verbal performance of students engaged in inquiry appeared to be negatively influenced even when there were reasonable wait-times. That is, even in those rare naturally occurring cases where pauses were longer than the mean of one second, and in experiments where pauses and rewards were independently manipulated if sanctioning behaviors were intense, the positive influence on inquiry of the longer pauses appeared to be somewhat mitigated. It became necessary, then, to study reward patterns in the context of inquiry in order to discover whether, in general, overt verbal rewards which we found occurring with tremendous frequency in natural settings, helped or hindered the progress of student inquiry.