L. J. Thompson

Document Type



Churchlands College of Advanced Education

Place of Publication

Churchlands, Western Australia


Clark, M.


Thompson, L. (1978). A survey of reinforcement preferences: research bulletin number 3. Churchlands, Australia: Churchlands College of Advanced Education.


Anyone who visits the primary school classroom in 1977 will observe that many teachers are implementing planned programmes of reinforcement. Behaviour modification programmes, contingency contracting, 'token-economies 1 are increasingly becoming features of a normal classroom programme. However, one would also observe that although more primary teachers are implementing planned programmes of reinforcement, the actual reinforcers being used are much the same as they always have been. Ticks, stamps, stars, prevalent in most classroom programmes of reinforcement today have been used as reinforcers from almost the very first days of formalized classroom teaching, Teachers continue to rely heavily on; written and verbal praise, displaying children's good work, sending a child to the headmaster or another teacher for praise, sending home a good report to the child's parents. It is this use of 'traditional reinforcers' that provides a focus for the study reported in the following pages.

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