Self-management in the classroom: Self-imposed response cost versus self-reward

Laura L. Humphrey, Paul Karoly, Daniel S. Kirschenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The effects of self-imposed fines were contrasted with effects of self-administered rewards on academic and social classroom behavior. Within the context of a classroom token economy, baseline assessments were followed by the first self-management phase during which children either fined or rewarded themselves contingent upon academic performance. After a period of program withdrawal, children who had self-rewarded then self-imposed response cost and vice versa. Results showed that, during self-management phases relative to baselines, participants (a) improved their reading rates (increase in number of reading papers attempted=58%), (b) engaged in less disruptive behavior (decline =34%), (c) maintained accurate work on reading papers, and (d) generalized performance increments to workbook reading (but only during the first half of the experiment). Both self-management procedures were effective, although self-reward improved reading rates and workbook performance to a somewhat greater extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-601
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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