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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


BOUDREAULT, Ariane Leroux-; FORGET, Jacques  and  CARON, Pier-Olivier. Psychoeconomic analysis of attention to the task of schoolchildren and teacher attention. Acta comport. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.1, pp. 73-88. ISSN 0188-8145.

Picoeconomic (Ainslie, 1992) and the molar maximisation theory (Kagel, Battalio et Green, 1995) have risen from the integration of microeconomics within the experimental analysis of behavior. In both models, the relationship between a subject's responses and obtained reinforcers are said to respect the law of demand. The current study illustrates the integration of picoeconomic in the classroom by focusing on descriptive analyses of the relationship between the attention to the task rate of three students and different forms of interactions they received from their teachers. The purpose of the current study is to analyze these relationships according to three schedules of reinforcement that are the variable-ratio schedule, the variable-interval schedule and the concurrent schedule. Each schedule is also analyzed according to a molecular, local or molar perspective. Results indicate that at the molecular level, the generalized matching law is the best descriptor of children's behavior according to their teacher attention. The variable-interval schedule and the variable-ratio schedule were also statistically significant for one student each. At the molar level, the results show that attention rate is primarily a function of the relative rates of attention from the teacher. To conclude, relationships between subjects' behaviors and the associated reinforcers from their teachers were well pictured by economic concepts, and that the classical notion of program of reinforcement is neglected by authors interesting by descriptive and functional analysis of behavior.

Keywords : picoeconomic; attention; teacher; classroom; schedule of reinforcement; matching law.

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