Volume 4, Issue 1 (1975)
Effects of Modeling and Reinforcement on the Acquisition and Generalization of Question-Asking Behavior
B.J. ZImmerman, E.O. Pike
Question-asking behavior has been the subject of several research studies. Piaget (1923) has attempted to relate qualitative features of children’s question classes to their level of development. Yamamoto (1962) found the number of questions asked in response to presented pictures increased with age. Stirling (1937) found question production to correlate positively with IQ and socio-economic status. Rosenthal, Zimmerman, and Durning (1970) studied the influence of an adult model’s abstract class of question formulation upon the question-asking behavior of sixth grade youngsters. Whether compared with baseline or no-model control group responding, each of four experimental groups evinced highly significant increases in question production within the class displayed by the model, and these alterations in question formulation generalized to new stimuli. No incentives were offered or dispensed. A portion of this study was later replicated by Rosenthal and Zimmerman (1972). While these studies demonstrated observationally-induced changes in children’s question class, little experimental attention has been directed to teaching children question-asking skills per se.
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