Motivating Students Via Group Contingency: Everything You Need to Know
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can be used for groups and individuals, and group contingency is a technique based on that idea. Initially, ABA used the technique on individuals; however, it has been adapted so that groups can use it too.
It reinforces target behavior. Group contingency is used within a group setting to modify the behavior of individuals. When used properly, it can be very effective and has been widely utilized in many instances. Whether in a social group, classroom, or work office, group contingency can be used. So, what do you need to know about it?
The Various Types of Group Contingency
It’s important to note that group contingency may help modify different types of behaviors. So, when it comes to the type of technique you want to use, it may depend on the severity of the behavior, the number in the group, and the goal – such as toning down aggression. Typically, there are three types of group contingency. Those are:
- The Dependent Group Contingency
The group’s behavior is the focus. Reinforcement is earned when certain criteria are met. For instance, one child continuously moves to different seats during a class. However, if the child were able to remain in their allotted seat for one week, they would meet the criteria. The student would earn a reward, say extra minutes during their breaks. If the entire class were to take part and succeed, they would earn the reward.
It’s a great strategy when it comes to targeting behavioral problems within a class setting. Teachers reinforce the rules and students are held accountable for their actions. Of course, this must be done under the right circumstances because it highlights one group or child. It puts them under pressure and may result in their peers lashing out at them.
- The Independent Group Contingency
All members within the group will have the same criteria set out for them. Each must meet those criteria to earn the reward. The reinforcer is only given when everyone has met the criteria set out. The independent group contingency method is a great way to help target larger group behavior issues. It can be anything from keeping quiet during class to washing their hands after recess. The reward could be a story for the class if everyone succeeds.
This idea is quite smart because students need to watch over one another. It can encourage friendships and new alliances, as well as better social interaction. This is quite troublesome for teachers because they must organize someone to monitor the students. In the right setting, however, it can be effective.
- The Interdependent Group Contingency
This is an all-or-nothing strategy. Children will either earn the reinforcement or they won’t. The concept is to create teamwork so that everyone can work towards the goal. It could help motivate others and create new friendships in the process. Of course, this is potentially risky as some children might put undue pressure on their classmates. If there are special needs children involved, this idea might not work. So, you must use the strategy wisely.
How to Establish Group Contingency?
- Focus on Issues that Need to be Addressed, such as Homework Assignments or Attendance.
- Determine Which Concern Should Be Made a Priority.
- Decide The New Behavior You Want to Reinforce
- Determine Which Group Contingency Should Be Used
- Assemble the Group and Teach the Reinforcements and Contingencies.
- Track the Progress.
There are different types of contingencies that can be used to target certain behaviors. Of course, some group contingencies work better than others; and there are advantages and disadvantages too. So, you need to find the one that is best for your class and focus on one behavior each time.